There are some ways to defend yourself against spam:
IMPORTANT: When reporting spam, DO NOT FORWARD the original spam email. This may cause you to be flagged as a spammer! Instead, save the email and send it as an attachment.
If you provided your email address to a company or website to receive a newsletter, product updates, coupons, or be entered in a drawing, this is a reputable way to get your email address. Some companies provide you a service (website hosting) or software in exchange for your email address and permission to send you advertisements. These are examples of bulk emails that are not spam.
To be removed from these types of mailing lists:
It can take several days for your request to be fulfilled, and it's not uncommon to be subscribed to more than one list from a company, which means you have to unsubscribe from each list separately (unless that company's email program provides an option to unsubscribe from multiple or all lists when you follow the "unsubscribe" link). The CAN-spam Act requires that a mailer process an unsubscribe request within 10 business days.
If you did not sign up to receive emails from a company or if an email claims to be from a reputable company, but it looks suspicious, consider this: If the email is from a spammer, and you follow the removal instructions, the spammer uses this process to verify that your email address is going to a real person, making the email address more valuable so that it is then traded or sold to others. Rather than following any links in the email, mark it as "spam" in your email program, and block the sender.
Spam is junk email. It's annoying at best and a security risk at worst. Some spam is harmless, though irritating. However, some spam is sent by cybercriminals who are attempting to capture your personal data through innocent looking marketing emails.
Spammers send massive amounts of junk email in hopes that at least some of the recipients will click on the links or attachments. When someone clicks on a spam email, they're sent to phishing or malware websites, where they're tricked into providing personal information, activating a virus or downloading malicious software.
For an email to be considered spam, it must be both unsolicited and sent in bulk. Not all bulk email is spam. Not all unsolicited email is spam. If you agreed to receive an email from a company, it is not spam.
Spammers collect email addresses from chatrooms, websites, customer lists, newsgroups and email viruses that harvest users' address books. The addresses are then sold to other spammers. Here are more details about the ways in which email addresses are collected:
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