More spam? Your name is to blame

New research by University of Cambridge creates a link between spam messages and first letters of email addresses

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  September 2, 2008

Email addresses that begin with certain alphabets are believed to get more spam, according to a new University of Cambridge research study that was reported by the BBC.

Analyzing more than 500 million spam messages, it was identified that email addresses starting with the letter ‘a’, ‘m’, ‘s’, ‘r’ or ‘p’ received 40% of the spam. In contrast, those that began with ‘q’, ‘y’ or ‘z’ got around 20% or less.

Headed by Dr. Richard Clayton, the study was conducted in order to understand inconsistencies in the volume of junk mail different people receive.

The difference, as Clayton explained, reflects the way spammers generate target email addresses - taking part of a live email address before the @ symbol that is known to be active, and using the same detail with other net domains to generate new ones.

Still, the research has shown some irregularities. Email addresses with the letter ‘u’ seemed to get more than 50% of the spam, despite there being only a few of them.

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