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News

Hotmail Alias Doesn't Provide Long-Term Spam Protection

Cloudmark : 09 February, 2011  (Technical Article)
Although useful for managing e-mail in some ways, the new email alias feature on Hotmail does not address the long term issues of protecting inboxes from spam, according to Cloudmark
Leon Rishniw, senior vice president of engineering for Cloudmark comments on Hotmail’s new email alias feature for spam protection.



“While Hotmail’s new alias system is being positioned as a good feature for managing short term email relationships, the reality is that it doesn’t address spam in any substantive manner. In fact, it could actually provide a greater opportunity for spammers.



“Many people who run their own mail servers have used a similar technique for years to isolate services that sell or compromise their email addresses. This approach can be useful for organizing your mail; but does it actually stop spam?  It seems that it makes it just a little more convenient to manage it than setting up another free mailbox. Meanwhile, consider the alternative, where your Hotmail account gets compromised and a spammer starts sending from your alias.  This has happened at mailbox providers that support child accounts where poor password policies led to compromised accounts and spammers would create child accounts and spam from them.



“E-mail users shouldn’t be expected to manage their own spam – instead they should leave it to the experts. There are currently free anti-spam solutions available that plug in to web-based email services such as Hotmail and Google, so users can be confident their email inbox will remain spam free, regardless of their short-term e-mail relationship activities.”
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