What is it? (Besides a canned meat product)
"Spam", in short, is mass unsolicited electronic junk mail.
Why call it "spam"?
The name comes from a skit by the British sketch-comedy group "Monty Python". In the skit, a group of Vikings begin chanting "spam, spam, spam" softly in the background. As the skit progressed, the chanting became louder and louder, eventually drowning out everything else. The name "spam" has become associated with junk e mail because, like in the skit, it began to drown out everything else. That and the word "spam" is much easier to remember than "unsolicited commercial e mail (UCE)", which is it's official name.
How did I get on a spam list?
Many sites collect information from visitors and sell that information to list broker, who in turn sells lists of hundreds to million of names and e-mail addresses to bulk e-mailers. Another method of spamming uses computers that e-mail millions of random addresses based on different versions of common names and e-mail portals. A different method uses computers that scan and "harvest" e-mail addresses from public forums or chats. Occasionally lists are the result of online theft or hacking.
Make It STOP!!
Unfortunately, stopping spam is very difficult and time consuming. There are, however, things you can do to stop spam.
How can I avoid getting on a spam list?
What are some common scams associated with spam?
Many spam e mails are part of scams that could lead to Identity Theft, here are a few of the common types of spam:
Overall, use common sense, if it is too good to be true, it isn't.