What is Spam? - NIU - Division of Information Technology




What is spam?

Spam is unwanted, unsolicited junk e-mail sent to a large number of recipients usually promoting a product or service. It reduces employee productivity because people have to wade through unwanted messages. Spam overburdens our equipment by having to deliver the mail and take up valuable storage space. Additionally, it is sometimes used to spread worms and viruses that cause havoc to our network and destroy your data.

Types of Spam

  • Junk mail
  • Non-commercial spam
  • Offensive and pornographic spam
  • Spam scams
  • Virus spam

Best Practices to Fight Spam

  • Web Postings
    Avoid publicizing your e-mail address on websites, public bulletin boards, newsgroups, and chat rooms. Consider creating and using an e-mail address from one of the free e-mail address providers. Spammers are always reviewing such information for new e-mail addresses.
  • Do Not Reply to Spam or an Unsubscribe Request
    Never reply to a piece of spam or request to be unsubscribed unless the message comes from a company or organization you recognize and know. Your reply confirms that your address is active. This helps facilitate more spam.
  • Never buy anything offered in Spam
    Spammers' sole purpose is to make money. If people don’t buy from them, the companies will quit using this form of advertising.
  • Product Registration
    Review all pre-selected options for any products you may register on-line. The default settings will continue to market you with updated product info. The original company may sell their mailing list to other marketers.
  • Blind copy field
    Use the blind copy (bc) field to conceal e-mail addresses when sending a message to a large number of people. This better protects their identities if the message is forwarded or responded to by one of the recipients.
  • Disguise your address on your website
    Spammers utilize software searching websites for mail to links using the conventional text addresses name@something.something. Try spelling out the punctuation. Use name at niu dot edu in the source code instead of name@niu.edu. Or use the actual html code of the dot or @ symbols. ( dot = &#46 ); (Commercial at, @ = &#64 ). HTML code would be name &#64 niu &#46 edu.