- Spam is a brand of canned ham, or mass marketing junk emails sent out to millions of recipients without their request.
- Canned ham that you make a sandwich out of is an example of Spam.
- An email promising you that you can make $1 million from a work-at-home opportunity, which was sent out to millions of people who did not ask for the email, is an example of spam.
- The definition of spam is to send out unsolicited mass marketing emails.
When you send a million people an email to try to make money online by selling them a worthless product, this is an example of a time when you spam.
spam definition by Webster's New World
Origin: probably ultimately ; from Spam
spam definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- To send unsolicited e-mail to.
- To send (a message) indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups.
Origin: From Spam (probably inspired by a comedy routine on the British television series Monty Python's Flying Circus, in which the word is repeated incessantly).
- spamˈmer noun
spam - Business Definition
spam - Computer Definition
Unsolicited e-mail, or junk mail.The term refers to Hormel's ever-popular canned meat product made of processed pork and ham. The analogy supposedly is that junk e-mail is broadcast all over, just as the Hormel meat product spatters when hurled against a solid object with sufficient force. No one likes spam, the junk mail. Lots of people, on the other hand, love SPAM
Unsolicited, unwanted, impersonal email. A U.K.-based Spamhaus Project tracks the Internet’s spammers, gangs, and services, as well as provides spam protection for Internet networks. The Spamhaus Project team also partners with law enforcement agents to identify and catch spammers worldwide. This group says that email can be regarded as “spam” if it has all three of the following attributes: (1) the receiver’s personal identity is irrelevant because the email message sent is actually applicable to multitudes of other receivers; (2) the receiver has not given explicit consent for the email to be sent; (3) the sending and receiving of the email message appears to the receiver to give a “disproportionate benefit” to the sender.
Spam wastes the time and the resources of the receivers. Spam also frequently includes material that many receivers find offensive, such as the marketing of sexual enhancement devices or child pornography.
In the United States, spam reportedly costs nearly $21.6 billion annually in lost productivity, according to the 2004 National Technology Readiness Survey (NTRS). The survey, completed annually, tracks U.S. consumers’ online opinions and behaviors. The loss estimate of more than $21 billion was based on U.S. users’ reports that they spend an average of three minutes per day deleting spam at work. With about 170 million U.S. adults online at work, that results in 22.9 million lost hours a week, or $21.6 billion in lost productivity annually when the average wage is factored into the calculation.
Early in 2005, Lycos Europe began offering computer users a weapon against spam-emitting servers. The weapon is actually a screensaver program that automatically visits the Website advertised in the spam. The idea behind this scheme is to have enough of these screensavers running to slow down the Website or make it inaccessible. Lycos Europe encouraged its 22 million users to download the screensaver for their own good, but, they affirmed, anyone who has a computer is welcome to download it.
During the first week of February 2005, however, security experts warned that spam levels could increase drastically in future years because spammers have found a new way to deliver spam. Spamhaus said that a new piece of malware, a Trojan, has been created that gains control of a PC and then uses it to send spam through the mail server of that PC’s Internet Service Provider (ISP). Because the spam appears to come from the ISP, it is next to impossible for an anti-spam blacklist to stop it.
Demon Spam-Filtering Service. Frequently Asked Questions. [Online, 2004.] Demon Spam-Filtering Service Website. http://www.demon.nl/eng/products/ services/spamfilterfaq1.html; Ilett, D. Spammers tricking ISPs Into Sending Junk Mail. [Online, February 2, 2005.] CNET Networks, Inc. Website. http://news.zdnet.co.uk/internet/ 0,39020369,39186364,00.htm; In Brief. Program Hits Spammers. The Globe and Mail, December 2, 2004, p. B11; In Brief. Spam Wastes $22.9 Million Hours a Week, Survey Finds. The Globe and Mail, February 9, 2005, p. C8.
(1) See Web spam.
(2) E-mail that is not requested. Also called "junk e-mail," "gray mail," "unsolicited commercial e-mail" (UCE) and "unsolicited bulk e-mail" (UBE), the term is both a noun (the e-mail message) and a verb (to send it). Spam is mostly used to advertise products and sometimes to broadcast political or social commentary. The term was supposedly coined from a Monty Python comedy sketch in the early 1970s, in which every meal in a restaurant contained SPAM, Hormel's processed meat (in England in World War II, SPAM was always available while other foods were rationed). Spam may also be an acronym for "sales promotional advertising mail" or "simultaneously posted advertising message." A Social Plague Like viruses, spam has become a scourge on the Internet as more than 200 billion unwanted messages are transmitted daily. Unfortunately, as an advertising medium, spam produces results (see below). In order to reduce spam for their customers, ISPs have added an enormous number of servers that do only filtering (see spam filter). On January 1, 2004, the CAN-SPAM act became law in the U.S., which provides severe penalties for spammers, if they can be located (see CAN-SPAM). See image spam, SPIM, SPIT, mobile phone spam, form spam, mail bomb, Joe Job, SPF, letter bomb, spamdexing, Blacklist of Internet Advertisers, munging, RBL, ROKSO, MAPS, spam relay, spam trap, botnet, rogue site and opt-in.
Why Do They Do It?Simple math. Suppose that out of 4,000 spam messages, one person buys something, and the spammer makes $1. If two million spams were sent that day, the spammer made $500, and the job took a half hour to set up. A few hours per week could yield $100,000 a year. Is that enough incentive for techie teenagers, or would they rather go back to their paper routes? Of course, consistent revenue is not guaranteed, but there is ample motivation. Filters Create Even More Spam As spam filtering becomes more sophisticated, spammers send even more spam to make the same profit, but e-mail address lists can be purchased for very little or hijacked. There is a thriving business selling lists to spammers as well as lists of compromised computers (see zombie). There are even spam service providers that will do all the work (gotta love that entrepreneurial spirit!). Easy to Rationalize Spammers justify their existence by citing the huge amount of physical junk mail sent via the postal system, wasting trees and other resources. They also claim advertisers have been polluting the environment with radio, TV, bus and billboard ads for decades. A slight point perhaps, but a weak one. Nevertheless, a standard for authenticating e-mail could eliminate most spam. Unfortunately, that can take years to implement worldwide (see e-mail authentication).
spam - Cultural Definition
Unsolicited, undesired e-mail. Also used as a verb. Spam is the e-mail version of junk mail.
- The name comes from a Monty Python comedy skit about a restaurant that served only Spam.
spam - Investment & Finance Definition
Unsolicited, unwanted junk e‑mail that is sent to thousands, or even millions, of people at the same time.