Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


PC users contribute to spam growth

21 April 2013, 10:21

Cape Town - Spam represents not only an annoyance to web users, but also a danger as criminals often use the unsolicited messages as a delivery method for malware and phishing attacks.

According to Blue Coat Systems, spam continues to grow and human behaviour contributes significantly to the spread of the practice.

Chris Pace, director of Product and Solutions Marketing at Blue Coat Systems chatted to News24 about the scourge of spam and how to combat it.

News24: How do spammers decide what targets would work best for spam?
Chris Pace: Any e-mail address is a target nowadays! The nature of these threats lately seems to be focussed on getting users to click a link which takes them off to an infected site.

News24: How important is user behaviour is fighting spam?
Pace: It's amazing how many people will click a link even when they are reading an e-mail that clearly isn't relevant to them.

Spam messages will pretend to be a flight confirmation or a notice that a package has been sent, yet people who have neither booked a flight nor made an order for delivery will click on that link.

We've also recently seen spam messages that link to viruses on dropbox.com. The best advice here is: If the content of the message clearly isn't for you, don't click the link.

News24: Besides AV and anti-spam software solutions, are there any simple ways to avoid spam attacks?
Pace: 99% of all e-mail is spam and most email providers put anti-spam in place for their users. You'd be wading through an awful lot of junk e-mail if that wasn't there.

But as most modern spam messages now use links to websites with malware on them you do need web protection or antivirus too.

News24: How can users prevent spam on social networks?
Pace: The success of social networking spam, especially on Facebook, is based almost entirely on the sharing of links or liking of pages.

This happens because people aren't checking what permissions they're giving to apps and pages. So, when you click the link to watch the video that your friend shared you're often also allowing that page to share posts on your wall too, so your 500 friends including your grandmother can all see it.

News24: On what platform do you see the highest growth of spam?
Pace: E-mail is available on every platform, but smarter bad guys are now beginning to create threats designed to work whether you receive the spam e-mail on your PC or your mobile device.

News24: On mobile, are some operating systems more susceptible to spam and malicious software than others?
Pace: Spamming is a technique that generally doesn't make a distinction between operating systems and most spam today will direct to a phishing site to try and steal information.

It's simpler and often much more effective than a virus.

News24: Which e-mail client, in your view, has the best native spam filtering tools?
Pace: Most web based e-mail systems are able to use a number of anti-spam engines to more protection than just one. Most of the big name webmail providers will take this approach.

- News24


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...