Q&A: All About SPAM
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Q&A: All About SPAM

We all receive SPAM and talk about how it is annoying but what really is SPAM ? How could we fight against it ? What could you do in order to receive less or no SPAM at all ? Are they dangerous or not ? What are the risk of reading SPAM or receiving SPAM ? Well the following lines should enlight you.

What is a SPAM ?

Spam is a plague... It is sending unwanted in mailboxes, fax, voice mail messages of any kind, usually advertising but sometimes it will try to lure you somehwere unsafe where you'll be the target of numerous scams. The term SPAM is a brand of corned beef, but more specifically it is the acronym for Spiced Pork And Meat (this expression comes from a famous Monty Python sketch). SPAM can be sent by private individuals who want to advertise their personal website for SMEs (Small and Medium Entreprise) who want to promote their products at lower cost. However SPAM have different name: junk mail, unsolicited mail, trash mail, ...

How can I protect myself from SPAM ?

It is difficult to completely fight against SPAM. However, what I would suggest you to do is to install and use anti-SPAM solutions available on the market. Satisfactorily, it is possible to protect from the nuisance SPAM have on you.

The first thing you must do in order to protect yourself from SPAM is to always be vigilant when communicating with your email address. Unfortunately, your address may be collected with or without your consent when you contact a website, for example when you make a purchase online or when you participate in a discussion group.

When you enter your details into a form, make sure that the entries specify the use of information that may be made of your email address, if they do not guarantee the confidentiality of your information, it may be better not continue... You can also create e-mail addresses that you use only for shopping online or participate in discussion forums. And of course, in forums it is preferable to use a pseudonym instead of your real identity.

Finally, you can activate a filter SPAM: Your email software certainly provides a filtering function of messages that are sent to you. You'll have to set the criteria to reject spam before activating it. Note that there are also softwares, even some free ones, able to strengthen this protection.

What are the risks of clicking on a SPAM ?

Well the vast majority of SPAM are harmless. They are often media advertisements or chain messages. However, they boast some products whose marketing may be banned in your country, including drugs or pseudo drugs that have not received official authorization on the market.

A minority of SPAM remains dangerous though. SPAM can sometimes contain an invitation to log on to a site that you know and trust, let's say it looks like your bank's website. However, the email address will be a fake one but similair to your bank's. It sometimes looks like the message it holds is coming from your banker. But all of this is an illusion. If you fill the form where you are asked to enter your code and your bank details it will only send it to the scammer that will surely use your information in a  malicious way. This technique is called phishing. This is the main risk exposure from a click on a spam.

What is the difference bewteen a SPAM and a SPIM ?

The SPAM (Spiced Pork And contraction of Meat) and the SPIM (spam over instant messaging) are like cousins. The SPIM represents unsolicited instant messages you receive. They also disrupt your conversations, SPIM may contain viruses or spyware. It is possible to preserve these SPIM by blocking all messages that do not originate from your contacts list.

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