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What Is Spam Email?

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Old 11-28-2006, 06:44 PM
MikeyMells MikeyMells is offline
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What Is Spam Email?


Spam is defined as unsolicited, bulk, electronic mail - it is the Internet equivalent of junk mail. Just about everyone who has been on the Internet for any length of time has received spam.

Spam costs Internet Service Providers both time and money. ISPs must invest in extra hardware and pay employees to deal with thousands of unsolicited messages. Staff members are put to the task of investigating thousands of spam reports and complaints. Spam increases the load on mail servers and consumes valuable bandwidth. This increase in load overburdens mail queues which lead to delays in sending and receiving mail.

Consumers also pay for spam. Time required retrieving mail messages, including spam, from the server increases, wasting one's time. Fees for accessing the Internet are dilated fro those who have a limited dial-up service. Time is wasted on filtering, blocking or deleting spam. There are psychological costs as well; frustration and annoyance mounts with each spam message polluting one's inbox. The costs of spam are therefore high to ISPs and consumers alike. There are 7 basic steps you can follow to help keep the amount of spam in your Inbox to a minimum.

1) Use a Spam Filter 2) Never Reply to Spam 3) Don't Post Your Email Address on Your Web site 4)Use a Second Email Address in Newsgroups 5)Don't Give your Email Address Without Knowing How It Will Be Used . 6) Never Buy Anything from Spam.

How to report spam to the Expedient's abuse reporting system? Forward the offending email or newsgroup message to abuse@expedient.net. Be sure to include all of the relevant information you can provide. You must include the full email or newsgroup headers for our Abuse Department to be able to process your report; Click here for instructions to get the full message headers for email and newsgroup messages. You should receive an automated response to your report giving you some general information about network abuse.

Some Relevant Terms

UBE - Unsolicited Bulk Email - This is email which is sent to you, which you never requested. The form of the mail suggests that it has been sent to everyone and their mother, or sometimes there are dead giveaways like a CC: list of several dozen or hundred people. Note that this email doesn't ask you to buy anything directly or advertise a commercial web site.

UCE - Unsolicited Commercial Email -Same as above, but the message has a commercial spin to it, asking you to buys something or visit some company's web site for the actual sales pitch.

MLM - Multilevel Marketing - This describes schemes where you are asked to buy some product (a report, a software package, just about anything) and you are promised phenomenal profits from reselling that product to as many people as possible. This is also occasionally twisted around to read "make lots of money."

MMF - Make Money Fast - These are schemes where you are given a list of names and addresses and asked to mail money to the people on the list, then cross off the first name on the list, and add yours to the bottom. After this you are asked to distribute the list with your name on it to as many people as possible usually by spamming it to every newsgroup you can find. These are also commonly known as money pyramids or pyramid schemes and are illegal in the United States in paper and electronic form. MMF email messages are pretty easy to spot by their titles.

ECP - Excessive Cross-Posting - This refers to news posts which are posted to multiple newsgroups. Crossposting in itself is not as big of a deal as EMP (see below) because when a message is crossposted, only one copy of that message actually exists - the others are just links to the original message. However when ECP is posted to many groups where the message would be considered off-topic, then it is considered an abuse issue.

EMP - Excessive Multi-Posting - Same context as ECP, however all of the messages are individually posted to the news server, resulting in more disk space, CPU cycles and network bandwidth being wasted. One hundred individually posted messages is a bigger problem than one message crossposted to 100 groups.

UDP - Usenet Death Penalty - A mutual agreement by a number of Usenet providers to stop accepting traffic from another provider. Often used as a threat against Usenet providers who have a steady stream of spam posts coming from their machines and refuse to do anything about it.

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