Damn annoying; that’s what SPAM is!
We are not talking here about the dubious but inventive meat creation. SPAM, in the context of this article, is akin to unsolicited mail in your conventional mailbox; but then electronic…
The fact that it is unsolicited is only made worse because you will not have an opportunity to unsubscribe from the often relentless bombardment of emails.
So what is SPAM?
SPAM (or SPAMMING) is saturating the Internet with a multitude of identical messages. It forces you to receive the message when you really do not want to receive it. Almost all SPAM is of a commercial nature trying to sell you products like Viagra, $10 Rolex watches and other paraphernalia you don’t really want to know about. Other types of SPAM may include fraudulent and elaborate (get rich quick) schemes or purely malicious messages that contain viruses such as key-stroke recorders to retrieve your passwords.
Where did the word SPAM come from?
The word SPAM came from the Monty Python sketch where the menu of a typical English eatery (sorry all you Poms out there) is so dominated by SPAM (the “meat”) that there is little to no room for any other culinary creations. It is then followed by a quaint song that goes: SPAM SPAM SPAM SPAM… If you are not familiar with it then I recommend you view the video below…
How do SPAMMERS get hold of my email?
Emails can be easily “harvested” from the Internet by robots (bots). They simply roam the Net and record any potential email they come across. To avoid this from happening, there are strategies to “disguise” your emails by using some simple HTML/PHP or WP plugins.
The other way your email gets out there is when you sign up for dubious schemes. Often these schemes promise the world and require you to “register for free” first. You then realised that the previous promise has evaporated but by then your email is already recorder, stored and ready for sale to the highest bidder.
How do I recognise SPAM?
SPAM is often easy to spot because it is trying to sell you something that you do not want, did not ask for and don’t want to know about.
Malicious SPAM often has an attachment WHICH YOU SHOULD NEVER OPEN! We are all a bit greedy deep down and if we see that there is a refund waiting for us at the bank then we would love to find out more.
Often the sender of the email has a bogus email address such as email@example.com or an email address from one of the former countries right of the old iron curtain. Avoid these emails…
Another way to recognise SPAM is when an email link contains a big string of caracters. For example, the link or URL may look something like http://www.filko.ru/rvrvewr8r7wbngfl5ldf57fnmjdfgkjh3m/
There is a truisms that works very well here: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.
What can I do about reducing SPAM?
Email SPAM can be disabling… There are several strategies you can follow to reduce SPAM.
Firstly, you can reduce SPAM at the server level. This means logging into you cPanel account and enabling one of the SPAM filters.
Secondly, you can control SPAM through your email client such as MS Outlook.
Never reply to SPAM. Most SPAM is from illegitimate senders so politely asking them to stop SPAMMING you is not going to work. In fact, the opposite is true because the SPAMMER will have software that will validate your email address as being real because a reply was received on it.
If you are a WordPress user then the most practical way to avoid SPAM is to disallow comments. However, we are all dreaming about creating rich contents and having this enhanced by great comments adding to or praising our articles.
You can also install a SPAM filter plugin. We recommend A.kis.met.
To assist with SPAM reduction, you should consider reporting SPAM when it presents itself in you in-box. This may not always work instandly but if we all contribute it will have a positive effect on the reduction of SPAM. You can report SPAM here.
SPAM Filter services
If all else fails, come and have a talk to us and we will develop a SPAM reduction strategy for you…
What is SPAM by Rene Nusse