back to article Why is Hotmail so bad at spam?

I'm trying very hard to be sympathetic towards Hotmail, and I'm failing, badly. It's not the Microsoft connection that makes me fed up, it's just Hotmail. Here's today's inbox: From my contacts: 2 (2) Marquita@viagra.com RE: Online Canadian Pharma... admin@speedtrader.co... RE: Daily News If you believe I have a …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

Page:

Tim

Hotmail Filters

Hotmail has been useless for as long as I can remember, but changing is just slightly too much work for me. The only way I've managed to cope with it was to block as many domains as it would allow me to (250 I think) and mark the rest as spam, and now I don't get any unwanted emails.

If anyone is stuck with Hotmail due to their passport (anyone who signed up over years or however long they've allowed other emails) they should do this.

Anyone else just get the passport and avoid the email like the plague. Gmail is so many times better that not even infinity comes close.

Google - relative newcome to email and yet they seem to have everything right.

0
0

Anti-MS Bias

Am I catching another whiff of an anti-MS personal agenda... While I agree that gmail is a superior web mail service, my experience with hotmail has been outstanding, especially during the last 2 years. I prefer gmail, but hotmail's spam filtering is excellent (in my experience). With an account over 10 years old, my hotmail account became almost unusable about 2 years ago, due to the amount of crap I received on a daily basis. However, Microsoft has done wonders with improving their spam detection. Yep, Better than gmail, even. Yahoo, is the one web mail service that really needs to improve their spam filtering. Receiving 100-200 mail messages a day has resulted in giving up on yahoo alltogether, despite their cool new web mail interface.

0
0

runt of the litter?

I signed up for a hotmail account in the mid-ninetys when it was about the only way that you could send or receive email for free without spending 200 quid to join CIX or Compuserve.

That was before Microsoft bought them.

I suggest that Hotmail is not so much the runt of the litter, but the mother.

0
0

Gmail is just as bad...

...because I gets loads and loads of spam in my inbox, all the basic stuff about erection pills, lottery wins, and stuff in chinese and whatnot. Granted, they filter out quite a bit but the stuff that they let through would be caught, AFAICT, by any basic SpamAssassin setup.

Apparently it depends more on what you do with your email address than who your provider is - Google seems to have little interest in catching these obvious spams, maybe that is because I don't click on their ads enough??

(and don't even start about "Google support". It's out there, I know it, just like the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the Invisible Pink Unicorn, and snowball throwing tournaments in Hell)

0
0

Hotmail brand alerts you to a dumb user

Hotmail to me tells me that a person with that domain in their email address is a dumb user. Collectively Hotmail users are technically challenged people. Hotmail is the McDonalds of email.

On the otherhand, Gmail is even easier, but users of Gmail are usually smarter people.

0
0

No problems here

Although I am no fan of Microsoft or their products, that has not stopped me from using Hotmail since 1998. I've had only the one account there since then, and it currently gets between 200-300 spams per DAY, most of which end up in the Junk folder - only about 20-30 spams per day make it into my inbox. It is a matter of a few seconds to tick the obvious ones and then click Delete. Were I to do a "time and motion study" of all the "few seconds" I've spent ticking and deleting spam, it would probably come out to a total of maybe a couple of hundred hours of my life lost dealing with spam in this fashion.

Big deal. How much of my life have I spent twiddling my thumbs at my desk, or worse, spending company time posting comments like this in forums and blogs around the net? (I'm posting this from work, for example). It profits me nothing to do so. But it helps me relax before tackling another problem, and I do a better job because I've posted something to let off some steam and I'm more relaxed and de-stressed because of it. So counting lost seconds to me is a pointless exercise.

Hotmail for me is a catch-all account. My "home" ISP-provided email I don't use, except for family and friends I know IRL, and I never give that address out on the Internet. The reason is that to read my ISP email, I need to use a mail client, which has to download all the email from the server before I can read it - so spam here would actually cost me money in bandwidth. Hotmail, on the other hand, doesn't use any bandwidth (other than to display as a web page) or require me to download email first, so I can delete any spam without ever having to download or read it.

Any time a website demands my email in return for some information, to post a comment or to download a file, I use my Hotmail address. The only exception is my bank, because I don't trust a freemail provider with any information that might pass between my bank and myself. And my bank can be trusted to keep my home email private, because there are laws in place relating to banks and security of information above and beyond mainstream privacy laws.

I also use my Hotmail address as a point of contact for people I deal with on the Internet, and for people who have the bad habit of bulk-forwarding jokes and such. Because I use my Hotmail address this way, I EXPECT to get loads of spam - that's the nature of the internet. To me, throwing out spam is just the cyberspace equivalent of walking around all the A-frame signs and ignoring spruikers at my local shopping centre when all I want is to get some bread and milk. It goes with the territory.

