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About Spam

Spam is defined as unsolicited e-mails or newsgroup postings, generally of a bulk or commercial nature, although not always. To understand the problem of spam, you must first understand what is most often advertised in spam. There are very few reputable marketers using spam to advertise goods and services.

Most common spam messages advertise:

  • Chain letters
  • Pyramid schemes (including Multilevel Marketing, or MLM)
  • Other "Get Rich Quick" or "Make Money Fast" (MMF) schemes
  • Offers and ads for pornographic Web sites
  • Offers of software for collecting e-mail addresses and sending unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE)
  • Offers of bulk e-mailing services for sending UCE
  • Stock offerings for unknown start-up corporations
  • Health products and remedies
  • Illegally pirated software ("Warez")

How Filters for Spam

Some workplaces and other establishments use open relay mail servers. An open relay is a mail server that will accept and deliver mail anywhere. Many people that send spam use these relays to send spam to avoid detection or rate limiting by their own Internet Service Providers.

When mail is sent via an open relay mail server to a e-mail address, the message is blocked. GRU does this because blocking mail that originates from open relay servers can significantly reduce the amount of spam that you receive. This ensures better quality for our customers.

Ways to Deter Spam

NEVER RESPOND TO SPAM. When you respond to a spam message, even if it's to remove your name from their mailing list, you're actually confirming that your e-mail address is legitimate and working. After that confirmation, you'll receive numerous more spam messages.

DON’T POST YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS ON WEBSITES. One method of collecting e-mail addresses to which spam can be sent is to locate e-mail address on the Internet. Those people who make spam mail a business have software that "harvests" these e-mail addresses. This software crawls through the Internet searching for e-mail addresses. When it finds one, it catalogs it on a database of other e-mail addresses to be used to send spam.

CREATE SEPARATE E-MAIL ADDRESSES. GRU.Net enables you to create up to five e-mail accounts with your service plan. We recommend that you create one account specifically for online shopping, games, auctions, and other services. That way, any SPAM messages get sent to your public e-mail address, and your remaining four e-mail addresses can be used for messages from friends, family, and coworkers. By using a different e-mail address than the one you use to correspond with friends and family, you're likely to reduce the amount of spam you must sort through each day.

DON’T GIVE YOUR E-MAIL ADDRESS WITHOUT KNOWING HOW IT WILL BE USED. Unfortunately, SPAM is a part of daily life on the Internet. With the latest technological advances, Web sites can record who’s visiting them, e-tailers can track shoppers, and your e-mail address can be passed from one site to the next. Many legitimate businesses post privacy policies that state the business does not sell your personal information, including your e-mail address, but the best policy is to not give out your e-mail address. Look for and read these "Terms of Use" or "Privacy Statement" policies before submitting your e-mail address to the site.

USE A SPAM FILTER. Filtering software enables your e-mail client to automatically delete messages based on things like the origin of the message, the sender’s address, or the content in the Subject line. While there is no such thing as a perfect filter, anti-spam software can help keep spam at manageable level. GRU.Net DOES use anti-spam filters for e-mail, but some spam will always manage to sneak by. You can also use filtering software on your computer. To find a filter, you can search Google using the search phrase "spam filter software".

DON'T BUY ANYTHING ADVERTISED IN SPAM. Although morally and legally questionable, spam is a successful business because spam messages convince people to purchase a product. If no one buys the materials or services advertised in spam messages, companies will quit paying for their products to be advertised in spam messages.

FORWARD SPAM TO THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION. Even if you do all of these things to prevent spam, you could very well still receive spam. The United States Congress recognizes that spam is a growing problem, and legal ramifications for those people that send spam are being debated. In the meantime, any spam messages that are illegal based on specific criteria laid out by the Federal Trade Commission are being investigated. When you receive a spam message that you might feel is legally questionable or deceptive (such as pyramid schemes), you can forward that message with all headers to the Federal Trade Commisssion ( For more information on the FTC's crackdown on spam, you can read this Newsbytes article.

For more information about spam

CAUCE, The Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email is an ad hoc, all volunteer organization, created by Netizens to advocate for a legislative solution to the problem of UCE.

SpamCop includes several useful tools for users tired of receiving SPAM messages.

GRU Flushables