What is spam? How do spammers get their unwanted offers into your in-box? And how can the flow of electronic junk mail be stopped? Filmed in news report style, this program explains how shady advertisers send spam and then presents proactive strategies for combating it: spam filters, blacklists and white lists, opt-in and opt-out protocols, anti-spam legislation with real teeth, and greater cooperation between legitimate businesses, Internet and online service providers, and consumers. Spammer techniques—how spammers harvest e-mail addresses, use open relays and spoofing to cover their tracks, and more—are revealed.
1. What Is Spam? Spam, or unsolicited, bulk commercial email, clogs up inboxes and costs companies billions of dollars each year in employee time and anti-spam software. Although spam is an effective way to advertise, it slows down the Internet for everyone. 2. Spam Scams The sinister side to span is its content, including pornography and the illegal sale of prescription drugs; threats of viruses, worms, and hoax emails; and "phishing" attacks. 3. Who Are the Spammers? Spammers generate email addresses by using name dictionaries, trawling the Internet, and buying lists of names. Most spam is not from legitimate companies. Spammers hide their identities by using open relays and spoofing names. 4. Solutions: Technological Filters identify emails with large numbers of addresses and key words. Emails identified falsely as spam are called false positives. Blacklists and white lists help recipients control incoming emails. New "Sender ID" technology will make senders accountable. 5. Solutions: Legal Spam is legally controlled in many countries. Opt in laws emphasize personal privacy and consent must be given before span is sent. Opt out laws favor business rights. Unsolicited emails must contain legitimate ways not to receive more spam. 6. Solutions: Personal Personal practices for controlling spam include "don’t try, buy, or reply"; unsubscribing from legitimate spam; deleting illegitimate spam; and using filters, blacklists, white lists, and anti-virus software. 7. The Future and Spam Experts forecast that spam will only become a greater problem. But with email being so popular, consumers have powerful allies, such as the large companies who are investing and developing efficient email systems to minimize spam.
Grade: 6-8, 9-12
Time: 30 Minutes