The ICT Lounge
Section 8.6:
Spam Emails
Spam is unwanted emails that are sent automatically to multiple recipients and is generally considered to be a pain.

This section discusses spam and different ways in which you can avoid getting it.

Key Concepts of this section:
Understand what is meant by spam.
Know how you can end up getting spam emails.
Be able to describe how you can recognise spam and avoid getting it.

Recognising and dealing with spam
Key Words:
Spam, Email, Junk, Bulk, Spammer, Filter.
What is spam?

Spam is sometimes called 'junk email' or 'bulk email' .
Spam emails can quickly take over your inbox.
Spam emails are used to advertise low quality or dubious products.
Spam emails often contain grammar or spelling errors.
(Click image to zoom)
Spam emails have typical characteristics that you can recognise. (Click image to zoom)
Don't publicly post your email address on web sites.
Spam email filters allow you to separate junk emails from legitimate emails and quickly delete.
Spam is sent automatically to thousands, or even millions, of email inboxes.

Spam is unwanted and unasked for!

Spam over-runs your inbox very quickly and it is a pain to have to delete all of these unwanted emails every day.

In 2011 it is estimated that seven trillion spam emails were sent over the internet (that's seven thousand billion!).

Spam emails account for around 80% of all the emails sent around the world.

Why do people send spam?
People who send spam emails are known as 'spammers'.

The main reasons that spam emails are distributed are:
  • To attempt to gain people's personal data (like bank information) through phishing
  • To advertise low quality products, push loans or to ask for money
  • To spread viruses.

How do spammers get your email address?
Spammers get your email address from a range of sources. This is called 'harvesting email addresses'. The sources include:
  • Mailing lists
  • Social networking sites
  • Chat rooms
  • Programs that automatically trawl through websites looking for and collecting email addresses
  • Bought illegally from dishonest employee's of a business (customer email addresses).

How to recognise spam email and avoid being drawn into it:
The table below highlights some ways that you can recognise spam:

An email is probably spam if:
You don't know the person who sent the email.
You are being asked to buy something or send cash.
You are being asked to send passwords, bank details or other personal information.
The email is full of spelling or grammar errors.
You are asked to carry out a task immediately.

(Spam email addresses change frequently so that the spammers don't get caught)
The email contains a link which you are asked to click.

(This is probably an attempt to re-direct you to pharming website)
You are being addressed with 'Dear customer' or 'Valued member' instead of your actual name.

(This is because spam emails come from people you don't know and so they don't know your name)

How to prevent spam:
The table below highlights some ways that you can prevent spam:

Use spam filters.

These are included with most email accounts and can be used to automatically separate junk email from legitimate emails.

(You can then quickly delete the contents of the junk email folder)

Don't post your email address in public websites like chat rooms or social networking sites.

(Spammers can simply read your email address and then add it to their distribution list)

Some videos:
Here are some links to videos that contain more information about spam emails:



Click the above task and answer the questions about Spam.

Please add your questions/comments below:

Links to Theory Units:
Links to Practical Units:
Section 11: File Management
Section 12: Images
Section 13: layout
Section 14: Styles
Section 15: Proofing
Section 16: Graphs and Charts
Section 17: Document Production
Section 18: Data Manipulation
Section 19: Presentations
Section 20: Data Analysis
Section 21: Website Authoring