Today Cascade Insights, a data analysis company, released the results of a research project they completed to identify the SPAM filtering effectiveness of web mail providers Microsoft Hotmail, Google Gmail and Yahoo! Mail.

In order to do this they created email accounts on each platform and then went phishing, pun intended, for spam email by registering at a variety of websites and also leaving these email address on websites so they could be harvested and used by spammers.

Please check out their results in the 14 page PDF file they have available for download from their site.  They do a thorough job of explaining how they set things up to get spammed and the types of sites they visited to get these test emails out there. Actually, their explanation of how they set up to get spammed is a great piece of info on what not to do so you can avoid SPAM.

This chart from their reports shows how much HAM (real email) and SPAM made it into the inboxes at each service:


As you can see Hotmail and Gmail were right there at the top with Hotmail just edging out Gmail for fewer SPAM emails by less than .3% and Yahoo! mail was 10% above each of them for the amount of SPAM that made it into their inboxes.

Check out the post from Dick Craddock, the Hotmail Program Manager at Microsoft, for some details about how they manage to reduce the amount of SPAM from your inbox with Hotmail.

Best part of research like this is not who is best but that significant strides are being made across the board to reduce SPAM that makes it to an end user.  That means in the long run fewer phishing attempts and better security for everyone.