Spam – Concept, prevention and how to combat it

We explain what Spam is and for what purpose this malicious message acts. Also, the different ways to prevent and combat it.

Spam is generally a message with advertising content.

What is spam?

The term Spam is a word in English that refers to junk mail or junk messages from the Internet, that is: unsolicited, unwanted and / or messages with unknown sender, sent in large quantities and usually with advertising content. This term has also given rise to the action of the spamming and their equivalents in Spanish like spasm.

The word Spam historically comes from the Second World War, when a famous brand of canned meat bearing that name was massively distributed to the Allied soldiers at the front (contraction of Spiced Ham, seasoned ham).

The term became popular after the British comedians of Monty Python in 1970 used it as part of a skit in which they were served Spam to eat every day, in their series Monty Python’s Flying Circus.

It is a common practice today, whose first practice took place at the dawn of the internet, supposedly in 1994, when the law firm Canter and Siegel announced the services of their firm through a mass message on Usenet (User’s Network).

Other versions claim that in 1978, when the Internet was still for strictly military use (called ARPANET), a massive message from the computer company DEC was leaked promoting its new product.

Spam it is frequent in any of the current means of electronic communication, particularly in electronic mail or e-mail, and in instant messaging services.

This term also serves to refer to viruses and pieces of malicious software that, scattered on the Internet, bombard you without the user’s permission with misleading advertising, pornography offers, gambling, dating sites and other similar services.

Prevention and combat of spam

The most common recommendations to combat Spam are:

  • Use a firewall. It is a discriminate blocking program of the signals that enter and leave the computer through the Internet, to prevent other users from accessing the information on our system, or that malicious programs can access our connection and spread their seed to our contacts.
  • Use antivirus and antimalware. exist programs specifically designed to clean viruses and invasive programs (Trojans) from a computer, many of which can be downloaded for free or purchased for little money. Its use is recommended to carry out regular maintenance of the computer or to prevent said malicious software from being installed on our system.
  • Do not open suspicious messages. Especially those emails whose senders are not known or reliable (sometimes it is necessary to check the address from which they write to us), regardless of what it says in its sender. Most infectious emails promise easy money, free services, or big surprise prizes. None of that is real.
  • Do not fall for misleading online advertising. A common way to get infected is by clicking on attractive advertising offers, which often lead to dead ends and illegally downloading software. You should be wary of offers that seem too good to be true, and under no circumstances should you download, much less run unknown software and / or downloaded from suspicious pages.