Finally, I have never had any problems with receiving emails from anybody at Hotmail. Every time I've signed up at a site that requires me to respond to an email to "validate my account", I've gotten the email. True, the activation email ends up in the junk folder as often as not, but a quick look in that folder soon turns it up, I add it to my Safe list, click its activation link, and that's that. Afterwards all emails from that domain go into my Inbox. If emails are "disappearing", check your Junk mail settings. I never set these to automatically delete a mail, even if it's got fifty repetitions of the words "viagra" and "penis enlargement" in it. All incoming mail is stored against the possibility it may be genuine, and dumped once I've determined it's not. As a result, I've never missed or lost an email I wanted to keep.

So Hotmail suits me fine for the purposes I use it for. It costs me nothing, it saves me downloading spam at my home email, and I can access it anywhere. I've used it for over 8 years without any problems. And as long as it exists and continues to fill these basic requirements, I'll continue using it.

0
0

I'd rather get 1000 junk messages than lose one valid one

I have perfectly functional spam filters that take care of all the junk that comes my way, but there is no way for me to recover mail that does not arrive.

Thus, I was aghast to find that my ISP clandestinely censors my mail according to a blacklist of IP addresses maintained by a third party. What is more, even when I informed them that mail was not arriving they refused to un-block my associate's address, insisting instead that I/he would have to deal with the third party to have the address scrubbed.

I'm paying my ISP to accept mail on my behalf - not to censor it based on origin. For them to discard something - anything - without my consent and based on a third party IP address list - is like a post office throwing away all letters that come from Nigeria because they've been told by someone there a lot of 419ers live there.

As for true spam filters... certainly delete anything that contains V!4GR4...

0
0

Newbie?

> Why on earth does anyone use Hotmail? Having a Hotmail account is a newbie's mistake, you're only one step up the social ladder from an AOL user.

I object to the implications by several here that using a Hotmail account is symptomatic of dunderheaded newbieness.

I have been using the same hotmail account since 1994, and like others have said, I know what to expect from it, and get what I pay for.

In fact it's only recently that I've been irritated by the fact that it has been refusing emails from my so-called legitimate provided-by-the-French-government laposte.fr account because they don't seem to have any control over their mail servers, and it has appeared on some draconian blacklist somewhere.

Like Melinda I'm extremely irritated by someone else deciding which email I should or should not receive; I'm quite capable of filtering it in my client.

0
0
Silver badge

viagra.com

My ancient MSN account also received the above spam, but (unlike Guy's experience) they put it directly into the spam bin. MSN was my first email account when it began (?15 years ago) and I now use it for junk registrations and only check it every couple of months. I wouldn't claim it's the best out there, but the spam filter (even on its default setting) seems to do a reasonable job (comparable with most commercial offerings).

0
1
ssu

Newbie?

I also have been using Hotmail since around launch and most of the Hotmail users I know are also 'old hands'. Gmail is what the newbies seem to be using.

Why Hotmail? Simply because its very rarely down, unlike Gmail or Yahoo, and I don't get the 300 spam messages a month like I do with my Gmail account. Gmail may filter them out well but how can an account which I have never used to register with anything at all get onto the spammers list?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Yahoo is worse

I log on to my Yahoo account and everything in my inbox is 100% spam.

I use it as a junk mail box now.

0
0

Hotmail is even worse than described

..because they don't just falsely flag legitimate mail as spam, they even 'blackhole' mail! (This means the sender thinks the mail is delivered, while the receiver doesn't even get the mail in the spam folder). This is unforgivable for a company that holds 30%+ of the email market.

0
0

Iddle boxies

I'm usually the first to beef about Microsoft, but...

I've got two hotmail accounts and have had for years... one gets loads of spam, the other none at all. One was for posting to untrusted sites and has a jokey address, the other for "official" business with my first-name underscore surname.

When I signed up the (now) spam-filled one, I purposefully chose to add the address to some public list of addresses (it's a while back now so forgive me if I can't remember the exact wording of the sign-up page). Result: Immediate torrent of spam.

When I signed up the legit spam-free one, I unticked all the boxes that I'd left ticked with the first one. Result: Totally spam-free. I mean _totally_

Hmm, is this the problem with people experiencing huge amounts of hotmail spam? Did you forget to untick the iddle boxies?

Hotmail spam filtering used to be dreadfully poor, but now it seems to be pretty good: few false negatives, and few false positives. It's as good as Thunderbird which is good enough for me.

My only gripe is that mail identified as spam is deleted after only five days... so if there is a false positive it can be a pain if like me you don't check your mail regularly. I've lost one legit email that way (in four years).

0
0

"manage your email address"

Anyone crack up reading that comment??

I mean seriously!?!? I created a webpage a year and a half ago. Picked up a new domain to place my portfolio online for job applications. I created a nice new email address on my new domain and used this email only for job applications / references.

