What is Spam?

Spam can be defined as:

any kind of unwanted, unsolicited digital communication that gets sent out in bulk?


Spam can come over any digital or electronic messaging service.
Be this by mobile (phone calls or text messages) social media or email.
Spam is usually only annoying and not done with an intent to be malicious. Phishing on the other hand is meant to deceive you into giving personal details such as passwords and credit card details.

How to Recognise Spam

There are a several common types of spam emails. Most email services (such as live.com, gmail.com, etc.) block spam or identify it in some way, although some emails may get through. the following list is not exhaustive in the types of spam you may receive so it is a good idea to know what to look for.

Non malicious Spam email

  • Dating & Adult Content
  • Health & Medical Services
  • Technology, Internet & Computer Services
  • Financial Services & Awards

malicious Spam email

  • Phishing emails wanting YOUR sensitive information
  • Email Spoofing – mimicking email from a legitimate sender. These usually request payment, request password reset or for you to verify your account, or request update to billing information.
  • Scams including Tech support, current events and Advance fees
  • Malspam – this delivers malware to your computer or mobile devices. This includes Trojans, bots, crypto miners, spyware, keyloggers and ransomware.

How do I protect myself

The best way is to learn how to spot a spam/phishing email, call or text. There are some key signs that the message is not legitimate:

  1. The sender’s email address. If legitimate the senders email address should match the domain name of the company they represent.
  2. Missing personal information. A company should have your personal details if you are a customer, at least your first name. This is one thing to look for as it does not in itself specify a dodgy email. If it tells you that you’ve been locked out of your account or owe money then be careful as this is what a phishing emails wants you to do.
  3. Beware of any links or attachments in the email. Verify first before clicking on the link or opening the attachment. You can contact the company to ask if a suspicious message is the read deal or not.
  4. Unbelievably good offers. If it sounds to good to be true then the email is not what it seems to be.

Now you have some idea of how to recognise a spam/phishing email you need to protect yourself by installing good mail filtering software such as Microsoft’s Advance Threat Protection, or Trend Micro Email Security, on the client side and the use of DMARC, DKIM AND SPF records in DNS to minimise spoofing of your domain.