First Letter Of Your Email Address May Affect How Much Spam You Get
The next time you go to create an email address, you might want to consider the first letter a little more carefully than usual. A study of over 500 million junk email messages by University of Cambridge computer scientist Dr Richard Clayton has revealed that certain starting letters attract a higher proportion of spam. For example, addresses starting with "A" ,"M", "S", "R" and "P" accumulated around 40% spam, while those beginning with "Q", "Y" or "Z" got considerably less (about 20%). Dr Clayton believes the differences in spam numbers could be explained by the way spammers generate the e-mail addresses they send junk mail to. Dictionary attacks (a popular method) commonly re-use common names, which are more likely to start with certain letters. Strangely, the study also showed the starting letter "U" getting more than 50% spam, something that Dr Clayton said would require further research.