What is spam?

Updated at: Oct 01, 2019
By Gatefy

What is spam

Is your email box infected with inconvenient ads? If your answer is yes, you already have a clear idea of what spam is. Spam is an unwanted message. That's what we also call junk email.

Spammer e spamming

There are two important terms that are connected to spam that are important for you to know. Spammer is the name used for people who send spam, since spamming is the practice of sending spam.

Is spam dangerous?

In general, spam serves a purpose of promoting ads. It's a form of commercial advertising. So the spammer's goal is to sell you something, a product or a service, for example. But it's not just for this that spam is sent.

They are also used for scams, frauds, defamation and dissemination of threats, such as virus, malware and ransomware. So yes, spam can be dangerous. It means that spam is also used as a malicious tool to gain access to your devices and have some control over them and, of course, over your sensitive information.

Spam and phishing

Spam is widely used for phishing scams. Phishing is a type of fraud in which cybercriminals create fake emails in order to deceive and persuade their victims, either to click on a malicious link that can download a ransomware or to require the sharing of important information.

Spam: bulk message

A key characteristic of spam is its extension. This type of unwanted message is often sent out to hundreds or thousands of people at the same time. The goal is to reach as many people as possible in the shortest time, believing that a few dozen users will end up opening the email and even clicking on a link.

How spam affects business

Spam causes business losses because, as you already know, it can be used as a tactic to apply scams and fraud. If a computer in your company is compromised, the damage may not only be financial but also intellectual. Just imagine how a data breach can affect your brand, for example.

In addition, spam damages the company's productivity. The user wastes time deleting unsolicited messages and the storage space of the account that should be used for constructive messages ends up being used for junk email.

How to stop spam

We need to be honest. It’s very difficult to stop spam, mainly because it’s often almost impossible to trace its origin. But this doesn’t mean that it’s an impossible task. In general, a good anti-spam software is enough to block most unwanted messages. In the case of companies, if your concern for security goes further, a Secure Email Gateway software will help.

Tips to reduce spam and avoid headache

1. If the message is spam, report it.
2. Never answer a spam message.
3. Don’t click on links contained in spam.
4. Don’t download files contained in spam.
5. Be aware when sharing your email address.
6. Don’t provide your personal information on a suspicious website.
7. Check the privacy policy when registering on a website.
8. Have a protection software, with anti-virus and anti-spam, updated.