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How come Yahoo contains spam and hotmail does not?

Its really puzzling. Yahoo Mail seems to have zero or near zero spam. Its months and months since i received a single spam.
But my hotmail inbox has become really unusable. Spam is so so bad that i have resolved never to use hotmail again.
If Bill gates had sold my address to a dozen spammers, it could not have been worse. I have had this problem in all my hotmail accounts.

Does someone know how Yahoo contains spam far far better than hotmail?

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Just to confirm, are you absolutely sure you have not posted your email address publicly or in an online form?

With am "unlisted" Yahoo account I get Yahoo-brand spam about once a month, and that's about it.

Also, perhaps your accounts are being targeted by a dictionary attack? I would think more common-sounding names would get more spam due to dictionary spammers.

Dan Maas
Sunday, March 7, 2004

Clearly, MSN either sells adresses or publishes them in a directory somewhere but I haven't been able to find any option to prevent/delete this option.

I created a new account at Hotmail to use with MSN Messenger. When I logged on the next day, already two SPAM e-mails were waiting in my Inbox. Draw your own conclusions.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Just an observation, "Contains". Was misled initially.

Yahoo! does fail in restricting spam, though to a lesser extent. My account receives on average 3 to 5 spam emails on a daily basis, most of which have a "" or "" as the spoofed address.

I had discontinued using MSN and Hotmail accounts for almost a year now. Mostly beacise of spam, though not the only reason. In fact, my MS Passport is my Yahoo! account.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

I've set up two hotmail accounts, and within a day its getting spam.  On the other hand my Yahoo account went for a very long time spam-free, but then one day WHAMMO tons of spam.  And from that day forth, SPAM-O-RAMA!

Since then I'm gotten my own domain with unlimited virtual email addresses, so everytime I fill out an online form, sign up for something, or send in a rebate I give a unique address that I can identify with who I gave it to.  I've been doing this for over a year and still none of those myriad email addresses have been inundated. 

Ken Klose
Sunday, March 7, 2004

>>"Clearly, MSN either sells adresses or publishes them in a directory somewhere "

I used to think the same thing, but a more likely answer is the use of a "dictionary attack" by spammers.  They simply spew out millions of e-mails using common names and collections of random letters.

Since the "from" address in the spam is fake anyway, they aren't bothered with all the undeliverable e-mails bouncing back.

Joe on Software (Joe)
Sunday, March 7, 2004

I thought it was simply that Yahoo's spam filter is a lot better than Hotmail's.  I receive around 10-20 spam every day to my Yahoo account, but the filter dumps it right into the bulk folder and all I have to do is click "empty" whenever I check it.  I've had the same Yahoo address for two years now, and use it everywhere I have to submit an email address.

Doesn't Hotmail offer spam filtering?

Justin Johnson
Sunday, March 7, 2004

Yahoo offers spam filtering, but it's still a hassle.

The free mailboxes have a certain limit, but the spam inbox still counts towards the limit. Even though I don't get much real email, I still have to clean out my spam inbox every couple days to prevent bouncing from a full inbox.

I guess you get what you pay for eh.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Yahoo has a better spam filter.

Part of the reason you see spam, even if your e-mail address is "unlisted" is that spammers will just randomly try usernames,, and  Because there are so many subscribers at those domains, most of the e-mails actually "hit" something. 

Myron A. Semack
Sunday, March 7, 2004

I've got a hotmail account and have had it for several years. Zero spam.

Perhaps the dictionary "attack" is valid as you'd never ever find my surname in anyone's dictionary, even a dictionary of names!

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Check out the boxes with default ticks the next time you fill in an application for a new Hotmail address.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, March 7, 2004

Hotmail had a big update recently and it seems like the spam filter is now MUCH better.  For example, yesterday I received 21 spam emails to my Hotmail account -- twenty went to the junk folder, one made it to the inbox.  I use my Hotmail account as my random 'public' email account but it looks like these mostly came from dictionary attacks (judging from the lists of similiar addresses in the To fields).

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Lip service.  Notice how Microsoft has all these elaborate plans to end spam.  Yet Hotmail users get a mailbox full of spam and Yahoo users don't.

Microsoft talks a lot about security too.  Draw your own conclusions here.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

I also notice the same difference.  Yahoo's spam filter seems to work better by default.  I also think it's more elaborate since it allows human input and tuning ("this is spam"  this is not spam") and its interface is not so bloated that you would be afraid to check your spam folder for false positives

Seun Osewa
Sunday, March 7, 2004

My Hotmail account has never had a single spam message, and I just logged into my Yahoo account for the first time in three weeks and there were half-a-dozen spam messages. I don't use the spam filter in either. I can only presume that dictionary attacks are responsible for the occasional yahoo spam.

Interestingly enough I get more dictionary spam on my work account that is  almost never used for external email.

Stephen Jones
Sunday, March 7, 2004

"Perhaps the dictionary 'attack' is valid as you'd never ever find my surname in anyone's dictionary, even a dictionary of names!"

Prove it, Gwyn; what's your surname?  C'mon, you can tell us.  If you don't, then why should we believe what you say?  You'll lose all credibility if you don't share this information.

Sunday, March 7, 2004

Just out of curiosity, I created a new Hotmail account this afternoon.  The username was greated through a random password generator (24 random alphanumeric characters) so it's completely immune from a dictionary attack.

Six hours later, no spam so far.  I'll provide an update if the situation changes.

Robert Jacobson
Sunday, March 7, 2004

How funny would it be for the next 1000 readers of this thread to forward their latest penis-enlargement email to Mr. Jacobson here? ;-)

Shareware Guy
Monday, March 8, 2004

whats spam ,dont know the stuff !. I know how i stopped it but i am not telling anyone. But one step is to start blocking  the origanating e mail see how long that last  befor a random generator takes that e mail off there list time is money random generaton takes a lot of power the greater the alfa numeric the greater the mathamatical permutation. Second step stop spyware use, stop downloading  crap !, read discloseures and use common sence nothing is free !.

what spam
Monday, March 8, 2004

I had to move away from my Juno (yes, Juno) account because of the spam.  30-40 a day, mostly non-English (I think Korean) spam.  There were two things that made this unbearable:

1.  Juno's preview pane automatically looks at the first message you get, thus confirming my address to the spammers.

2.  My VS.NET debugger wanted to debug ... something ... everytime I downloaded one of the messages.  So getting mail got tiresome because I'd have to tap 'y' 30 times to get all my mail.

Additionally, Juno's mail filtering rules don't work at all, so I couldn't just say "move everything with (garbage prefix subject line) to SPAM".

I really liked the idea of Juno back in 1998, where I could be guaranteed access to my email no matter where I was, ISP or no.  And I loved the addition of juno's webmail.  There's just not enough control over ... anything. 

Oh, and I'm pretty sure the reason I get spam is because my email is/was posted on a web site in clear text format.

Monday, March 8, 2004

I've had a hotmail account for about six months. I haven't used it that much other than to get info from monster and dice and the occasional personal email.

I've never had any spam.

On my business account, i get 50 to 100 a day. I've used spambayes to filter it out.

Monday, March 8, 2004

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