Hal is a technically savvy guy, but that doesn't make him immune to e mail and other communication delivery method abuses such as spoofing and spam. Spoofers can use his legitimate e-mail address to help them bypass spam filters. The messages they are sending are sometimes illegal and can range from annoying to offensive. In addition, a friend like Steve might download a virus that forwards a message to his entire contact list, or Steve himself might have been a spoofing victim. Fortunately, Hal was smart enough not to click any links or open any file attachments sent through the spam messages.
No matter how such spam messages are sent on, about 30 percent of users admit to not always knowing if an e-mail message is spam, and many don't know how to deal with spam. Spam messages, such as the e-mail Hal received, are sent by the billions every day, and although the vast majority are caught by your ISP's spam filter, some do get through. Choosing an e-mail provider that uses e-mail authentication, like Sender ID, can help. Ask your provider what protections they have. Be sure to report fraudulent spam messages, and don't buy anything from the ads.
What Is Spoofing?
Spoofing involves capturing, modifying, and retransmitting an online communication so that the recipient is led to believe it is from someone other than the actual sender.
What Is Spam?
Spam e-mail is sent in bulk to recipients who have not requested it, from senders they usually do not know. Spam is a cheap way to market products or services and apparently is a successful sales tool.
Spam differs from legitimate direct marketing via e-mail where the recipient has agreed to receive mail from the sender. Spam is illegal in many countries and for good reason. It can be transmitted over any Internet-connected device.