WHY is junk email called Spam?

Email SPAM, also referred to as junk email or simply SPAM, is unsolicited messages sent in bulk by email, also known as “spamming.”

The name comes from a Monty Python sketch, (watch it, below!) where the name of the canned pork product, SPAM, is annoying and unavoidable. Just like SPAM email.

Email SPAM has steadily grown since the early 1990s, and by 2014 it’s estimated to account for 90% of total email traffic.

WHY is junk email called Spam? Image of SPAM in a can

Fake Copyright Infringement SPAM

Be on the lookout for fake copyright warnings that may arrive via the contact form on your website. The email usually points to a Google site that can trick you into installing ransomware. DO NOT click. If clicked, the link could download malware onto your device. Malware can give the attacker access to your device, steal information, encrypt files for a ransom, or spy on your activity, among other attacks.

I Repete…DO NOT Click!

Email spam is not only annoying but also dangerous. Email SPAM may contain links that lead to phishing websites or sites that are hosting malware or include malware as file attachments. If a message seems like SPAM, it probably is. Don’t click on any links contained in the message. Doing this can lead spammers to access your information and/or share your email address with other SPAM companies. This can lead to more SPAM.

Do NOT Reply!

While it might be tempting to reply to a SPAM email or request to be permanently removed from their contacts, do not respond. Just trash it. Responding in any way can lead to you receiving even more SPAM, because you just let them know that your email account is active.

Where Did They Get My Email Address?

Spammers collect email addresses from customer lists, newsgroups, and viruses that harvest users’ address books. These collected email addresses are frequently sold to other spammers.

SPAM is the trademarked name of a canned meat product (“spicy meat and ham”) that was first produced by Hormel Foods Corp. in Austin, Minn., in 1937 and became widely known from its use by U.S. Armed Forces during World War II.

The use of the term to mean unwanted mass e-mail derives from a famous Monty Python sketch, first broadcast in 1970, where a couple ordering breakfast is confronted with a menu that is heavy on one specific ingredient, as you can see in this video.

Waitress: Well, there’s egg and bacon; egg sausage and bacon; egg and spam; egg bacon and spam; egg bacon sausage and spam; spam bacon sausage and spam; spam egg spam spam bacon and spam; spam sausage spam spam bacon spam tomato and spam …

Chorus of Vikings (chanting): Spam spam spam spam …

Waitress: … spam spam spam egg and spam; spam spam spam spam spam spam baked beans spam spam spam …

Vikings (singing): Spam! Lovely spam! Lovely spam!

The wife doesn’t want spam, but she has little choice.

Pretty well sums up most people’s attitude toward unwanted commercial e-mail.

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