What is Spam, and what are its types?

Exchanging messages with family, friends, or acquaintances, either for work or personal reasons, is the main reason why a person creates an email account.

However, we must consider that it is customary to start receiving dozens of messages that you never expected to get once you have them, which does not interest you. But we know that you are suddenly curious to know where they come from and the meaning of these unwanted emails that arrive at your Gmail, Hotmail, etc., account.

These unwanted correspondences are known as “Spam,” a computer phenomenon that intensifies day after day every time technology evolves and new solutions arise to neutralize it.

Spammers, dedicated to this laboriously, also perform maneuvers to reinforce and innovate their skills to evade the user’s countermeasures.

In this article, we will dedicate ourselves to offer you information on the also called spam mails and the types that exist. We will also determine the intentions by which many execute this phenomenon and how you can recognize it.

Next, we will begin by talking to you about what spam is and its purpose:

What is spam, and what is its purpose?

Those unwanted emails that frequently arrive in your Gmail or Hotmail account, among others, are known as “Spam,” a form that seeks to oversaturate the Internet by sending multiple copies of the same message to those people who, in a certain way, would never agree to receive them.

In the beginning, this term was labeled for those junk mails that entered your account without being requested. Still, as time went by, it expanded its way of reaching users, thanks to the various types of communication that have emerged online.

This type of disclosure usually reaches millions of accounts simultaneously, once they are sent in countless quantities. Instead of using advertisements and campaigns through well-known websites, most advertisers take advantage of this medium and collect email addresses from public or private sources and then introduce their promotional emails in a fraction of minutes.

Consequently, they can make a substantial profit if even a tiny part of these recipients are convinced by the advertisement and buy their product.

Did you know that in 2020, nearly 85% of all emails are were spam?

Between June 2020 and January 2021, the average daily spam volume dropped from 316.39 billion to just over 122 billion.

Origin of Spam

It is more than evident that you are curious to know the origin of the word “Spam.” Therefore, it is vital for you to understand that this terminology came about during the Second World War, after the well-known American company Hormel Foods launched its canned meat called “Hormel’s Spiced Ham,” translated into Spanish means ham with spices. From the contraction of which the word in question arises.

This food was trendy among the American and British platoons. It saved them the tedious task of using the can opener since it came with a simple opening system, or as we usually call it, an easy opener. By default, during the 1970s, the kings of humor known as The Monty Python’s, described canned ham in their sketches as annoying, repetitive, and unavoidable.

The descriptive form that these humorists gave to the vianda was that every time they ordered food in a cafeteria, there was no dish on the menu that did not include the food, which turned out to be somewhat invasive. After that, it took half a century for the description, which was not funny at all, to be perfectly embedded in the messages or advertising spaces that invade emails, including other types of Internet accounts, such as the social networks Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The primary forms of spam that exist

We have already explained that spam is the unwanted advertisement that arrives in your email to saturate the Internet. We have also clarified that its origin came from the manufacture of a canned ham during the Second World War. But you know, what are the ways to find it?

These are listed below

Adult advertising

Adult website spam.

Commonly, this type of advertisement is a series of proposals about products designed exclusively to regenerate or increase your sexual potency through erotic and pornographic ads that guide you to paid sites or subscriptions.


One of the main objectives of this technique, and greater risk, is that the sender obtains from the receiver his personal data of financial accounts to accede to them and do the use they want across the Internet. Their work consists of redoubling the web pages to make the user believe he is accessing the original one.

As we said, phishing focus on sending bank pages so that Internet users can access them and obtain their personal data from their bank account. Once the information has been collected, they update the password, expiration dates, account numbers and can even unban the person who fell into their trap in a matter of minutes.

Greece is the first country in the world where phishing takes advantage of Internet users to scam them, as it has 26.20%, increasing 10.34 percentage points from 2018 when it was in sixth place.

Propaganda about health and medicine

Some spammers take advantage of people’s health conditions to advertise articles related to miraculous effects, magic therapies, or shamans. They make people believe that they surpass specialists in medicine and nutrition. Their publications usually appear in magazines that resort to “before and after” montages.

