Protecting You From Spam, One Message at a Time
With more than 300 million Yahoo! Mail inboxes worldwide, we take our responsibility to keep you safe and your inbox free of spam, phishing and other online scams very seriously. Did you know that in 2008, Yahoo! blocked more than a billion spam messages each day? And it doesn’t stop there. So far this year, we have reduced the amount of spam that comes to Yahoo! Mail inboxes by an additional 30 percent!
So how do we do it? Our anti-spam efforts use a multi-faceted approach to protect your inbox including the use of enhanced technologies, industry collaboration, public policy efforts, and consumer awareness campaigns. Here’s a look at some of the latest advancements from the front lines of fighting spam:
Analytical analysis – Because spammers adjust their messages in subtle ways to evade detection, we’re using Hadoop, a supercomputer consisting of thousands of individual PCs, to look at hundreds of different elements in each message. For example, Hadoop doesn’t just look for the word “viagra” or “v1agra” or “v.i.a.g.r.a.” to show up in the subject line, it also looks for extremely subtle signals like how many words are in the message, what time of day the message was sent, how different this message is from the last one we saw from that same sender, and so on.
The hunt is on – We welcome opportunities within both private and public sectors to eliminate spam and educate its users about phishing. For example, in 2008 we saw an increase in messages telling our users that they had “won” the Yahoo! Lottery. Sadly, no such lottery has ever existed! Yahoo! has formed a public-private coalition with Microsoft, the African Development Bank, and Western Union to allow victims of lottery scams to upload police reports that are used to track down these criminals and develop better ways of protecting people online, and filed a lawsuit directly targeting these criminal con-men.
Self defense – The old adage is true: an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Through ongoing consumer education and awareness, we are able to provide you with tips and strategies to identify spam, phishing and other online scams. Speaking of, the holiday season and “Cyber Monday”—one of the busiest e-commerce days of the year—are right around the corner. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, Internet fraud surges around this time because more of us are shopping online. Be careful of those deals that sound too good to be true, because they almost always are. For more advice, be sure to check out our top tips for staying safe online and spotting online scams. Also, check out the sidebar below for specific tips for Cyber Monday. With a sharp eye and a little education, you can better protect your wallet and your identity this holiday season!
With Yahoo! Mail touching over 50 percent of U.S. email users, your protection online and the prevention of spam are issues that are always top of mind. Whether it be phishing scams, lottery scams, fund transfer scams or other crimes, rest assured that we are behind the scene working diligently to protect you and your inbox.
Happy holidays from me and my team as we protect you from spam, one message at a time.
Tips for a Safe and Productive Cyber Monday!
As I mentioned earlier, Cyber Monday is almost here. So be sure to use the following tips when you’re receiving emails from vendors on deals and bargains or shopping online at Yahoo! Shopping or any other online shopping store for that perfect gift this holiday season:
Stay updated: Make sure your anti-virus software, internet browser, and operating system are all up-to-date, to protect your computer against viruses and fraudulent websites.
Know whom you’re buying from: Make sure you understand something about the company you are making a purchase from, and be familiar with their practices and policies. While there are many perfectly-reputable online merchants, there are also scammers out there, so be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Check out their return policies, shipping procedures, and packaging timeframe. Be comfortable with the website and confident that you are going to be protected in the event an issue arises.
Keep your password to yourself: Most websites will require a log-in to make a purchase. Create a secure and unique password, with a combination of letters (uppercase and lowercase), numbers and symbols. If you need to, it’s much better to pick strong passwords and write them down in a secure location than to reuse the same, simple password on multiple sites.
Look for the padlock: When you’re entering sensitive data – such as passwords or credit card numbers – you should always look for the locked padlock symbol at the bottom of the screen or in the web address toolbar. If the lock isn’t there, it means the site is not securing your information and the site should definitely not be trusted (unfortunately, just because the lock is there doesn’t mean the site is legit, but if it’s not there you know something’s up)
Use your better judgment: You know better! If that Cyber Monday deal sounds too good to be true, chances are that it is. The same can be said about e-mail. While our spam filters work hard to weed out the bad from the good, never click on links in unsolicited or untrusted messages; doing so exposes you to the fraud and also encourages spammers to send more spam.