What Is Spam, What Are It’s Effects And How Do I Prevent It?

Over time the internet has become huge and it continues to grow at an amazing rate. Almost every person who uses the internet has their own email address, or perhaps even several. Therefore I would be shocked if you are unfamiliar with the term’ spam’,  though you may be unaware of it’s actual effects and the measures you can take to prevent it.

What Is Spam, What Are It's Effects And How Do I Prevent It?

In technical terms spam is actually an Unsolicited Commercial Email (UCE) which refers to an email message sent to a person without his/her prior request. Spam costs virtually nothing to send and the costs are paid by the recipient (time lost in dealing with it) and the carriers (bandwidth used) rather than by the sender. This is the reason why advertisers use Spam to market their unauthorized products.

Below are the different types of Spam that you should be cautious of:

  • Phishing spam – a popular and heinous type of scam
  • Foreign bank spam
  • Get rich easily and quickly spam
  • Illicitly pirated software
  • News group and forum spam

The Effects Of Spam

Individuals, or a group of users, are easily targeted by email spam.

Spam usually arises as a result of giving out your email address on an unauthorized or unscupulous website.

Here are some of the effects of Spam:

  • Fills your Inbox with number of ridiculous emails.
  • Degrades your Internet speed to a great extent.
  • Steals useful information like your details on you Contact list.
  • Alters your search results on any search engine.

Spam is a huge waste of everybody’s time and can quickly become very frustrating if you receive large amounts of it like I do.

Preventing Spam

There are some effective measures that you can employ to stop spam entering your inbox:

  • Always use an updated and trustworthy antivirus program.
  • Never share your email address and personal information like credit card details with an unreliable source.
  • Avoid responding to any emails that you never asked for. If you receive such email then delete it immediately.
  • Try to avoid emails with the subject “need assistance or some funds “, or any other catchy titles. And never, ever forward such emails since they could be targeted to obtain as many number of mails email addresses as possible.
  • Whenever you need to forward an email to a group of people make use of the BCC field which enables you to hide the email addresses from each of the other recipients.
  • Never mention your email address in newsletters or instant messenger chats.
  • Switch off the reading pane in email clients such as Outlook. It can be done by View –>Reading Pane – Off.

Hopefully the above will minimise the amount of spam you receive.

If you still get too much junk mail then I would recommend getting a good email filter/blocker.

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.

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