Why Is Spam Still a Thing in 2018?

Posted on by Libby White | Updated:
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Spam, spam, spam, and more spam!!! The first promotional email was sent in 1978, though it wasn’t known as spam way back when, and even before that unsolicited messages and scams were sent across telegraph. Just think, people have been trying to send unwanted messages long before email was even a thing! Fast-forward a bit, and spam email becomes a major issue in the early 1990’s. Quickly, the Internet found its way into individual households and became easily accessible to the majority of the population. Soon, more and more companies realized email could be used for cheap or free advertising and marketing. This created a market for email marketing, and spam was born*.

The History Behind the Name Spam

The name spam was actually first used in April 1993, when unwanted posts on USENET were sent to the newsgroup network. Two hundred messages were accidentally posted to the site. In the aftermath, readers of the group made jokes about the incident, one of whom used the word “spam.” Since then, any type of mass deployed content has been marked as such. Fast forward just a few years to today, and we all know how frustrating and malicious mass emails can be. Spammers have found new tricks and ways to flood your inbox with promotions. This then can cause major mail outages with just a few clicks of a button.

Spammers have found new tricks to flood your inbox and cause email outages

Regulations are Created

Over time, the method of handling spam has evolved as spammers find new and innovative ways to bypass filtering. In 1996, the MAPS (Mail Abuse Prevention System), was used to keep a list of IP addresses which sent out spam or engaged in other objectionable behavior. This list became the Real-time Blackhole List (RBL). The RBL is still used today to help keep your mailbox clear of unwanted spam and other types of emails, like phishing. In the 2000’s, SpamAssasin became the most-used email filtering service, along with other server-side spam filters like DSPAM, a free software spam filter.

Consequently, this all led to the 2003 Sender Policy Framework creation and the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. SPF is a simple email-validation system designed to detect email spoofing and help defend against its use. Also in 2003, the CAN-SPAM Act was signed into law by President George W. Bush. This act established the first nationally recognized standards for the sending of commercial email. It required the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the provisions in the act. This marked the beginning of a never-ending fight to end spam and keep your mailboxes safe.

Where does it come from?

The term “spam” comes from the British comedy troupe Monty Python and their legendary sketch in Flying Circus. In this act, a group of Vikings sing a chorus of “Spam, spam, spam…” at increasing volumes. The historic significance lies in the unsolicited email sent to a large number of recipients, thus “drowning out” normal communication on the internet.

What Does Liquid Web Do To Protect Me?

Liquid Web works in conjunction with the CAN-SPAM Act by monitoring email traffic using SpamAssasin, The Spamhaus Project, using SPF and DKIM, and additional spam-filtering through MailSecure. MailSecure was a product created by Barracuda, which filters spam and allows for whitelisting, blacklisting, and more. It was a great addition for your cPanel email service and when using things like Thunderbird, SquirrelMail and Horde Mail. However, as spammers gain more tools to use to send you unsolicited emails, Liquid Web also increases its efforts to help stop spam before it even reaches your inbox!

As Spammers gain more tools to send you unsolicited emails, Liquid Web increases efforts to stop spam from reaching your inbox

This is where our email product Premium Business Email and Hosted Exchange service comes in. Premium Business Email provides more comprehensive spam filtering than MailSecure, let’s take a look at the differences!

Liquid Web's Premium Business Email provides more comprehensive spam filtering than MailSecure

As you can see, Premium Business Email is designed with your security in mind. It offers many features that are self-controlled and can filter spam in a more efficient way than MailSecure and most other add-on email service features. Liquid Web researched and found the most comprehensive solution to provide you an email service that far exceeds your cPanel email, no more having to contact our Helpful Humans regularly for whitelisting and blacklisting, those features are at your fingertips all within your email control panel.

Want to learn more?

Let us do the heavy lifting when you get Liquid Web’s Premium Business Email.

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About the Author

Libby White

Former technical writer for Liquid Web. When Libby is not writing for work, she spends time learning more about digital & technical writing, web development, hanging with her family, and taking photographs with her Nikon. Always learning, always growing, never stopping.

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