What is Spam?

If you have made your e-mail address public by placing a classified ad, or if you have inquired about a specific offer that interested you, or if you have participated in a newsgroup or a chatroom, or even if you simply have a webpage with your e-mail address on it, your name has been harvested, placed on e-mail lists, and sold indiscriminately to internet marketers.

Even if you have not in any way expressed an interest in any products or services, you will most certainly find yourself the victim of spam.

What is spam? Technically the term is used to define unsolicited commercial e-mail that is sent in bulk. The key word, however is UNSOLICITED. No matter what the e-mail is trying to sell you – whether it’s an illegal pyramid scheme, a solicitation for donations to a children’s fund, or a reminder that God loves you, – and no matter if it’s addressed only to you or to 100,000 people – if you did not request the information, then  it is considered unsolicited email.

Does this mean that the surprise e-mail from your cousin Harry is spam? Of course not. Certainly we don’t have to solicit correspondence with friends, family and business associates. But if you don’t know Harry and he e-mails you asking you to visit his website, you’ve been spammed.