Anyone who uses email on a regular basis (whether for personal or business reasons) most likely has experienced the nuisance of email spam. You know the messages we mean – anything from herbal drugs, to low-interest mortgage loans, or even single people in your town looking for company. The people that send out these types of messages are called email spammers.
What is Email Spam?
Email spam is any unwanted, unsolicited email message, sent out in bulk. More often than not the messages are commercial in nature, but chain letters are also considered spam.
Email Spam is a Growing Problem
Things are getting worse rather than better in terms of the number of email spam messages sent out daily. One leading internet service provider reports that 30% of the 30 million email messages processed by them are considered spam. A report issued by the Radicati Group estimates that by 2007 70% of the email messages sent daily will be email spam.
Where do Email Spammers Get the Addresses?
Email addresses are collected (or “harvested”) from websites, Usenet postings, newsgroups, chat rooms, and the like. The email spammers either go out and get the addresses themselves to build their distribution lists or will purchase the addresses from a list broker that provides this service. Sometimes the spammers will use popular email extensions and guess at the names using familiar names and variations of them.
Is Email Spam Bad?
Yes. The major problem with email spam is that it consumes resources, both on the internet and your computer specifically. There’s the possibility of identity theft with Phishing messages (which are considered email spam). But most of all email spam is a nuisance. It gets very annoying and tiresome to deal with these messages every time you open your email program.
What Can You Do to Avoid Email Spam?
First, do not reply to an email spam message. If a product is advertised, don’t buy it via the email message. If the email spammers can’t make money from the messages they send out they’ll stop sending them. Also, don’t reply to the message to remove your email address. That specific advertiser will remove you from their list but will go ahead and sell your email address as a valid address to a list broker.
Second, consider using a “junk” email address to use when prompted on the internet to provide an email address. Create a second email address for personal use, using a variety of letters and numbers to make it difficult for email spammers to “guess” your email address.
Finally, use a good anti-spam program to get rid of email spam messages before they even arrive in your inbox.
Following these suggestions won’t rid the world of email spam. They will, however, help you avoid the nuisance of email spam in your personal and business email usage.