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What is spam and how to protect yourself from spam

Our mailboxes in the entrances are always filled with flyers. The same picture can be observed in our e-mail. All Internet users know that this unsolicited advertisement is called SPAM.

What is spam in simple words

Spam is the mass mailing of emails containing advertisements. These are annoying ads that are sent to your email inbox over the Internet. Usually with advertising of goods, services. But, also, in a similar way can:

What is spam and how to protect yourself from spam

  • Blackmail you.
  • Send viruses *.
  • Fraudulently extort money.
  • Try to take your money with various fraudulent schemes, etc.

* Never click on links in emails that have been sent to you (unless these emails are from your friends or acquaintances).

Where did the word spam come from?

The very word SPAM appeared in 1937 and seemed to have nothing to do with mail. Well-known in America, Hornel Foods has released a new type of pork stew and organized a competition for the most successful and memorable name.

The winner was Kent Denyu, a radio actor from New York, who suggested the name "SPAM". This name has caused unusual success among Americans. The population, impoverished after the crisis, swept these cheap canned goods from the shelves.

SPAM production grew every year, so high was the demand among the population. Ads for this inexpensive, nutritious, and delicious family meal were everywhere, hanging in every storefront and printed in every tabloid newspaper.

Whether or not Hornel Foods pioneered this mass mailing is unknown.

In 1997, many companies began to do the same mass mailings with promotional letters to the e-mails of ordinary users. The very word "SPAM" has become synonymous with ubiquitous, intrusive and unsolicited advertising.

SPAM can be divided into several most common types.

Main types of spam

1. Simple advertisements for advertisements

In this way, some unscrupulous professionals do “advertising on the Internet” for companies, while the firms that ordered advertising for themselves may not even be aware of this. As a rule, such letters contain specific information: addresses and phone numbers.

2. Offers to become a member of the financial pyramid

Usually such letters practically do not differ from each other, as they are written according to the same template. First comes the assurance that “this is not spam”, then comes a job offer that will allow you to earn huge money every month. Often in the subject of such a message they ask not to delete this letter.

3. An invitation to visit a site

The purpose of such messages is to encourage the reader to use the link indicated in the text of the letter. For this, different means are used. The sender can write that you have subscribed to the newsletter, and you can cancel it by clicking on the link and filling out a certain form.

Of course, you will not see any form to fill out. Often such messages are disguised as personal messages from the series: “Hi, I like you and for a long time, let's be friends! Here is my photo ”and then there is a link.

A distinctive feature of such a letter is the presence of a link that you want to click on. Without such a link for spammers, the letter will not make sense.

4. Scam

In usa, unlike the United States, this term is rarely used. This term is understood as letters from various kinds of scammers.

For example , a sender might offer to buy a "Swiss watch" for $45 when the real price is $400. And in the States they actually send such watches.

The most correct reaction to such mass mailings of advertising is to completely ignore them. It is absolutely not worth writing angry letters to senders, since in this case the amount of spam can only increase.

Writing complaints about such unknown senders is also ineffective, since their addresses are constantly changing.

How to protect yourself from spam

There are ways to protect your email inbox from unnecessary advertising. The main thing is to follow a few simple rules:

If you do not want spammers to see your new address, never publish it anywhere (do not put it at the end of your letters, do not mention it on forums or on your pages). Of course, if necessary, then indicate your email address like this: “” (with a lower slash before and after the dog), or like this “name (dog)” (that is, you replace the dog symbol in a word, and it is not necessary to write exactly doggy... 

You can also write other varieties of this word - dog, dog, etc.). In this way, you make life difficult for spammers, and most likely spammers will not use your similar address. At least they will not be able to automatically parse (collect from the network with a special program) it from the Internet.

Do not include your address on registration forms. For these purposes, you can create a separate mailbox and use it only for registrations.

These two simple ways will help you protect yourself from spam, save you time and nerves.