The Cost of Electronic Spam

When referring to computers and electronic communication, the term spam is the use of a messaging system to spend bulk messages that have not been requested by the recipients. The most common form of electronic spam is in e-mail. There are many other forms of spam, too. Instant messaging spam, message board spam, blog spam, and mobile phone texting spam are a few of the other ways spammers can reach the population with their unwanted messages.

Spamming is very popular among certain types of advertisers because it is very cost efficient. There is no real cost to send mass e-mails, other than the costs associated with collecting viable e-mail addresses to send the messages to. Since it is so easy for spammers to get started spamming, there are massive numbers of them out there. It is estimated that there will be around seven trillion spam e-mail messages sent during the year 2011.

Spam does have a cost. The amount of lost productivity each year is massive in and of itself. Another major cost is money lost by consumers and businesses to fraudulent businesses that use spam to reach consumers. The costs associated with spam are paid for by the public as well as by internet service providers that have to handle the massive amounts of spam emails that come through their servers each year.

Spam is becoming a major subject of legislation. Many people want to have spam cut down, but they don’t want to risk our personal privacy to do it. The problem with many possible laws that would come down on spammers is that it would cause everyday people to be under scrutiny for their normal email habits.  This is a problem that will be in the public eye more and more over the next few years as people try to find a solution that works out best for everyone involved.

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