The Real Problem With Spam

The world is filled with advertising. If you go down the street and drive over the highways you will see tons and tons of advertising. From in front of stores to gigantic billboards, advertising is just hard to get away from. But it does serve a purpose. The purpose of advertising is to get the name of the business or product out there. If no-one knows that you are selling something then you will never be able to make any sales. So you have to do your best to be able to get your name out there. Also, in getting your name out, there you will be able to create a brand. A brand is important in the life of a business. The more your brand becomes known for a product, the less you will need to spend on advertising. When someone is in need for a product that you sell, they will come to you by default.

The Real Problem With Spam

We see advertising all the time now. Its not just in our email inboxes, its on the web all of the time too. It is probably the biggest way that web sites are able to get paid. If there was no advertising, the web sites would have to charge more often for their content and the growth of the web would have probably been stunted. So now we have come to the point where people expect to see ads all of the time over the web. But some people have a tendency to take it too far. Instead of displaying your product or business to the person, they want to try and beat them over the head with it. Consumers usually do not like this type of tactic but there are people who do it anyway. They try to inject the advertising in parts of the web where it is not supposed to be at. They disguise it so that a person thinks that the advertising link is part of the normal content. This is what we call SPAM.

Spam has been a big problem ever since people found out that they could make money over the internet. And the problem is not going away. We see it more and more. It is has gotten so bad that you need special filters on social networks and your email account to keep the spam away from you. Even with the special filters enabled, when you go to check your email account you are sure to see several pieces of spam in there.

Security Threat

But spam is a twofold problem on the internet. When most people think of spam they think the problem more of being a mess more than anything else. They think that it clogs up the content that you are trying to see. And yes it does all of that and that truly is a major problem. But it is not the only problem that you will run into when it comes to spam. Spam can be a true security problem as well.

The problem that we see when it comes to spam and security is that you never know where the links are going to take you. And yes people do click on the links. They may not be web savvy and may not know that the links are spam. But they do click on them. The problem comes from where the link sends you. The practice of spam is pretty much a vilified practice when it comes to the web community so anyone who decides to do it is probably not very trustworthy. So how can you trust a link that they set up? You have to remember; just placing a link on a page is not spam. But when you do it over and over again no matter what the topic is, then it is considered spam.

The types of security problems from spam have been numerous. If you are attacked by spam then hopefully it is only a gentle one. A gentle attack would be one that simply only made you click on an advertisement without knowing. Other attacks are far worse. There are spam attacks that will harm your computer just like a virus would. As a matter of fact, in a lot of cases, spam has been the delivery method of several viruses. The world of malware writers have realized the value of advertising and spam is one of the ways that they accomplish this.

When you are surfing the net there are several things that you have to worry about. Downloading the wrong file or giving too much information is just some of the examples that you have to look out for. You should add to that list dangerous spam messages as well.

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

Comments

  1. True, DomainKeys Identified Mail and Sender Policy Framework are both good protocols.

  2. If you want to help fight the scourge of spam and phishing attacks, convince your enterprise to use technologies like DKIM and SPF. They prevent scammers of all sorts from mimicking your domain(s).

Trackbacks

  1. […] Spam is not going to go away any time soon. What you will see is better and better ways to defend against it. And in the meantime, because there is a security factor to it, you should avoid clicking on all spam at any time  You never know which one is going to be safe and which one is going to be dangerous. […]

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