What is Spam?

 In Internet, spam

What is spam and why is there so much of it?

The definition of SPAM:

noun
Irrelevant or unsolicited messages sent over the internet, typically to large numbers of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware etc.

verb
Send the same message indiscriminately to a large number of internet users.

Types of Spam

There are numerous types of spam, with email spam being the most popular. Some other types of spam include:

  • Social Networking Spam
  • Unsolicited Text Messages
  • Junk Faxes
  • Comment Spam

Email Spam

Millions of email advertisements are sent on a daily basis. Many are legitimate businesses trying their luck with email marketing, but many are not. Unsolicited advertisements can range from weightloss drugs and online qualifications to web design and male enhancement products. Be careful what links you click and what you purchase as an email that looks legitimate may very well not be.

Phishing Scams. Phishing scams are one of the most difficult types of spam email to detect as many look legitimate, and those behind these scams are becoming more clever. Big companies such as eBay, Telstra, PayPaul and financial institutions are commonly used in these attacks, making users believe the emails have come from them. To be safe, always visit official websites and don’t click links or buttons in the email. These scams can enable scammers to access your personal information, accounts and/or computer files.

Email Spoofing.  Email spoofing involves sending emails from an email that differs from the address displayed to the recipient. This technique makes emails look like they have originated from a trusted source, or sender, increasing the chance of the recipient clicking links within it. If in doubt, contact the sender via an alternative means to determine if it is legitimate or not.

Chain Letters.  Chain letters are popularly received from friends and family, but still considered spam regardless …. emails ask you to do something and you will receive good fortune, send on to 15 people and something positive will happen in the next 2 days, or sign this and celebrities will send you a personalised video. These are a few examples.

Porn Spam. Pornography websites are some of the biggest targets of malicious content. Email addresses are purchased and then bombarded with advertisements linking to adult websites, to which many have be been infected with “virtual STDs”. Many are “clean” but investigate before visiting and subscribing to such websites.

Anti-Virus Spam. You may receive emails stating your computer is infected. Clicking links within the email under the assumption you are downloading Anti-Virus software, or software updates to clean the infections, may lead you to downloading viruses instead.

Trojan Horse Spam. These emails are regularly sent out featuring attachments which contact viruses/malware. Simply opening the attachment can wreak havoc on your computer. A famous “worm” was circulated via email in the year 2000, it was called the “I LOVE YOU” bug.  Our advice: do not open any suspicious email attachments from someone you know, or attachments from anyone you do not know, or you are not expecting – just to be on the safe side.

Other Types of Spam

Spam, although defined to be transmitted over the internet, is not restricted to just the internet these days. Spam is used for unsolicited transmissions and communications sent via fax and SMS too. And then there is junk mail, unsolicited mail sent by post, or snail mail.

Social Networking Spam
Social Networking Spam  targets internet users who use the various social media platforms including, but not limited to, Facebook, Pintrest, Google+ and LinkedIn.

Unsolicited Text Messages
Text messages, or SMS, are a popular way of communicating, and therefore spam. Unsolicited text messages, or spam, are usually sent with a promotion or advertisement for a product or service, or a type of scam.

Junk Faxes
Although newer technology has evolved, faxes are still being used in business. Junk faxes are a growing problem. Unsolicited advertisements are sent by fax, aka junk faxes. This is another form of spam.

Comment Spam
Another type of spam comes in the form of comments; comments on blogs and forum posts to name a few. There are spam comments from people who manually comment because they do not have anything better to do with their time, time-wasters, but the majority are from ‘robots’, internet programs that search, or crawl, the internet for websites that allow comments.

 

If you are being bombarded with spam, or have any questions about it, our friendly Techs would be happy to discuss it with you. Call us on 8269 5260 today.

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