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    Q495: What is spam mail?

    Unsolicited e-mail, sometimes referred to as 'spam ' or 'unsolicited commercial email' (UCE), is electronic mail which is unwarranted and sent for the purpose of selling the recipient goods or services. It is most often used for multi-level marketing schemes, get-rich-quick schemes, work-at-home schemes or for questionable products or pornography.

    Several years ago 'spammers' developed software that could lift all the email addresses from web pages. The software is similar to that used by search engines to index websites.

    Automated 'robots' follow links from one website to another and trawl pages looking for any text that contain the @ symbol. These are assumed to be email addresses and are taken for later use in mass e-mailing.

    Some spam mail appears to be from people you would know with the title being something similar to Re:Hello. You are more likely to open one of these e-mails if you think it is a reply to an e-mail that you have previously sent. If you do not recognise the e-mail address then do not open the e-mail as this could infect your computer with a virus.

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