Email spam, also called junk email, refers to unsolicited bulk messages which are sent over email. A common problem faced by most people with an email ID, it gained popularity in the nineties.
To obtain the email IDs to which spam emails are sent, Spambots are used. These are automated programs that trawl the internet looking for addresses to send spam to. After accumulating enough email IDs, the spambots curate a list of emails to target. A single spam email is typically sent to millions of email IDs at a time. Since the chances of the recipients interacting with it are low, maximum numbers are targeted to get a response.
The word "spam" is derived from a Monty Python sketch. A sketch done in the early 70s, there were a lot of iterations of the same Hormel canned meat product. It eventually became popular even outside research and academic circles.
Types of Spam
Spam can arrive from anyone, ranging from legitimate business organisations to outright scams to take advantage of susceptible users. In most cases, spam is used to carry out some type of fraud or scam. The most common instance is where the sender asks the recipient for some monetary assistance. Phishing emails, where the emails are disguised as if the senders are banks or other official entities are also common. The best way to combat these would be to avoid opening them and clicking on any link within the email.