The unsolicited messages that internet users receive through emails are knowns as email spam (also, known as junk). According to internet experts, use of spam has proliferated ‘since the late 1990s, and it is now the most common challenge faced by web users. The email addresses of spam recipients are provided by spambots, which are automated sites which crawl the web searching for email addresses.
In this regard, Oliver King, the Semalt Customer Success Manager, deliberates common types of email spams, spamming techniques and ways of stopping spam messages.
There are various forms of email spams, the most common of which were created to enhance outright frauds or legit business schemes. Typically, spam is used in promoting access to weight loss programs, online gambling, job opportunities and inexpensive pharmaceutical drugs. Spam is used to conduct email scams. A well-known example is an advance-fee fraud where a victim receives email messages with an offer which purportedly results in a reward.
A fraudster presents a case where upfront cash is required from the victim before requesting for a lump sum that is shared amongst many online criminals. Once the payment is made, the fraudsters stop responding or invent new ways of asking for more money. Phishing emails are another form of fraudulent spams, whereby emails appearing as official communication from online processors, banks, and other money institutions are sent to individuals. Typically, phishing texts direct recipients to a website that resembles official organization’s site, and a user is prompted to provide personal details such as credit card and login information. Therefore, internet users are cautioned against opening spam emails, clicking or responding to the messages. Additionally, spam email messages can introduce other types of malware through scripts, links to sites containing viruses or file attachments.
There are many techniques used by spammers to send junk emails to the recipients. Foremost, Botnets permits internet fraudsters to utilize C&C or command-and-control servers to both fetch and distribute spam widely. Secondly, Snowshoe spam is an approach of using an extensive range of emails and IP addresses with neutral reputations to broadly distribute spam. Finally, blank email spam is a growing technique among fraudsters. This entails sending email messages without subject and body lines.
The method can also be used in directory harvest, where email server is attacked with the aim of authenticating email addresses for distribution by determining invalid or bounced addresses. In this fraud, spammers do not require to enter message lines when sending emails. In other incidences, blank email texts can hide particular worms and viruses which can be spread via HTML codes integrated into an email.
Receiving some types of spam is unavoidable. However, internet users can minimize the amount of junk that hit their inboxes. Most email hosts provide spam filtering to move suspicious messages into a junk folder. Deleting, blocking and reporting instances of junk emails is another way of preventing users from receiving spam mails into their inboxes. Extra protection can be achieved by adding a third party anti-spam filtering on email messages on local clients emails or even creating a whitelist that includes specific addresses or domains that a user trusts or is willing to receive emails.