what is spam how is it harmful

What is Spam How is It Harmful?

5 mins

Most people are familiar with the term “spam”, but few know how it can actually be harmful.

Spam is an unsolicited email, often of a commercial nature, that is sent in bulk to a large number of recipients. While this might seem like harmless marketing, spam can actually be quite dangerous.

First of all, spam messages often contain links to malicious websites that can infect your computer with viruses or malware. In addition, spam messages can clog up your inbox and make it difficult to find important emails. Finally, spam messages can be used to phish for personal information such as passwords and credit card numbers.

While spam might seem like nothing more than a nuisance, it can actually pose a serious threat to your security and privacy. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the dangers of spam and take steps to protect yourself from it.

What Is Spam And How Did It Originate?

Spam is a term used to describe unsolicited email or junk mail. It’s estimated that spam makes up more than half of all emails sent globally. Spam is a problem for both individuals and businesses, as it can clog up inboxes and make it difficult to find legitimate emails.


Spam first emerged in the early 1990s, when commercial email began to be sent en masse. This led to the development of anti-spam software, which is used to filter out spam emails. However, spam emails have become increasingly sophisticated and difficult to detect.

There are a number of ways that spammers can get your email address. One common method is called “harvesting.” This involves using automated software to scour the Internet for email addresses.

Another method is to buy lists of email addresses from companies that sell them. Most spam is sent by just a few thousand individuals or organizations. However, these “spam kings” are responsible for sending billions of spam emails every day.

While spam is a nuisance, it’s important to remember that not all unsolicited email is spam. In fact, some companies use email marketing as a legitimate way to reach potential customers. The key is to be able to identify spam emails so you can delete them without missing out on something important.

If you’re unsure whether an email is a spam or not, there are a few things you can look for. Spam emails often have generic subject lines and are sent from unfamiliar addresses. They also often contain links to websites that are selling something.

How Does Spam Spread And What Are The Dangers Associated With It?

The way spam spreads is largely dependent on the type of spam. There are four main types of spam, each with its own unique means of propagation.

1. Email Spams

Email spam is the most common and well-known type of spam. It typically arrives in your inbox as unsolicited messages from unknown senders, often containing commercial offers or links to malicious websites.

Email spam can also spread malware, which can infect your computer and put your personal information at risk.

2. Instant Masseges

Instant message spam is another common type of spam that takes advantage of the popularity of instant messaging applications such as Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Spammers will send you unsolicited messages through these platforms, often containing links to malicious websites or products.

3. SMS Spams

SMS spam, also known as text message spam, is a type of spam that uses the short message service (SMS) to send unsolicited messages to your phone. These messages can often contain commercial offers or links to malicious websites.

4. Social Medias

Social media spam is a type of spam that targets users of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Spammers will create fake accounts or use hijacked accounts to send out links to malicious websites or products. They may also try to friend or follow you in order to direct message your spam.

Each type of spam has its own dangers associated with it. Email spam can lead to malware infection, instant message spam can cause you to click on malicious links, SMS spam can drain your phone’s battery and data allowance, and social media spam can expose you to scams and fraud.

Spam is a nuisance at best and a serious security threat at worst. It’s important to be aware of the dangers associated with it and take steps to protect yourself from it.

What Can You Do To Protect Yourself From Spam?

There are a number of things you can do to protect yourself from spam and malware attacks. Here are some tips:

  • Keep your software up to date. Regularly update your operating system, browser, and other software programs. These updates often include security patches that can help protect your computer from attack.
  • Use a good anti-spam and anti-malware program. These programs can help filter out unwanted email messages and protect your computer from malicious software.
  • Be cautious about what you click on. Don’t click on links in email messages or on websites unless you trust the sender or site. And even then, be careful – some malicious software can masquerade as a trusted website.
  • Don’t open email attachments unless you trust the sender and know what the attachment is. Some email attachments may contain malware that can infect your computer.
  • Keep your personal information private. Be cautious about giving out personal information online, especially to unfamiliar websites or people.

By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from spam and malware attacks.

How Can Businesses Protect Themselves From Spam?

As the number of internet users continues to grow, so does the amount of spam and scams. Businesses are particularly vulnerable to these threats, as they often have large customer databases that can be easily targeted by scammers.


There are a number of steps that businesses can take to protect themselves from spam and scams, including:

Step 1: Educate employees on the dangers of spam and scams.

Step 2: Implement anti-spam filters on all email accounts.

Step 3: Verify the identity of customers and vendors before doing business with them.

Step 4: Do not click on links or attachments from unknown sources.

Step 5: Keep all software and anti-virus programs up to date.

By taking these simple steps, businesses can help protect themselves from the growing threat of spam and scams.

Is There Any Way To Get Rid Of Spam For Good?

The answer to this question is, unfortunately, no. While there are some things you can do to reduce the amount of spam you receive, there is no surefire way to get rid of it completely. This is because spammers are constantly coming up with new ways to get around anti-spam measures.

One thing you can do to reduce the amount of spam you receive is to be careful about which email addresses you use when signing up for things online. If you use a disposable email address that you only give out to websites or businesses that you trust, then spammers will have a harder time getting hold of your primary email address.

Another way to reduce the amount of spam you receive is to use an email provider that offers good spam filtering. This means that your email provider will attempt to automatically filter out spam emails before they reach your inbox. While this isn’t foolproof, it can help to reduce the amount of spam you receive.

Finally, you can also try using a service like Google’s Gmail which offers good spam filtering and also allows you to easily report spam emails.

While there is no surefire way to get rid of spam completely, by taking some basic precautions you can help to reduce the amount of spam you receive.

Final Thoughts

While it’s impossible to get rid of spam completely, we can take steps to reduce the amount that we see in our inboxes and on our screens.

By being aware of the dangers associated with spam and malware, businesses can protect themselves from infiltration and scams.

Consumers can also take measures to safeguard their personal information and protect their devices from attack. With a little knowledge and some common sense precautions, we can all work together to keep spam at bay.


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Michael Fied

founder of and SpamBurner

Michael Fied is the founder and CEO of and SpamBurner. In addition, he’s an internationally top-rated and award-winning website advisor and website architect with a global team of 55. You can find Michael on LinkedIn or contact him directly here.

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