Alphabet Decides Who Gets Most Spam

Those whose names begin with A are more likely to receive spam that those who start with Z, according to research.

Cambridge University security expert Richard Clayton analyzed email traffic logs from Demon Internet and discovered that those with names higher up the alphabet are more likely to receive spam than those lower down.

His statistics show that 35 percent of the email received by someone called Alison will be spam, compared to the 20 percent received by someone called Zadie, even though both may have the same email provider.

This contradicts previous theories that it's the section of an email address after the @ symbol that is important to spammers.

Clayton claims that spammers rely on 'Rumplestiltskin' attacks, where they trawl through the dictionary, guessing at names to send spam emails too, with a high percentage turning out to be real names.

And Clayton's advice to those fed up with spam - pick your username more carefully.

This story, "Alphabet Decides Who Gets Most Spam" was originally published by PC Advisor (UK).

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