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Spam (electronic): abuse of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages indiscriminately. Email spam is the most widely recognized form of spam. However, the term can be applied to similar abuses in other media: instant messaging spam, search engine spam, blog spam, online classified ads spam, internet forum spam, social networking spam, etc.

Spam (email): unsolicited means that the recipient has not granted verifiable permission for the message to be sent. Bulk means that the message is sent as part of a larger collection of messages, all having substantively identical content. A message can be considered as span only if it is both unsolicited AND bulk.

Spamming is the subject of legislation in many jurisdictions.

People who create span are called spammers.

Some quick tips to prevent spam:

- Do not use your main email address when registering on sites that have not clearly stated a "No Spam" policy.
- Do not list your email on your site or any other site. If you need to make it like this:
name [at] domain [dot] com, or even better render it as text in an image.
This way your email address can not be captured by spiders)
Or even better, instead of your email address, either add a helpdesk or contact form script to your web site. One free contact form script available is Add2it WebForms Free (Google the term to find it).
- Also you can get a secondary email address to use for sites that you feel might send you loads of mail from e.g. Gmail.


How do I know it's spam?

Any message that doesn't meet the following three conditions is defined as spam:

- Consent – the message must be sent with your consent
- Identify – the message must contain accurate information about the person or organization that authorized the sending of the message
- Unsubscribe – the message must contain a functional 'unsubscribe' facility to allow you to opt out of receiving messages from that source.

Messages do not have to be sent out in bulk to be considered spam. Under Australian law, a single electronic message can also be considered spam.

Australia’s anti-spam legislation – the Spam Act 2003 - covers email, instant messaging, SMS (text messages) and MMS (image-based mobile phone messaging) messages of a commercial nature. It does not cover faxes, internet pop-ups or voice telemarketing. Telemarketing calls are covered by the Do Not Call Register.

Examples of when your email is considered spam:

- If you send an email to an email address you purchased, you are spamming!
- If you use a mailing service that sends your email to an email address that didn't agree to receive such an email, you are spamming!
- If you automatically reply to emails you receive, you are spamming!

Related Wikis

opt-in

Opt in e-mail is a term used when someone is given the option to receive "bulk" e-mail, that is, e-mail tha...

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