How Spam works

There’s lots of different type of “spam”: 

Spam is unsolicited messages sent over the Internet, typically to large numbers of users, for the purposes of advertising, phishing, spreading malware, etc.
Step 1: What is SPAM?
Spam, or Unsolicitored Bulk Email (UBE) is generally email marketing sent to you which you didn’t ask for. It operates on both a small and large-criminal scale. Some of the biggest criminal gangs in the World make millions from their spamming operations each year. Spam is when people have obtained your email address either fraudulently or they use a computer to guess it (they just search every possibility of the realm until it hits a real email account, they start with all the common first names). SPAM accounts for about 80% of all email traffic!
Step 2: What is not SPAM?
It’s a grey area when you decide which email adverts you haven;t asked to be sent to you and which ones you have – even if you don’t remember. For example, when you sign up to something, say an online service of some sort, there’s often a tick box which says something like “Tick here if you do not want us to share your information with carefully selected companies). Not ticking this box allows them to sell your details, including your email to anyone else (they are very rarely “careful” about it. You’ve then permitted other companies to legally send you email ads that are technically not spam – whether you want them or not. Once that list gets in the wrong hands, you’ll be getting real spam too.

Generally always tick that you do not want your information shared. For online forms use a temporary email alias or the spam-privacy feature of our web service (a temporary email based on your own that you can change from time to time)
Step 3: Genuine Email Adverts
Chances are you’ve signed up to something or bought something from on online store and they send you their regular newsletter or special offers. These often look like spam and may or may not be something you want to receive. Some companies emails look more like spam than others because they use similar software to send them out. These are ones which all email systems have difficulty in rating and often rate them incorrectly as spam. If ones you want are trapped in your HELD folder you can select them and click “Allow” or “Release” in your HELD folder (in webmail).
Step 4: Sexual/Explicit content 
These advertise viagra  etc. These are generally professional criminals. Generally easy to spot but very cleverly constructed emails. The sender is often faked and the content is sometimes disguised with believable email rather than keywords.
Step 5: Bank/Credit card scams 
Emails pretending to be from your bank or credit card company with fake links asking you to input your account details. The emails often are very similar to ones banks might send you and contain their logo and what appears to be a link to their website. The link may look like but may in fact take you to a different address (click on the link and it’ll open up our website).
It may even be something like - the domain you’ll end up going to is actually rather than your bank – it’s like being send to (domain names are read backwards) – this’ll take you to our web servers. Banks will NEVER ask you to follow links to their website and NEVER ask you to divulge this information. If in doubt contact your bank or login to your online banking in your normal way.
Step 6: Virus-based spam   
The email will often have a virus-ridden attachment, contain a program which will download a virus/spyware or have a link contained that will download unwanted files. You should always be cautious of opening any attachments or clicking on links.
Step 7: Email confirm scams  
These types of emails are designed to get you to confirm your email address is valid and that you are the type of person that will click through. They either contain utter rubbish or contain something you’re never going to be interested in. They try to get you to reply or to click the unsubscribe link – NEVER click the unsubscribe link unless you know for certain that the sender is genuine and that you may have subscribed in the first place. If you do click the links the senders will bombard you with more spam. Spammers are constantly trying to beat spam filters. We have one of the most advanced systems around but it still need constant monitoring and tweaking. If you do get a lot of spam you should adjust your spam settings in WebMail or contact us for help. For most users we stop 99% if not 100% of all spam.

As always, if you can’t find what you need here, or can’t make head-nor-tail of it, please email or call us – we’re always happy to help.
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