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Home > Computer Articles > How To Stop Spam

Stop Receiving Spam Email

Spam originally referred to bulk newsgroup postings of irrelevant information or the act of causing newsgroups to be overrun with irrelevant or off-topic posts by posting deliberately inflammatory messages. The term “spam” now applies primarily to either unsolicited commercial e-mail messages (UCE) or unsolicited bulk e-mail messages (UBE). Spam e-mail includes chain letters, jokes or humorous images, phishing scams and foreign bank scams designed to defraud the recipient of money, pyramid schemes, get rich quick scams, ads for pornographic Internet sites, or commercial messages. Some contain computer viruses embedded in attachments.

There are many ideas about how the term “spam” began to apply to unsolicited e-mail messages, the most popular and credible of which points to the Monty Python sketch set in a restaurant that only serves the processed meat product. Some consider “spam” an acronym for “simultaneously posted advertising messages” or “sales promotional advertising mail”. Spam is a problem for Internet providers and recipients. Spammers send thousands of e-mails that clog internet provider’s bandwidth and cost them money by taking up server storage space and Internet link capacity. Spam can also crash programs by overrunning them with excessive amounts of data. Recipients of spam e-mails waste valuable time combing their inboxes to identify and delete spam and may accidentally delete legitimate, important messages in the process.

Most modern computers come with pre-installed virus protection software, email spam filters, and other security measures in place, but some spam will still get through. If you buy Refurbished Computers, then you might not have any such pre-installed software at all. This list of resources can help you understanding what spam is, how it can affect you, and best of all, how to avoid it.

Spamming In Different Media

History of Spam

  • History of Spam: A history of the term “spam” as applied to unsolicited electronic communication; recommended by the City of Seattle Community Technology E-Zine.
  • Spam History: History of the term “spam” and the practice of spamming.
  • Spam and Spammers: History of spam and of spammers.
  • History of Spam: History of spam. Site also includes information on the history of efforts to fight spam.
  • Decades of Spam: Site goes over notable events related to spam.
  • Spam Background: Background on the history of the term “spam” and the effects and extent of spam.

Costs of Spam

  • Cost of Spam: Includes estimates of the cost to fight spam.
  • Estimated Cost of Spam: Estimates of how much spam costs the U.S. government.
  • Costs of Spam: Costs of spam to Internet Providers, consumers, and businesses.
  • Spam Costs: A presentation to the Internet Engineering Task Force by Steve Atkins of the SpamCon Foundation on costs of spam and size of the spam problem.
  • Spam Economics: Includes links to pdf articles on the cost of spam.

Trademark Issues

  • America Online, Inc. v. IMS, et al.: Forging of domain name in e-mail header found to be a violation of trademark law. Link to full-text of court decision.
  • Copyright Issues: Spam, domain spoofing, and copyright issues.
  • Spam Trademark: A United Kingdom trademark case related to the name Spam. Includes link to pdf file of court decision.
  • Trademark Issues: A United States trademark case related to the name Spam. Includes link to copy of the opinion.
  • Trademark Issues Related to Spam: Hormel Foods, Inc. v. Antilles Landscape Investments NV related to the term “Spambuster”.

Court Cases

Avoiding Spam

Spam Filters and Software

  • Spamhaus: Provides lists to block spam and other unwanted or dangerous messages for networks and servers.
  • Set up Filters: Instructions on how to set up filters in various e-mail programs.
  • Spamcop: Includes a free blocking list.
  • Sam Spade: Decodes an e-mail’s headers to determine its origin. Useful in identifying spam and spoofed messages.
  • SpamAssassin: Open-source spam filter.

Our site has many other "how to" guides and articles on computer-related topics, including how to shop for Refurbished Computers and a list of Computer Viruses.

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