One of the great things about the Internet is email - and it's also one of the worst. Literally millions of spam emails are sent each day. This article is to assist our web hosting clients in understanding what spam is, how to report it if you are being bombarded, and how to avoid sending it.
So, what is spam?
This is a tough question. Essentially, it's unsolicited junk mail. It's estimated that spam mail constitutes twenty two percent of all emails sent. It's not only annoying, it can be insulting, disgusting, predatory and it actually slows down the Internet due to the amount of processing required to transport it.
While most spam can be easily identified, if you're operating an online business and need to approach people that you have never communicated with before, it can become a very grey area. After all, any initial approach on a commercial basis could be considered spam by the more radical anti-spammers out there - so we need to approach this in a balanced way.
Sending an email to the webmaster of a site you've just visited to request some sort of partnership.
Sending one million emails to the webmasters of refrigeration sites you have never visited offering to sell them dead spiders.
OK, that's a little bit extreme, but you get the picture.
One of the biggest problems facing ethical webmasters are accusations of spamming through ezines, updates and newsletters that you send out. These accusations tend to happen mostly for one of the following reasons: