What is Spam?

Spamming (or spam) is the process of sending unsolicited email, most of the times with commercial purposes, practiced mostly alongside illegal electronic marketing practices by pornographic website owners and misleading pharmaceutical products. However, even if these two categories of spam are some of the most widely known, spam is generically referred as any type of unsolicited email that is sent or received for commercial or malicious purposes.

Spam is usually easy to distinguish from common email as it is aggressive, repeatedly sent out in massive waves and lacks the option to opt-out. For this reason, an email messages that arrives in your inbox based on previous personally given consent is not spam. However, in recent years, it is known that a large portion of the email traffic registered on the Internet is spam based, reason why most PC users, ranging from common home-office up to the corporate ladder have chosen to purchase one or more spam filters in order to cut down on the time required to filter unsolicited messages from valid email communication.

The legal status of spam is widely known to be different from one country to another. However, for example, in the United States, spam was declared to be legal by the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 provided the messages contains certain elements that offer the recipient the liberty of choosing if to receive further notifications or not.

It is widely known that spammers collect email address from forums, chat rooms, mailing lists and newsgroups. For this reason it is recommended to consider keeping your email address as private as possible, especially if its Inbox is not protected by a professional spam filter software application capable to recognize and separate legitimate email conversations from unsolicited ones.

Currently, spam averages around 78% of all email sent on the Internet. With such a massive proportion in favor of spam the costs that ISPs have to sustain in order to cover the amount of traffic required to route such an email volume are huge. Even if successful in court against spammers, ISPs many times fail to recover the damages caused by the massive email waves.

In order to protect your Inbox against spam it is recommended to install genuine spam filters as well as avoid using your email address in misleading websites or for gaining access to services or websites that do not offer a strict privacy policy.

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