Any internet user with an email account understands how spam can be a total inconvenience. Each and every day, literally tens to hundreds of these unsolicited messages flood a user's inbox. Regardless of its annoyance, spam has become one of the most common ways to advertise on the web. The method is similar to how retail companies distribute catalogs to potential customers via post mail. So what's the difference? Why does spam seem to be much more of an inconvenience?
One reason spam seems unethical and inconvenient is because it has the ability to disrupt a user's life, especially since so many of us rely on email these days. While some may agree that these unsolicited messages are not as annoying as frequent calls from a telemarketer, spam has proven to very intrusive. You also tend to receive much more of it as opposed to catalogs and telemarketing calls.
Spamming beyond email
While email accounts are the most targeted victims, spammers have become more innovative by using platforms such as blogs, instant messaging, and social networking sites, such as MySpace and FaceBook, to deliver their messages.
Some types of spam are displeasing and outright unbearable. Many of them contain ridiculous "get rich quick" gimmicks or the offensive marketing of adult products and services. After filtering out a few of these messages, more often than not, they come right back, as spammers are very persistent.
The lie of opt-out subscriptions
One of the most inconvenient forms of spam supposedly gives the recipient a chance to opt-out and no longer receive the messages. These spammers claim to only send mail to web surfers who have requested it. In truth, most of the users on these lists have not consciously agreed to receive spam. Many of them may have typed their email address onto a website, unaware that it would be viewed by the public. These spammers claim to have good intent because they give recipients a chance to opt-out or unsubscribe to the content. The truth is that these spammers are often the most difficult to stop because of their treacherous behavior. Clicking on an opt-out or unsubscribe link is one of the worst things a spam recipient can do it. This shows the sender that you are a person that reads these messages - which helps them develop new strategies to become more of an inconvenience. On top of that, clicking on these links will only bring more spam to your inbox.
Understanding the level
of aggravation spam brings to a user, most internet service providers now offer
complimentary filters and blockers.
While these are helpful to some extent, they often cause more of an
inconvenience when an individual is forced to seek out and spend money on
programs of better quality.
Spam has been around since the beginning of the internet and seems to be here to stay. While completely eliminating it may be impossible, a user can limit the level of personal inconvenience by not opening messages they did not request, never clicking on links found in spam, and being cautious of where and how they enter details of their email account on the web.