What is a Spam?

Spam refers to unsolicited or junk email. It may contain links that apear to be to familiar websites, but in fact lead to phishing websites or malware hosts.

What is a Phishing Email?

Phishing emails are designed to trick you into replying to them with personal information like your username and password, your birthday or financial account numbers. In addition to asking for personal information, a phishing message typically:

  • Wants you to take action (Examples: revalidate immediately, reply at once, upgrade now.)
  • Has a close deadline for acting (Examples: immediately, within 24 hours, today.)
  • Features poor grammar and spelling (Examples: we advice you, we are contact you, until you are approve and validate.)
  • Threatens to remove access to a service (Examples: email, online banking, a social networking site, PayPal)
  • Tries to trigger an emotional response — such as panic — to goad you into responding with the information they request.

Phishing messages can be sent from email addresses of people you know or sent from suspicious-looking email addresses. They may have either a generic recipient (like email recipient, members, or UGA) or a blank in the 'To' field.

Why is it called Spam?

One theory proposes that Spam email is named for Spam luncheon meat by way of a Monty Python sketch. This 3 ½ minute vingett first aired in 1970 where Spam, uttered over 132 times, occurs in every menu item, every conversation, and every actor’s name. The lunch meat seems just as inescapible in the sketch as it is in our email today.