The internet is probably the most powerful tool in todays world. To some of us it means fun and pleasure, to other it has got the meaning of work and business. One thing all of us have in common and that is an email address, or at times even several email addresses. In order to keep your internet experience as fun or professional as possible, you need to be aware of what Spam is and how to protect yourself from it!
What is Spam?
Email that you have not requested is known as Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) or spam. These types of email are used to the sole purpose of getting the receiver to buy something or forwarding an email to people you know in order to perpetuate some sort of hysteria. They can range from enlarging a body type to repairing your credit. Spam is not only annoying, but it hinders the efforts of legitimate businesses that are trying to use email as a marketing tool.
Spammers are people who spam, harvest, or gather email addresses from the internet. They use programs that scan Internet forums, web pages, and newsgroups to get email addresses in order to compile large lists of valid email addresses. This is the one reason that merely unsubscribing from a link or following instructions listed in span to unsubscribe can be dangerous, because it could just be a way for the spammer to confirm your email address.
So why do they call it Spam?
The term comes from Monty Pythons Flying circus. The scene is setup with a waitress describing the menu and every item is grouped with spam, While she does this a group of Vikings start singing, "spam, spam, spam, spam lovely spam!" repeatedly until told to shut up.
So Spam has the connotation, aside from the food, of being a broken record coupled with nails going down a chalkboard. Unfortunately in the digital world it is hard to tell Spammers to just shut up.
How do you stop Spam?
Spam can be combated through filtering methods incorporated in your email client. There are also lists of servers that have been flagged as being used to Spam people. These servers can be put in an exclude list that will automatically delete any mail from them.
Why should I stop Spam?
Spam is the equivalent of the telemarketer, except that spammers do cost you money. In order to send large amounts of email, the spammer will consume Internet bandwidth. If we momentarily picture the Internet as a four-lane motorway, we can see that spammers can consume two lanes, half of the space available. This only makes it longer fo you to get to your destination, but in order to deal with the heavy traffic, your ISP (Internet Service Provider) must purchase more bandwidth. The cost may then be passed on to you.
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