Spam FAQ

Spam is the word given to any unsolicited electronic messages that are transferred via the Internet. While spam exists is many forms and is sent through a number of different online media such as forums, blogs, and search engines, the most popular form of spam occurs via email. Despite the efforts of both individual people and online services to filter electronic spam, it remains a huge problem in online culture. Spammers still manage to obtain or ‘harvest’ email addresses from people all around the world, through a number of malicious and sneaky techniques.

Email Harvesting Techniques

The gathering of bulk email addresses is a process known as email address harvesting, and a number of methods are used by spammers around the world. The simplest method of address harvesting involves the trade of email address lists fJunk Mail rom spamming networks. One other common method involves the use of special harvesting software known as harvesting bots, which spider web pages, usenet postings, blog postings, mailing lists, and online forums searching for email addresses within public databases and user comments.

One other sophisticated harvesting method is known as a directory harvest attack, where spammers use educated guessing tools to find email addresses that are linked to a specific URL address. There are almost as many email harvesting methods as there are spammers themselves, and as spam filters and anti-spamming technology improves, spammers often have to get sneakier in order to get hold of what they want. One sneaky method involves offering a free product or service in exchange for an email address, and then using these addresses to distribute spam email messages.

Lots of online marketing professionals use email lists to promote their goods and services, although ethical marketing involves an opt-in process whereby email recipients choose to receive email messages form a specific person or organisation. However, some unscrupulous Internet marketers share their email address data with third parties who then have the ability to spam recipients with promotions of their own. Spam is a huge problem in modern Internet communications, and technology is constantly being developed to deal with the ongoing threat and annoyance of spam.