Spam is a catch-all term used to describe unwanted and usually commercialized email, particularly email that it sent to a wide array of people all at once. At best, spam is considered an annoyance, sort of like the email version of telemarketing; at worst, spam contains hidden viruses that can infect your computer.

To prevent spam, use a spam filter. These work as a sort of sieve for incoming email, sifting out the “bad” (spam) and dropping it in a separate folder while letting the “good” (everything else) go into your inbox. You can further protect yourself by practicing good email protocol.

Email protocol tips

  • Don’t open email or text messages from unknown senders.
  • If you suspect an email is spam, it probably is. Trust your gut and delete it.
  • If an email seems pornographic, has a too-good-to-be-true offer, or presents a get-rich-quick scheme, it’s spam. Delete it immediately.