Spam is one of the most frustrating problems in the modern Internet. Spam origins, its types and actions you can do to avoid it are described below.
Definition and history of spam
Spam is the commonly used term for unsolicited bulk email. Its purpose is gathering live email addresses for further sale to advertising companies or spamming these emails with ads of some websites or products . According to several researches, up to 90% of emails sent daily are spam and more than 80% of email addresses are also spam, so major part of it hits the air.
Yet a huge amount of spam usually arrives to everyone’s mailbox and many computers send spam without their owners even knowing of the matter until being put into a spam blacklist.
In fact, the word SPAM was well known to several generations already. It was, and still is, a popular brand of canned meat and bacon. It was very actively advertized some time ago and Monty Python performed a sketch about it, where one of the characters screamed: “I want no SPAM!”. Unsolicited bulk email caused the same reaction in people, so the word spam was associated with it.
From the first days of the Internet, it was obvious that the system of sending emails to multiple recipients at once with little to no expenses is the best tool for advertising. Therefore, since the early ARPANET and USENET networks, spam ads are regularly sent, more than 100 billion emails daily. First thought of as just a form of active advertising, spam email messages soon became the true disaster of the Internet.
What can be done to stop spam?
As some portion of the world benefits from unlimited traffic hosting packages, a huge list of countries still is not able to provide anything better than limited plans. Traffic of such packages vanishes in minutes, should their purchasers become victims of spam. While being officially recognized as fraud and abuse, spam is still not punishable in most countries worldwide.
Despite several sound jury verdicts, putting several dozens of people in US, UK and Russia behind grates for many years, number of spammers grows steadily.
How to stop spam texts?
The usual way of providing spam protection is using multiple filters and adding new ones when spammers learn to avoid the old ones. As incoming mail protocol has no authentication, spammers sometimes spoof headers to pretend they sent that email from a valid email address. This is done because mailservers track the last known connection of the sending mailserver by the IP address.
Why is it so irritating?
Receiving literally tons of spam emails to your mailbox regularly can be frustrating, but becoming the relay is much more irritating, as it may end you being blacklisted and unable to send your valid email any more. Therefore, a reliable hosting service is required to avoid becoming a part of the botnet.
Botnets or zombies are virus-infected networks of PCs, sending spam without their owners even knowing it. People often open attachments to strange emails just out of curiosity. Some want to discover some great information inside. As a result, computer becomes a zombie and a part of the botnet, sending spam.
There are several authorities like Spamhaus, actively fighting spammers by collecting the IP ranges of the botnets and blacklisting them to stop the outgoing traffic. This measure is brute and not too efficient, as many spammers already learned to avoid this and many lawful customers may end up being blacklisted for nothing.
While many users never suspect their PC being a zombie, this is discovered in very rare cases. Antivirus software is able to detect spyware or malware activity but it should be regularly updated to remain active and efficient. Unfortunately, most of free email service providers do not offer outgoing email filtering and do not protect their customers from spam messages well enough.
Measures to avoid spam
Ordering and email service from a reliable company, providing efficient incoming and outgoing email spam protection will almost certainly protect you from realizing one day that “my email is sending spam!”
This battle is not expected to end anytime soon, as efficient measures of how to define spam and stop spam text messages being sent is not thought to be found in the near future. The only method proven efficient yet is thinking twice before opening emails and attachments from unknown addresses, regularly updating your antivirus software and ordering your email hosting service from a company, able to deal with the issue shortly.
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