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Web Security

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The word spam refers to a message or e mail which can affect any personal computer and decode all relevant information related to the computer. It is a system which infects the PC. Spam can come as types of unwanted advertising messages or e mails from the net which are then stored in the email box without the user’s authority. In order to minimize the distribution of spam in mail boxes, protective software can be setup. The easiest method of avoiding spam is to use email sites that provide spam filters. Some Internet service providers have developed techniques which are embedded in products, services and software to deal with this problem (Spector 2004). Of course, not all the techniques work perfectly as the ultimate solution to the spam issue.

The methods used to deal with the spam problem is categorized into: those that incorporate actions from the individuals, the ones automated by e-mail providers, those automated by e mail senders and those used by researchers and law enforcement agencies. E mail administrators have come up with a number of ways to aid in reducing the load of spam on their systems. Some have advanced techniques that analyze the message patterns and compare with the global database of spam in time to detect any spam behavior. Others automatically analyze the content of the e mails and remove the ones resembling spam.

Nowadays anti-spam procedures have been integrated into MTAs. In this, the e mail systems perform various precautions known as filtering. Messages of spam design are either blocked or rejected before being delivered. Internet providers have also employed the use of challenge or response systems. This requires unknown senders to go through various steps before their messages their delivery. Checksum-based filters usually strips out anything that varies between messages, then reduce what is left behind into a checksum, and eventually look at the checksum in a database. There are two methods included in a checksum based filtering; Distributed Checksum Clearinghouse and Vipul’s Razor.

DNS-based Blacklists are often used for heuristic filtering or blocking. This is a process where a site publishes a list of IP addresses via the DNS. In this way, mail users can easily reject mail from the sources listed. An administrator can also reduce the spam problem by setting limits on the deviation from RFC standards that MTA can accept. An analysis on whether or not an email conforms to RFC standards can be used to check chances of a message being spam. Many spammers are not able to comply with the standards. Others have employed the use of greeting delays. A greeting delay is a pause brought about by an SMTP server deliberately (Spector2004). This delay comes before it sends the greeting banner to the client who is supposed to wait before any data is sent to the server. Applications that send spam do not usually wait to receive this banner. 

A study by Ferris Research has approximated the annual cost of spam to be around $9.5 billion for corporations based in the U.S. it has been estimated that it can take up to 5 seconds to deal with a message which eventually add up to $4.6 billion in productivity lost for United States based corporations. These corporations spend a lot of money acquiring very powerful servers and more of bandwidth. They also provide help desk support to Internet users who are annoyed by the spam problem.

The spam issue has made the government act by monitoring the Internet, although this can reduce privacy. Some businesses have shut down due to lawsuits. It is particularly adamant that one adopts safe computing practices in order to safeguard his or her PC. One can apply the latest fixes available which stop various flaws that a hacker could exploit. This is in order to keep the operating system up to date. One is also expected not to open attachments of e mails from unfamiliar people unless one is very sure. You should not install any software or game that you are not sure of from websites that cannot trusted. One should not give out confidential or personal information through the e mail. Instead, they should contact the sender physically for confirmation. One can also install a firewall security. It hides the computer from hackers. Anti spam software can provide spam control through analysis. For the highest security, one can obtain a hardware firewall on a router. This is a software firewall which scans data. Last but not least, one should acquire an effective anti-virus program and an anti-spyware program (Spector, 2004).

If I had a responsibility to reduce spam, I would make sure that all computers software or relevant programs which prevent this spam problem. I would also require that employees take precautions in preventing spam getting into their e-mail boxes. The spam has become a hot issue nowadays. There are those who benefit from it while a majority views it as a menace.

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