Spam is an umbrella term for unsolicited advertising and chain letters. A spammer is the person who sends these messages and spamming refers to the deed itself. Various studies report that the proportion of spam accounts for over 60% of global e-mail traffic.

Effects and risks

  • Working time lost by reading and then deleting the messages.
  • Immense load on IT infrastructure (Internet, mail servers)
  • No short e-mail addresses
    Spammers use programs that try out all combinations of short addresses (e.g. The use of a long e-mail address can afford a certain amount of protection (e.g.

  • Filters in e-mail programs
    Many e-mail programs have functions that allow incoming e-mail messages to be filtered.

  • Spam filter
    Solutions to minimise the problem of spam have also been developed for home users and small and medium-sized companies. These check incoming messages for certain criteria (e.g. subject line, sender address, keywords in e-mail text, etc.) and classify the messages as wanted or unwanted depending on the configured rules. The difficulty lies in the configuration of these rules, making maintenance of an effective spam filter time-consuming.

  • Use of blind carbon copies when sending e-mails to several recipients
    When sending e-mails, the e-mail addresses in the « To » line, i.e. the recipient, or in the « cc » (carbon copy) line can be seen by all recipients of the message. If the number of recipients is high, spammers could get hold of the e-mail addresses. When sending e-mails to several recipients, the addresses should be written in the « bcc » (blind carbon copy) line as the content of this line cannot be seen by the recipients.

More information about spam you will find on the website of the Federal Office of Communications (OFCOM).


Specialist staff
Last modification 28.10.2016

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