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Spam Spam Spam: A Webopedia Guide To Combating Spam

Vangie Beal
Last Updated May 24, 2021 8:00 am

I hate spam. You hate spam. We all hate spam. Webopedia offers this collection of articles and Web resources to help you weed out this pernicious Internet presence.

Spam has become ubiquitous a fact of life, like taxes. If it didn’t work, spammers wouldn’t waste their time.

Electronic junk mail or junk newsgroup postings. Some people define spam even more generally as any unsolicited e-mail. In addition to wasting people’s time with unwanted e-mail, spam also eats up a lot of network bandwidth. Consequently, there are many organizations, as well as individuals, who have taken it upon themselves to fight spam with a variety of techniques.

Recommended Reading: Related Webopedia term definitions — spam, anti-spam, spam blocker, snowshoe spamming, false positive, email.

8 Best Resources to help you Fight Spam

There are things you can do for yourself and your organization to cut down on the cyber clutter. Webopedia offers this collection of articles and Web resources to help you weed out this pernicious Internet presence.

1. Stomping Out Spam: The Spam Series, Part 1

Spam is jamming up mailboxes at increasing rates. More than just a bother for end users, unwanted e-mail can impact enterprise systems management by encroaching on bandwidth, storage space, and other network resources. While anti-spam legislation is on the horizon, experts agree filtering software is the most effective remedy at the moment. End user education doesn’t hurt, either. (Source: EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet; Stomping Out Spam: The Spam Series, Part 1)

2. Picking Your Anti-Spam Poison: The Spam Series, Part 2

The anti-spam cauldron is bubbling over with more and more products and services. Some organizations are claiming positive experiences with outside host-based services, while other alternatives include software gateways and client-based filtering. For universities, SMBs, and others on lean budgets, open source software gateways like SpamAssassin and SpamCop are available free of charge. Another strategy adopted in some places is PerlMx — a program that uses sendmail’s MILTER interface — for both virus scanning and spam filtering. (Source: EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet; Picking Your Anti-Spam Poison: The Spam Series, Part 2 )

3. Stopping Spam at the Gateway

There are four basic ways you can try to block spam at the gateway: blacklists, whitelists, rules-based filtering, and Bayesian filters. None of them is perfect, and none of them ever will be perfect. All of them working together will never be perfect either, but they are much more effective than doing nothing at all. (Source: Datamation; Stopping Spam at the Gateway)

4. All About Spam, Spim and Spit

When you hear the word spam, your immediate thoughts go to the more well-known and common form of spam: e-mail spam. However, other types of spam are found in a variety of Internet communication mediums such as instant messaging, discussion boards, mobile phones with text messaging, newsgroups, Internet telephony, blogs basically any device or client that provides a means for communications. (Source: Webopedia; All About Spam, Spim and Spit)

5. Spam a Growing Concern Among U.S. Businesses

According to the survey, the key concern among companies regarding spam was that it could contain malicious links or files that, if opened, could compromise the corporate network. Twenty-nine percent of respondents noted that as their top concern, even as 90 percent of them said that on a regular basis, they educate employees about the risks of open spam emails. (Source: eWeek; Spam a Growing Concern Among U.S. Businesses)

6. How to Get Rid of Spam

There are several ways to block spam from your e-mail inbox. They say prevention is the best medicine, so avoid giving out your e-mail address to unfamiliar or unknown recipients. This has become very difficult to do, however. Spammers can use software programs that troll the Internet looking for e-mail addresses, much like throwing a net in the ocean and seeing what gets caught in it. Nowadays it’s almost impossible to shop online without providing a valid e-mail address. Offline stores are even asking for e-mail addresses in exchange for discounts or free merchandise. Realize that what they are doing is potentially opening the door for a flood of unsolicited e-mails. (Source: Webopedia; How to Get Rid of Spam)

7. What Gmail Teaches Us About Spam Filtering

Google has combined its Postini spam filtering service into Gmail so the learnings here are applicable to the four million businesses using Google apps and enterprises using Postini directly. In addition, how Google categorizes spam is not that different to other major ISPs, so many of the learnings will apply elsewhere. (Source: ClickZ; What Gmail Teaches Us About Spam Filtering)

8. All About Phishing

An e-mail scam is a fraudulent e-mail that appears to be from a legitimate Internet address with a justifiable request usually to verify your personal information or account details. One example would be if you received an e-mail that appears to be from your bank requesting you click a hyperlink in the e-mail and verify your online banking information. Usually there will be a repercussion stated in the e-mail for not following the link, such as “your account will be closed or suspended”. The goal of the sender is for you to disclose personal and (or) account related information. This type of e-mail scam is also called phishing. (Source: Webopedia; All About Phishing)

Recommended Reading: Webopedia Slideshow — How do I avoid getting spammed?

This article was originally published on February 23, 2004