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What is Spam message? Remove Spam Emails, Social Networking Spam? What is Spam message? Remove Spam Emails, Social Networking Spam?
News | 01/22/2018

What is Spam message? Remove Spam Emails, Social Networking Spam?


Spam messages put together is a way of flooding email account with annoying and absolutely unwanted advertisements, and in the worst case, it can also infect computer systems with harmful programs like Trojans or virus.

What is a Spam Message?

With time the online world has become huge and internet usage is growing at an amazingly fast rate. Spam hardly needs an introduction and anyone with an email id is well aware of the level of frustration attached to it, though they may be unaware of its actual effects and the measures you can take to prevent it.

In general terms, spam is the way of flooding people’s email boxes with annoying and absolutely unwanted advertisements, and in the worst case, it can also infect computer systems with harmful programs like Trojans or virus.

Why do people post spam? The most obvious motive behind spam is an attempt to promote and sponsor something and make money.

Spamming is commercial advertising for suspicious products, discounted offers, free download pop-ups etc. The reason why advertisers use Spam to market their unauthorized products is the low entry cost. The volume of unsolicited mail and spammers have become very high as it is economically viable for the sender and costs the sender very little to send as most of the costs are paid by the recipient (time lost in dealing with it) and the carriers rather than by the sender.

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Spam contains contaminated links which guide the users to external websites containing posters and lucrative advertisements for luring people to drive up revenue. Additionally, spammers are also influencing search engines ranking, as with the number of links from legitimate domains pointing to their sites hikes up their credibility amongst search crawlers.

Is Spam similar to Computer Virus?

One may get confused between the characters and features of spam and virus. However, for your surprise computers affected by the virus are frequently used to send spam emails and the combined efforts of virus makers and spammers are being used widely to infect computer system for converting them into spam-sending machines.

Types of Spam in different Media Platforms.

1. Email Spam – Email spam is generally known as junk emails. They are unsolicited bulk emails which involve identical messages sent to numerous recipients and can fill your inbox in an unappealing manner. Most of the spam mail contains contaminated and annoying advertisements that you never wanted to receive in the first place.

Email spamming has drastically grown in the recent times and botnets, a network of the compromised computer system is used to send spam emails. Spammers usually collect recipients email address form chat rooms, websites, newsgroups, and other customer lists available online.

These are a number of phrases which may mark an email as a spam, few examples are listed below for reference:

  1. Apply online
  2. Call now
  3. Billing address
  4. Cannot be combined with any other offer
  5. Offer of the day
  6. Why pay more etc.

Mail Spam is normally used to conduct email fraud and carry out illegal activities and usually comes in the forms of phishing emails disguised as official communications from banks and other trustworthy organizations.

Spam email is also used by cyber crooks to deliver malware and other types of system infection through attachments, pop-ups and contaminated links. Users are advised to avoid opening any such kind of dubious emails and never respond or click on the attached links.

2. SMS spam or cell phone spam- Cell phone spam is a junk message delivered to a mobile number as a text message through SMS (Short Message Services).

Mobile devices and SMS services have shaped the way in which the world communicates and SMS services are widely used by Banks for payment authentication, doctors for booking appointments, restaurants to reserve tables etc.

Spam SMS is a real problem and innocent users are unknowingly becoming it victims by sharing their contact numbers while ordering food online, participating is lucky draw etc. and are bombarded with numerous advertising and promotional text messages every day. A majority of spam SMS messages are defined as campaigns used to tempt recipients into taking some actions that unwittingly leads to disclosure of personal information and financial losses. 

Computer users can take preventive measures to combat the effect of SMS spam attack by following the below guidelines.

  1. Any application download should only be done through reputable and genuine app stores.
  2. Avoid clicking on attached links and embedded offers.
  3. Never respond to SMS messages, particularly if they claim to form Banks before checking their authenticity.
  4. Do not fall for “to god to be true offers” like free giveaways, lottery scams, and other dubious offers.

3. Social Networking Spam- Social applications and websites are the newest targets of spammers these days with fake accounts being the key to social spamming. Social networking spam targets users of social networking sites like Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram etc.

In addition to creating fake accounts, spammers are also working by hacking and taking over a user’s account for spreading fake and dubious messages. Bulk messaging, fraudulent reviews, sharing undesired or excessive content, like-jacking and click-baiting are few of the prominent activities carried out by social networking spammers.

ALSO READ: HOW TO REMOVE SKYPE VIRUS FROM COMPUTER COMPLETELY?

The root problem of social networking spam is that creating a fake account is very easy with an easy to bypass identity verification process. Common verification process including both email verification only, and password only method can be easily tricked by spammers. The vicious spam is capable of eating data, disabling hard drives, stealing login credentials and hijacking accounts.

Clicking on the “report spam “button is the best way to report any social media spam is seen. A high amount of Vigilance and caution is also required while clicking on links and pop-up banners.

4. Spam targeting video sharing sites- Video sharing sites like Facebook are being used by spammers actively nowadays. The most familiar technique involves contaminated links to sites, especially online dating and pornographic sites. In addition to this, the ‘thumbs up/thumbs down’ features are constantly being used by spammers to make their messages more visible. Another way is naming the uploaded video and adding description with a popular figure to draw more attention.

