More than 550 million junk emails were analysed and it turns out that addresses starting with A, M and S get by far the most spam. In fact, 40% of messages going to those addresses were spam, contrasting with just 20% emails going to addresses starting with a Q or a Z. If you really want to cut spam, the study says, then start your email address with a number or symbol.
56% of the emails tracked by the study were spam, though I’d be interested to hear what criteria they used to define spam. Is a mailing list message from a band considered spam? Spam is different things to different people. I’d be annoyed if I got forwarded chain emails from my friends, but many people love them.
Of course the best way to avoid spam is not to sign up for dodgy-looking sites. As part of my last job, I had to sign up for a bunch of questionable-looking video sharing sites with my main email address, and now I get about 500 spam messages a day. I worship Gmail’s spam filter for that very reason.