What Constitutes Email Spam?

You can think of spam as one of the biggest annoyances on the Internet. Though it was once growing at an alarming rate, it has level off recently. That does not mean the numbers of messages sent by spam mailers has gone down, it is just holding. There are about 100 billion or more spam emails sent out each day. These are destined for your inbox if you don’t have good online habits or if your spam filter does not work well.

You could say that spam email is any email that you don’t want to get. However, that is not entirely true. If you have signed up for a mailing list, or with a company, they have permission to send you email. Even if you get annoyed by these emails, they are not spam. Legitimate companies ask you to opt out if you no longer want emails, but you should never do with if you are not sure where the email has come from. It just verifies your address is valid and active.

You can classify spam email as any email advertisement or solicitation that you did not ask to get. That means you did not purposely give someone your email address to get advertisements from them. Spam mailers get your email addresses from public places online where you have posted yours. That means you should treat it as your cell phone number. Never post your email address anywhere online if you want to keep spam from flooding in.

Spam is also any email that tries to deceive or scam you. If you are lucky, you have never gotten an email telling you that someone from across the ocean wants to give you money for doing almost nothing. You have never heard fake tales of woe about a lost inheritance or dead family members. However, most of us have seen these, and some even fall for them. These are some of the worst types of spam out there.

Any email that comes to you with a forged or hidden email header is also spam. You may not be sure in some cases what you are dealing with. When that happens, you can take that email address and put it into a reverse email lookup to see if you can find out more about the sender.