Computers and the Internet

This type of “Spam” attracts those who work or are passionate about computers with offers of hardware and software and sending services to website owners about hosting, web optimization, domain registration, and many more.

Advertising about finances and economic opportunities

Some people feel or find themselves financially unstable and are looking for alternatives to obtain income. This page is in charge of making these individuals believe that they can solve their economic life, offering all kinds of insurance. These may include debt reduction services, loans with low interest rates, and investments that seem advantageous.

Messages about educational and professional content

Once the unemployment rate rises and the economic crisis strikes, these types of advertisements emerge that assure you of a certificate with which you can access a job. The offers are usually seminars, training, and online degrees in exchange for seemingly nothing.

On which platforms can we find unwanted messages?

Unfortunately, there are no perfect anti-spam measures that can completely defend any media, so there is no platform exempt from suffering from this problem. In addition to spreading on the most popular ones, it sneaks into the least frequented and most private ones that exist.

Therefore, we will show you the most popular media for the topic to be covered:


When in a group conversation, someone sends a topic that is not related to what they are discussing, it is considered spam. Even more so, when that person repeatedly sends such messages, with the firm purpose of increasing his rank or number of messages in the forum.

Social Networking

Social networks are also used to apply “Spam.” Internet users’ accounts may receive invitations, job offers, among other unwanted advertisements.

To these messages they receive on social networks, blogs, or YouTube videos, they add comments that provide no interest to the content, which only seek a promotion, new subscribers, or a link.


Some spammers manage to enter the cell phone operators; this sends their advertisements to users through text messages. All advertising information that reaches cell phones is sent without the prior consent of the recipient. Likewise, this is considered unsolicited commercial communications.


In some social network chats, these advertisements are reflected, which consist of frequently posting the same message so that other members’ messages cannot be read. These become chains that give instructions or promotions of a product.


There are unknown calls that are also known as “Spam.” Some usually come from telephone companies at any time of the day or from organizations looking for your participation in particular contests.

Street advertisements

Although this does not represent any digital platform, it can also be mentioned as an unwanted mail that invades most cities. It is expected that you walk through the streets of your town and see advertisements stuck to walls, poles, cars, among other structures.

Likewise, we can observe them in the hands of those people, which makes us take it by an obligation on a piece of paper where something is described that perhaps does not matter to us.

Risks of SPAM on the Internet Why is it so bad?

These countless junk mails are not only tedious because they fill your mailbox with unwanted messages; they can even become a danger to your social account.

Although, in a way, “Spam” is not part of the group of virtual attacks and is most often used for marketing purposes, there are many cybercriminals who can use it as a means to deliver malware to devices and illegally take access data to user accounts.

Peculiarly, to access online banking services through phishing or phishing techniques.

Approximately 40 percent of spam is aimed at stealing personal information; with an illicit purpose that could lead to substantial financial damage to the user. This means that it is not always for commercial purposes.

These online criminals can be classified into two groups. The scammers, who are those who demand misleading advertising or sell virtually “miracle products,”; and we have the hackers, who use emails as a means of distributing viruses that can give them full access to the recipient’s device.

How can I protect myself from spam and junk mail?

Spam or junk emails are considered worldwide as a good practice; however, as we mentioned, it does not provide any protection measure to receive them.

Because of it, you must consider which of the possibilities that we will raise to you. The following is the most applicable to avoid receiving unwanted messages:

Alias email accounts or self-destructing temporary email addresses. Keep your email account as far away as possible from newsgroups, guestbooks, or forums. To do so, use an alias account that you can delete after use in case you receive “Spam” mails. There, you will only broadcast your private account to people you want to communicate with.

Implement anti-spam software on your computers. This measure gives you the ability to configure your account to reject all incoming messages through anti-spam software automatically. These incorporate intelligent software filters that recognize messages and remove them to the inbox in a junk mail folder.

Be careful what you click on. Not every message you receive should be clicked on, as there are some emails that just by clicking on them, you get dangerous scripts, which in a way, can verify if your account exists, which could increase spam. You get dangerous scripts, which in a way, have the possibility to verify if your account exists, which could result in an increase in spam.

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