SPAM  What is it? Types, Risks and How to defend ourselves ▷ 2020

When a person creates an email account, they do so in order to exchange messages with their acquaintances or friends. But, you should know that when you have it it is common to receive dozens of messages that were never requested and that they are not of our interest.

These emails constitute the very famous “Spam” that we have all heard of as Internet surfers. This phenomenon increases day by day, and as new solutions and technologies emerge to counter it, dedicated spammers become increasingly sophisticated and modify their skills, in order to avoid user counter-measures.

In order to inform you on this issue, in the following article we will give you some details about spam and the types that exist. Further we will explain you better the purpose for which many practice this phenomenon and how to recognize it.

What is SPAM or spam and what is its purpose?

SPAM is called the way of oversaturating the Internet with many copies of the same message, with the aim that these reach people who otherwise would never agree to receive them.

Originally this word cataloged those unwanted emails or junk emails that arrived without being requested, however, the concept has been expanded by the multiple forms of online communication that exist today.

junk mail or spam

Usually, this propaganda is sent in large quantities to millions of accounts at the same time, and instead of investing in campaigns and ads on popular web pages, most advertisers take advantage of this medium and collect email addresses from public or private sources, to which they will subsequently send promotional emails in a matter of minutes.

Making a considerable profit if only a small part of these receivers end up buying the product. Notably Spain with 0.7% occupies the nineteenth position of the top 20 from major spamming countries.

As a curious fact we mention that the terminology “Spam” has its origin in World War II, when the American company Hormel Foods launched its canned meat called “Hormel’s Spiced Ham”, which means ham with spices. From whose contraction the word in question arises.

origin of the word spam

This food was very popular with the American and British troops as it saved the use of the can opener. But, it is in 1970 when the kings of British humor, The Monty Python’s in their sketch, describe it as annoying, repetitive and inevitable.

This in view of the fact that when trying to order food in a cafeteria, all the dishes on the menu contained the food, which became somewhat invasive.

Is then when almost half a century later, this description is not at all funny and it fits perfectly with those emails or advertising messages that are received on the Internet.

What are the main forms of SPAM that exist?

Like we have already said, all ads, images or links can be considered spam that we often find on websites. But what ways are there to find it?

We will mention them below:

Advertising for adults

Typically includes product offerings designed to enhance or enhance sexual potency, erotic or pornographic advertisements that direct the user to subscription or paid sites.

Adult spam


It is an illegal data collection technique that consists of duplicating web pages by making the user believe that they are in the original. This is commonly done with bank pages where notices are sent to access them. In this case, what hackers do is update data such as passwords, expiration dates, account numbers, etc.


Propaganda on health and medicine

They are starred by miraculous products, magical therapies or shamans that they say surpass the specialists of medicine and nutrition. These are usually published in magazines that use “before and after” montages.

Drug spam

Computers and Internet

It includes hardware and software offerings, as well as services aimed at website owners, such as hosting, web optimization, domain registration, and so many more.

Internet spam

Advertising on finance and economic opportunities

They generally offer insurance of all kinds, debt reduction services, low-interest loans, and investments that seem advantageous. The desire to have a stable economic life causes many to fall for this type of propaganda.

financial spam

Messages about educational and professional content

They usually arise in economic crises and when unemployment increases in a population. They offer offers for seminars, trainings and online degrees that will allow them to access secured jobs in exchange for seemingly nothing.

education spam

On what platforms can we find unwanted messages?

As there are no perfect anti-spam measures that fully protect a communication medium, no platform is exempt from suffering from this problem that spreads not only in the most popular, but also reaches the least frequented and most private that exist.

In what follows, we will show you the most bombarded by the subject in question:


Spam is also considered when a user posts something that has nothing to do with the group’s topic of conversation. Likewise, when a person repeatedly posts messages solely for the purpose of increasing their rank or number of messages in the forum.

spam in gmail forum

Social networks

These consist of sending invitations, job offers, among other unsolicited advertisements. Adding to this comments on social networks, blogs or videos of Youtube They do not add anything to the content and are only looking for a promotion, new subscribers or a link.

spam on facebook


This is known as the one that is carried out by telephone through the operators through text messages. That is, it is all that advertising communication in which there is no prior consent. In the same way, this is considered unsolicited commercial communications.

unsolicited text messages


Generally this is reflected in social network chats, and consists of repeatedly putting the same thing so that messages from other members cannot be read. They are chains where instructions or promotions of a product are given.

spam in chat


Spam is also called the calls made by telephone companies at any time, or from organizations that seek your participation in certain contests.

unsolicited calls

Unsolicited communications in the fax

Although at first it was not considered as spam, currently they are also punished by the Spanish Data Protection Agency, since sending this type of messages goes against the General Telecommunications Law and data protection regulations.

Spam via fax

Advertisements on the street

Although it is not a platform, we can mention it as one of the ways to find this, especially in cities, as it is very common to find while walking advertisements pasted on walls, poles, cars, among other structures. In the same way, we can witness this when they make us take a piece of paper almost out of obligation describing something that we may not care about.

Advertising in the city

Risks of SPAM on the Internet Why is it so bad?

This pile of junk mail is not only annoying due to the fact that the mailbox is filled with unwanted messages, but also it can also be very dangerous.

While it is true that this does not belong to the group of virtual attacks and is most often used for marketing purposes, many cybercriminals can also use it as a means to deliver malware to devices and steal user account login data. In particular to online banking services through techniques of phishing or identity theft.

More than 40% of spam aims to steal personal information for illicit purposes, which can cause significant financial damage to the user. For this reason, it is clear that it is not always for commercial purposes.

theft of personal data

We can classify online criminals basically into two groups. Scammers who send misleading advertising or sell “miracle products”, and hackers that use emails as a means of virus distribution that can give full access to the recipient’s device.

How can I protect myself from spam messages and emails?

The shipment of this is considered worldwide as good customs, but As we have already mentioned there is no measure that provides perfect protection against it. Therefore, you must decide which of the possibilities listed below is the most applicable. to avoid receiving unwanted messages:

  • Use alias accounts: do not use your primary email account in newsgroups, guestbooks, or forums; otherwise it uses alias accounts that you can delete after using them. You should only share your private account with people you really want to communicate with.

log in

  • Implement anti-spam software on your computers: you have the possibility to configure your account in such a way that all incoming messages are rejected through anti-spam software. They have built-in smart software filters to recognize these messages and move them from the inbox to the junk folder.

spam filters

  • Be careful what you click: You should not reply to spam messages, nor press links, files or images on them, because they may contain dangerous scripts and in this way they will also have the possibility to verify that your account exists, which could result in an increase in spam.

dangerous files

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉

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