Spam (Unsolicited Email)
Spam email is simply commercial advertising. The name Spam, was derived long ago from a Monty Python skit about the actual product whereas the actors chant the word Spam throughout the production. Due to the amount of emails received, the Internet community called the unsolicited email, "Spam". Often times it markets suspicious products or “get rich quick” promotions.
Spam is sent out at an extremely low cost to the sender, forcing most of its expenditure to be paid for by the recipient. Email spam is sent to individual users via direct email messages. Spam mailing lists are created by stealing or purchasing Internet mailing lists, searching the web for addresses, and examining Usenet postings. Spam email presents a monetary cost not only to users who use a time-measured Internet service, but also to Internet Service Providers and online services that transmit these messages; costs pushed directly on to subscribers.
Pueblo High Tech Crimes Unit regularly receives emails from citizens frustrated about finding spam messages in their inboxes. Unfortunately, no law in Colorado prohibits spam email. Even if the email contains sexually explicit images, it is legal. The only exception is when the email contains child pornography, which is illegal.
How to Mitigate Spam
- When you receive unwanted spam, forward it to your Internet Service Provider as a complaint. Sending spam is against the terms of service for most Internet Service Providers and could result in the termination of the sender’s account.
- Do not respond (unsubscribe) to the email and request that you be taken off of their mailing list. This only alerts them that you have received the spam, that this is a good email address, and will probably result in you receiving additional unwanted email.
- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) maintains a database that contains spam email. You may forward your spam email to them by emailing the FTC.
More Tips on Spam
- If you often get spam from the same outfit, “filter” them out in the future. Use the “help” button in your email program to search for filter and learn how to throw unwanted messages in the trash automatically by typing in certain key terms in the subjects, or an email address.
- Consider creating a secondary email account through a free service provider. Use this account when doing anything online that might bring spam email.
- You may want to discuss your frustration with the Congressional delegation that represents your area and express your need for relief from this growing problem.
For further information, please visit:
- Spamcop.net, which offers a reporting service that will help you report spam quickly and easily.
- The SpamCon Foundation, protects email as a viable communication and commerce medium by supporting measures to reduce the amount of unsolicited email that crosses private networks, while ensuring that valid email reaches its destination.
- The Federal Trade Commission website can also provide you with some good information regarding spam.