5. Online Game Messaging- A number of online gaming platforms allow players to contact each other over the player-to-player messaging facility, chat rooms giving spammers chance to advertise spam sites. These spam methods can impact the gaming experience to a great extent.

6. Social Spam- Spreading its routes beyond commonly known social sites, user-generated content is increasingly appearing these days on various business sites, governments, and non-profit websites worldwide. Fake accounts and misleading comments are breaking the policies of the website in numerous ways.

Blog, WIKI, and Guestbook, online classified ads spam, internet forum spam, Usenet newsgroup spam, junk fax transmission and file sharing network spam are few of the other types of spams.

The Damage spam can do

The world of spamming is increasing at an unbelievable rate and has a number of negative consequences, few of the negatives for internet are listed below.

  1. It consumes a huge amount of internet resources resulting in slow and clogging email services.
  2. It negatively affects the effectiveness of genuine and legitimate advertising.
  3. Spam costs a huge amount of money. By clogging the internet it forces service providers to buy bigger electronic pipes and the cost of operation is finally passed to the end users.
  4. Spam messages are advertisements you are not interested in and are undoubtedly annoying and disturbing.
  5. It exposes children to inappropriate content and images, including adult content as well.

In addition to the general effects, spam can also affect the business in a drastic way.

  1. Spam results in loss of productivity and profit- Under spamming, direct mail concept costs very low to the sender to send out numerous messages to unwilling recipients. The mailboxes are flooded with all sought of unwanted spam email and costs time to go through and delete spam emails if the business is not using a good spam filtering service it can end up wasting a huge amount of business working hours.
  2. Legal risk- Sexually explicit and adult images and messages are spreading their roots with the rise of spam. If in any case employees receive spam email including indecent content, it can result in legal complaints about sexual harassment and hostile work environment. Thus, company image and goodwill are also kept at stake.
  3. Spam contains various malware threats- Often spam email contains attachments and links that if opened can infect your system with malware and other system threats. Malware is being used by spammers for stealing private and confidential data including login credentials, credit card and banking details for fraudulent and illegal activities.

Practices users can carry out to avoid spam

Spam messages and emails are an annoying cousin of junk mail which show up as unwanted and unexpected text messages on our device and are sent by spammers because they’re trying to defraud you. Spam is usually originating from a computer and being delivered to your phone (at no cost to the sender) via an email address or an instant messaging account.

Fortunately, you can control and combat the number of unwanted text messages flooding your mailbox and prevent them from showing up on your phone or any other mobile device. Here are some quick dos and don’ts.

Do’s

  1. Make sure you report any spam to your carrier- Reporting spam text to your career is one of the best protection measures against spam. Sending all suspicious and spam messages to your carries for example., 7726(SPAM) will allow it to carry out a required investigation against the sender.
  2. Treat your personal information wisely- It is important to remember that legitimate and genuine companies never ask for personal questions, or asks for account details and passwords via messages.
  3. Add your mobile phone number to National Do Not Call Registry - Adding your number to Do Not Call Registry and Do Not Disturb List will keep you away from receiving all types of unwanted telemarketing calls.
  4. Check your phone settings- With technological advancement, most of the phones come with built-in features to help block unwanted calls and messages. Type ’Block’ using the settings tab in your system.
  5. While forwarding email to a large number of recipients, make sure you weed out any addresses that are inappropriate and put all addresses in the BCC field to hide them from the other recipients
  6. Be highly cautious in setting up auto-replies, as they may verify the existence of your email address to spammers.
  7. Check if your carrier offers call blocking services- Almost all the career services offers call blocking services nowadays that will help you block all unknown callers.

Don’ts

  1. Never reply to spam messages directly- Replying directly to spam messages is a big no-no as it lets the spammers know that your mobile number is genuine.
  2. Do not click on any links- Links and attachment available in spam emails and messages are contaminated and contains malware which can put your system security at stake.
  3. Be cautious while publishing valuable email address anywhere where it is visible to others. Never leave your email id in guest’s books and other websites where spammers might collect it.
  4. Avoid making purchases based on spam messages that you receive to eliminate the spammer’s foundation.
  5. Do not use email id while signing up for free downloads available online.

Conclusion

Scams are becoming sophisticated day by day and it’s really hard to differentiate between a fake and a genuine email. As a note of caution, users are advised to carry utmost caution while clicking on any suspicious link and advertisements. If you are not certain about the sources of an email it is important to report such email as spam and delete all phishing email from your mailbox for safe and secure working.

Tips to Prevent malware from Infecting Your System:

  1. Keep your Windows Updated: To avoid such infections, we recommend that you should always keep your system updated through automatic windows update. By doing this you can keep your device free from virus. According to the survey, outdated/older versions of Windows operating system are an easy target.
  2. Third-party installation: Try to avoid freeware download websites as they usually install bundled of software with any installer or stub file.
  3. Regular Backup: Regular and periodical backup helps you to keep your data safe in case the system is infected by any kind of virus or any other infection. Thus always backup important files regularly on a cloud drive or an external hard drive.
  4. Always have an Anti-Virus: Precaution is better than cure. We recommend that you install an antivirus like  McAfee or a good Malware Removal Tool like Download Free Virus RemovalTool
  5. Enable your popup blocker: Install a powerful ad- blocker for  ChromeMozilla, and   IE.

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