What is SPAM?

Some people define spam as any unsolicited e-mail. Most, however, view it as electronic junk mail. Spam is generally e-mail advertising for some product sent to a mailing list or newsgroup. Many lists of email addresses are bought and sold every day; a portion for legitimate purposes, and the remainder for illicit activity. Because the Internet is public, it is difficult to completely eliminate spam, just as it is very difficult to prevent junk mail.

How do I reduce the amount of spam I receive in my email?

Many online transactions now require that you provide a valid e-mail address. However, whenever possible, avoid giving out your e-mail address to unfamiliar or unknown recipients.

Use your e-mail application's filtering features. Most e-mail applications allow you to block specific messages. When an offending e-mail comes in, set the filter to block further incoming mails from that sender.

Most of the larger ISPs maintain lists of known spammers and block spammers from using their services and/or segregate the suspected span into a folder separate from the rest or your “regular" email, if you have this feature enabled.

Don't fall for phrases such as "to be removed from this list, click here." Spammers use catch phrases similar to the above to entice users to react to the e-mail. You may or may not be removed from their list. In either case, you have confirmed that your e-mail address is valid and reaches a real person. They know this because you responded by asking them to remove you from their list. Your email address is now more valuable to the spammers as they can now sell it to other spammers with the promise that the address is legitimate. You may have been removed from one list, but there's a good chance that you will end up on several others.