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?
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.
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.
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?
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?
The success of social networking spam, especially on Facebook, is based
almost entirely on the sharing of links or liking of pages.
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
News24: On what platform do you see the highest growth of spam?
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?
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?
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.