Incoming email spam
In the world of ubiquitous email communication, we face a growing challenge: email spam. These unwanted messages not only disrupt our digital inboxes but also pose risks. In this article, we examine the causes, consequences, and provide insights into effective strategies to manage this digital nuisance.
What is spam?Spam emails are all unwanted and unrequested emails that are sent to your email-address. How these emails are identified as spam is usually different per email provider, however, there are a couple standards that all email providers check for.
Why do people send spam?The emails often have a commercial purpose. This means that there are companies behind them that send the spam emails. Most people consider this an unethical way to advertise, but it is understandable, as the costs of mailing are very low and you can reach a large group with it. On the other hand, spam emails can also be malicious. They can, for example, try to gain access to your computer via links and malware. It also happens regularly that there are scammers behind them who try to persuade you, with a friendly and tempting story, to transfer money, for example.
Why am I receiving spam?
There are several reasons why you might receive spam emails. The most common reasons for receiving spam are:
- Your email is on a mailing list: This is the most common reason for spam emails. Mailing lists are collections of email addresses for things like newsletters, promotional, or marketing emails. Your email is then added to the list without your permission.
- Your email address has been leaked, shared, or sold: You have probably left your email address in many places on the internet. When placing orders in webshops or creating accounts. Your email address then ends up in the database, which is not a problem in principle, but it can happen that the database is hacked, or the company sells your email address.
- You have opened a spam email: It is of course possible that you have opened a spam email. This does not necessarily mean clicking on links in the email. An email can be sent with a "read receipt". The sender is informed when the mail is opened and this confirms that your email address is active. This is a sign for the spammers to send more to your email address or to spread your email address.
- Bad spam filters: Spam filters are often put in place by mail providers on mail servers. All mail that is received goes through the filters and they determine whether the mail is allowed or not. When the filters are poorly or weakly configured, spam emails will get through. However, it is almost impossible to stop all spam emails with spam filters.
Spam is difficult to stop, but there are a number of points that can help a lot with reducing it. There are many different reasons for receiving spam. To prevent spam, you can check if your spam filters are properly configured. Also do not open spam emails. You can often tell from the subject of the email whether it is spam or if it is really intended for you.