Guess what, it got spammed. Pisses me off really.

The simple fact is that spam programs try to spam variations on any domain that they can find. They try and hunt your email down from legitimate sites that you might get your email associated with. There is so much spyware out there, that one of your trustworthy contacts might get a tracker installed that would snoop your email from their list.

Its a vicious cycle. Your email might stay safe for a while, but don't go pointing the finger saying that it was someone's fault they started getting spam.

You can be totally legitimate and stingy with your address and still get spam.

0
0

RE clueless By Seanie Ryan

"Its a very dark road you go down when you start word or partial word blocking.

You suggest blocking 'loto' .So a domain that i own that is blotord.com gets blocked? Keep going on that thought and it never ever stops. You havent really though this out have you?"

Reminds me of the time when Scunthorpe (FC) put a word checking filter on their message board. Not surprisingly very few messages got through.

I wonder if Arsenal had the same problem?

0
0

Love the Dates and Times

Don't you also love the wonderful hotmail and yahoo mail system that lets bs mail in with the dates of 11/18/2038 or 11/15/1938.

Alot of these bs mails would go away if they did reverse dns lookups on where the mail came from and If it can't look it up, then drop the junk into a blackhole.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Either way..

Don't forget the real villan of the piece - the spammers! You're never going to emulate human intelligence in a spam filter in the near future and in an ideal world we wouldn't need them at all. If someone put a fire bomb through my letter box, I'd have issues with them rather than the letter box manufacturer. Treat the cause not the symptoms!

0
0

SPF is the way

Not sure I agree with your view that charging people to send email is the way forward. I fully agree with the view that the poor will be the losers in that particular model.

Far better for everybody to get SPF set up correctly first. This is bound to reduce the amount of spam. Imagine if everybody did have SPF enabled and an automatic reject if no SPF or no authorised IP was sending the email.

Add to that the magic of spamhaus and you've got quote a powerful defence against spam. Anything else that gets through is fairly easy to deal with with server side or client side spam filters (spamassassin, thunderbird, etc).

Just my two cents!

0
0

re: "manage your email address"

I agree - I should not have to keep my email address private to avoid spam. Hotmail should do a better job at preventing spam. My email address is out on the web, I get lots of spam sent to me, but receive very little as email identified as definite spam gets deleted without me seeing it, and probable spam goes into my spam mail folder. I get a few spam emails in my inbox a week, and maybe a few each day in my spam folder.

Some email providers do an excellent job at controlling spam, although I doubt that Hotmail ever will.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Pseudo scientific comparison of SPAM filters

My main mail account is Yahoo! Had it for 8 years.

Since September last year I switched to using Apple's Mail 2.1 and POP3 from Yahoo! rather than a web browser.

To my local Inbox I now tend to get less than 1 SPAM per week. the SPAM filter has put 21 e-mails into the local Junk folder since 2 June 2007.

Meanwhile, in my Yahoo! account proper, there are 1388 messages in the SPAM folder, dating from May 1st.

So my two levels of SPAM protection work very well. 1388 stopped, 21 through, maybe 8 I had to delete myself. don't know and don't care if any legit stuff was stopped.

At gmail, I don't use the account apart from chatting with ONE friend. I opened it this year. I have sent no e-mail from this account. I have 6 e-mails in the spam folder since the start of June. I have sent no e-mail from this account. Only posted to a cpuple of newsgroups.

Ironically, at work, I got an e-mail telling me my whatever-it-is facility is ready. This allows me to go and look at the stuff that the large stack of AV and anti-worm and anti-SPAM machines that are so "essential" to e-mail these days has decide is SPAM and maybe choose to have it delivered after all. what is the point in that? Maybe some director had his porn delivery filtered at souce.

In the last 9 years of my working life I have never had a significant problem with SPAM to my works mailbox. With or without Exchange, etc. Other colleagues have and do.

The only thing I can think of here is that I am still anal about accepting cookies.

0
0

Any eMail address for a Passport ID

Straight from the Passport Website

"You can use any existing e-mail address from any e-mail provider when you create your credentials for Windows Live ID. Then you can use those credentials to sign in to any Windows Live ID site.

To access e-mail at www.hotmail.com, you must use an MSN or Hotmail e-mail address, or an address associated with an MSN Personal Address."

So there it is ....

0
0

‘Why is Hotmail so bad at spam?’

I set up a hotmail account some 8 years ago because it was offered for free by my ISP when I signed up. They are affiliated with MSN. I've never used it.

However, in my business, I receive a lot of e-mail inquiries from my customers and approx. 70%+ have a hotmail account.

Curiously, from most of the account names you can find out their birthdates and the intimate names they are called by by their spouses or lovers.

Curious indeed.

0
0

Page:

This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2018