What Is Spam?

Spam is a word in English that refers to junk mail or junk messages from the Internet: unsolicited, unwanted messages and with the unknown sender, sent in large quantities, and usually with advertising content.

The word Spam historically comes from the Second World War, when a famous brand of canned meat bearing that name (a contraction of Spiced Ham, seasoned ham) was massively distributed to the Allied soldiers at the front.

The term became popular after the British Monty Python comedians in 1970 used it as part of a skit in which they were served Spam for lunch every day in their  Monty Python’s Flying Circus series.

It is a common practice today, whose first practice took place at the dawn of the Internet, supposedly in 1994, when the law firm Canter and Siegel announced their firm’s services through a massive message on Usenet (User’s Network ).

Other versions claim that in 1978 when the Internet was still for strictly military use (called the ARPANET), a massive message from the computer company DEC was leaked promoting its new product.

Spam is frequent in any of the current electronic communication means, particularly in electronic mail or email, and in instant messaging services.

This term also serves to refer to viruses and pieces of malicious software that, dispersed on the Internet, bombard them without the user’s permission with misleading advertising, pornography offers, gambling, dating sites, and other similar services.

Spam prevention and combat

The most common recommendations to combat Spam are:

  • Use a firewall. It is a discriminate blocking program for the signals that enter and leave the computer through the Internet, to prevent other users from accessing the information on our system, or that malicious programs can access our connection and spread their seed to our contacts.
  • Use antivirus and antimalware.  There are programs specifically designed to clean viruses and invasive programs ( Trojans ) from a computer, many of which can be downloaded for free or purchased for little money. Its use is recommended to carry out routine maintenance of the computer or prevent malicious software from being installed on our system.
  • Don’t open suspicious messages. Especially those emails whose senders are not known or reliable (sometimes it is necessary to check the address from which they write to us), regardless of what it says in its sender. Most infectious emails promise easy money, free services, or big surprise prizes. None of that is real.
  • Do not fall for misleading online advertising. A common way to get infected is by clicking on attractive advertising offers, often leading to dead ends and illegally downloading software. You should be wary of offers that seem too good to be true, and under no circumstances should you download, much less run unknown software, and downloaded from suspicious pages.
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Debbie Lentz

Accomplished Global Supply Chain executive with significant experience in the consumer products and retail industries with large brand name firms in the public and private sectors. Strategic and operational, drives change and creates efficiencies through integration of end to end process improvement focused on enhancing the customer experience and fostering company growth. Collaborative leader with high integrity who builds talented, results-oriented teams.

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