The general definition is ‘unsolicited mail that is sent
to large numbers of people’. Messages written for, and subsequently
sent to one individual that is known to the sender is not Spam unless
it becomes highly repetitious.
The individuals who send Spam have become their own section of
the Internet, with their own host servers, methods and politics.
Many Internet sites and servers are banning Spamming and for several
· The first is because it is, in one sense, unethical.
· The other is, as time goes by, more and more Internet sites
and servers will stop all e-mail from them and thus prevent legitimate
mail from being received.
The result has been that Spammers have begun to set up their own
Internet sites and servers that cater to, and encourage Spamming.
Since it is very easy to simply create a new return address for
each of millions of e-mails, filtering each email by return address
is only effective when dealing with small-scale, Spammers. The result
is that many sites simply block all e-mail from a particular Spammer-friendly
site. What this means to you is, if you have an mail account with
a site that also supports Spammers, your e-mail will sometimes not
get through. This is why Internet sites are gradually splitting
into two classes -- those that welcome Spammers and have no normal
users, and those that actively stop Spamming from their sites to
protect their legitimate users.
The Spam Do’s and Don’ts
No.1: Never make lists of email addresses, and if you absolutely
have to, never email such lists.
It is surprising how many beginners do this unintentionally.
Here’s an example. An Internet user gets an interesting joke
email that he/she wants to send to all their online friends….AH….but
they do it by including all the addresses in a single posting. The
problem being that each who person receives a copy also gets a copy
of all the addresses of the people that email was sent to. Then
one of the people who received the email forwards it to all of their
friends in exactly the same way. The address list is huge by now!
Finally it could arrive at the mailbox of someone in the Spamming
trade who now has lots of new addresses to Spam. This can however
To stop this happening, mail separate copies of each email to each
recipient. The point behind this is that there is only one addressee
on any one email.
No.2: Never respond to Spam. A single ‘hit’
amongst thousands of Spam mailings is more than enough to justify
the practice to someone in the Spam trade. If you actually want
what is being offered in the Spam email, go to the web site that
carries the product or service and tell them of your disapproval
of Spam methods and tell them you will not support a company which
No.3: Never comply with Spam mail instructions to send a reply
email with the word ‘remove’. This is only a ploy
to get a response. A reply will alert the Spammer that a human is
attached to the email address which, will only serve to make your
address more valuable. Your address can now be placed on more lists
and they can send you even more Spam.
No.4: Never sign up with sites that promise to remove you from
Spamming lists. There are two kids of sites like this. The first
is those who are genuinely sincere. The second is the Spam address
The first kind of site is either ignored or exploited by the Spammers
and the second is owned by them. In both cases, you have just confirmed
that there is someone reading the mail sent to your email address
which will only increase its value to the Spammers.
No.5: Don’t attempt to mail-bomb or hack the Spammers.
This a) Only adds to wasted Internet traffic and b) Creates sympathy
for Spammers and those who are associated with them, and c) Only
serves to make the Internet even more unreliable than it already
Spam is not only annoying but has become increasing more hazardous
as systems become more vulnerable to viruses and hack attempts,
many of which are initiated by unsolicited emails.
Users can take additional steps to protect themselves. The user
must be vigilant to eradicate the Spam while leaving innocent email
Emails can be reviewed prior to downloading via the Shoalnet Webmail
and unwanted messages deleted. Another option is by downloading
a programme such as Mailwasher, though others are available. Mailwasher,
for example, can be filter by keywords contained in the mail (e.g.
pornographic emails) or be set to ban certain sites (e.g. email@example.com).
Virus protection is also essential incase some slip through!
Useful SPAM Email Removal Tool - Mail Washer