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Internet Family Fun

Spam 101

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Internet Family Fun Home > What You Want to Know About... > Spam 101 > About Spam

All About Spam

Email that is sent unsolicited to individuals, mailing lists, or news groups. Also commonly referred to as junk email. Often it is commercial sales pitches to buy something, use a service or an invitation to visit a web site. Becoming more common is phishing emails that look like they are from a legitimate web site but is actually someone else trying to get information from you such as credit card numbers.

Person, group of people or program that sends this unsolicited bulk email.

You have been spammed when you receive unsolicited email.

How Unsolicited Email Was Named Spam
Monty Python can be "blamed" for calling it spam because early Internet users were familiar with his famous skit set at a restaurant that served Spam luncheon meat dishes. In that skit a group of Vikings sang loudly "Spam, Spam, Spam, lovely Spam. Wonderful Spam!" every time the word Spam was spoken.

The Early History
The first famous piece of spam was the Green Card spam sent in 1994 to Usenet groups by a group of lawyers trying to drum up business.

The Lunch Meat vs. Junk Email
There is a difference between Spam (the lunch meat) and spam (unsolicited email). Spam (the lunch meat) is capitalized and spam (unsolicited email) is lower case.

Spam 101
Next - Why Spam is Undesirable
Page 1 - About Spam
Page 2 - Why Spam is Undesirable
Page 3 - How Spammers Operate
Page 4 - How to Avoid Spam
Page 5 - Sending Email That Won't Be Caught in Filters
Page 6 - Don't Put Up With Spam, Report It
Page 7 - Spam Filters

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