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FAQs about Spam and Viruses

What is spam?

Spam, also known as junk mail or unsolicited mail, is when a person or company floods the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it. Most spam is commercial advertising, often for dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services. Spam costs the sender very little to send -- most of the costs are paid for by the recipient or the carriers rather than by the sender.

Why is spam bad?

For the average user, a large percentage of the email messages you get throughout the day will be spam. These unwanted messages can flood your inbox, wasting you valuable time while you are sorting through the messages trying to figure out what is junk and what isnt. Some spam can be offensive in nature as well.

Where does all this spam come from?

Spam comes from all over the internet. Most of it comes from misconfigured or compromised mail servers housed in data centers. Earthnet is very careful in preventing spam originating from our systems.

Some spam also comes from overseas, where laws regarding unsolicited email are much more lenient.

What does Earthnet do to stop spam?

Anybody who has an email address also has complementary spam and virus filtering. This filtering will stop a large portion of the junk mail before it gets to your inbox. Click Here to learn how to manage the spam filter for your email address.

Why does the filter let some spam messages through? Shouldn't it filter everything?

The spam filter is not perfect, so it will occasionally let some junk slip through. The people who send out spam are constantly coming up with new techniques for getting messages through our filters. However, the filter will catch upwards of 90% of spam messages.

Is there anything else I can do to help?

If you have received a particularly offensive or annoying spam message, you can report it to the authorities. The person who is sending the spam will usually have their website shut down, and they occasionally will be charged by their hosting providers. Check out the following sites for more information on reporting spam:

What is a Virus?

A virus is a computer program designed to spread itself by infecting files or system areas of hard disks or floppy disks on a computer, and then making copies of itself. It will then usually try to scan for other computers to infect. Viruses usually operate without the knowledge or desire of the computer user.

How do viruses spread?

The most common way for a virus to spread is through email. It will usually be in an attachment, as an executable or a zip file. Viruses can also spread through programs that you download over the internet, or from a document or file you received from a friend or co-worker.

How can I keep my computer safe from viruses?

The most important rule is this: never open an attachment from an email you weren't expecting. Most virus infections come from users mistakenly opening attachments that contain viruses.

Also, we highly recommend that you install some form of anti-virus software. Run regular scans on your computer, and keep the virus definitions up-to-date.

What does Earthnet do to stop viruses?

Anybody who has an email address also has complimentary spam and virus filtering. This filtering will stop a large portion of the junk mail before it gets to your inbox. Click Here to learn how to manage the spam filter for your email address.

I'm getting some messages informing me that I'm sending out viruses or spam. Where are they coming from?

This issue is caused by several Microsoft email viruses. These viruses generate emails to random recipients using forged source addresses. Consequently, you are receiving bounce messages for emails that have nothing to do with you. They are actually coming from infected machines all over the internet; your email address was randomly chosen as the source. There is no need for concern, treat them as you would any other spam... delete them and do not reply to the sender.

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