If you own a computer and have an internet connection it is likely that you have been spammed!
the term spam is derived from the 1970 Spam sketch of the BBC television comedy series Monty Python's Flying Circus. The sketch is set in a cafe where nearly every item on the menu includes Spam canned luncheon meat. As the waiter recites the Spam-filled menu, a chorus of Viking patrons drowns out all conversations with a song repeating "Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam... lovely Spam! wonderful Spam!", hence "Spamming" the dialogue.The Free Dictionary.com explains spam as:
unsolicited e-mail, often of a commercial nature, sent indiscriminately to multiple mailing lists, individuals, or newsgroups; junk e-mail.In other words, any email or message that you receive that you didn't opt-in to or ask for! In the offline world this would be like commercials being shown during your favourite television show, or "junk mail" in the letter box! Some examples are, unwanted comments posted to a blog, forum or profile (for example, Facebook) which are not in context to the topic. The most common form of spam is unwanted email advertising, sometimes called "junk email". Some spam is also less obvious and tries to mimic other well known sites and this is called phishing. The object of phishing is to try to get personal information which can lead to fraud. There are also emails claiming to be from you. This is effective at getting your attention!
Spam is an annoyance in our work places and leads to wasted time. It is with mixed blessings that as "spammers" get more clever so do the email filters for email providers. However, this can lead to "false positives" and some providers are too harsh and you don't end up receiving or can't open legitimate emails.
Commercial email operations are very cheap and cost-effective to the sender. Also, people actually must click on these junk emails for there to be any benefit for the sender. These emails are generally not personalised, sent in bulk and from people you don't know. So why do people click on these? Maybe they have won a lotto, need prescription medication, have an inheritance, want to spend money at an online casino, or someone wants to provide some kinky photos for all to see (wink). Yes, unfortunately people do buy products from these emails and the cycle continues. People new to computers and email sometimes can be naive to these tricks of advertising.
What do you/ should you do? For a start get a good anti-virus as some of these emails can contain unwanted programs that wreak havoc with your computer! Organise your email account so only your wanted emails go into your inbox. All the rest will be put in the "junk" folder. It is still a good idea to browse your "junk" folder periodically as any new email address will be filtered here until you tell it otherwise. Finally, to answer the question YES spam is effective if people respond to the emails. IGNORE ALL SPAM! It is your clicks they are after. This means their advertising campaigns are successful. Your clicks and even the opening of an email CAN be tracked!