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  What is email spam?
For an email to be considered spam, it must be both unsolicited and sent in bulk. Not all bulk email is spam. Not all unsolicited email is spam. If you agreed to receive email from a company, it is not spam.
  How do Spammers get my email address?
Here is a list of the common ways Spammers get your email address:
  • Email messages that are forwarded multiple times, like jokes or email hoaxes, videos
  • Directory Harvest Attacks (DHAs) are carried out against mail servers to acquire a list of users on your server that will accept mail; that list is sold to spammers.
  • E-mail spambots (web crawlers) scour newsgroups, forums, social networking sites harvesting email addresses
  • Buying and or traded via mailing lists
  • Randomly generating (guessing) common email addresses
  How do I unsubscribe from mailing lists of companies that I have signed up with (reputable):
If you remember providing your email address to a specific company or website to receive a newsletter, product update, coupons, or be entered in a drawing, this is considered a reputable company.

The fastest way to get removed from these types of mailing lists is to follow the instructions provided by the sender. The most common way to do this, is to scroll to the bottom of the email and locate the unsubscribe link.

It may take several days for your request to be fulfilled. The CAN-spam Act requires that a mailer process an unsubscribe request within 10 business days.

Some companies provide you a service (website hosting) or software in exchange for your email address and permission to send you advertisements. This is not spam.
  How do I unsubscribe from mailing lists of companies that I have NOT signed up with (unknown or suspicious):
You don't. If you don't remember signing up to receive emails from a company or an email claims to be from a reputable company, but looks suspicious, here are some things to consider.

If the email is from a Spammer, and you follow the removal instructions, the spammer uses this process to verify that your email address is going to a real person, making the email address more valuable, and then is traded or sold to other spammers.

  How to report spam?
Forward the full email header of the suspected spam email to - and to the company, bank, or organization impersonated in the email.

How to view full email headers
  I've reported the spam, now what?
Mark the email as junk and delete it.
  How can I reduce the amount of spam I get?
Take steps to limit the amount of spam you get, and treat spam offers the same way you would treat an uninvited telemarketing sales call. Don't believe promises from strangers. Get tips from the "Federal Trade Commission".


  What is phishing?
Phishing is a way of attempting to acquire information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication.
  Who do I report phishing to?
Forward the full email header of the suspected phishing email to: How to view full email headers
  What to do if you have fallen victim to phishing?
If you have fallen victim to phishing, file a report with the Federal Trade Commission or call toll-free, 1-877-438-4338.
  What to do if you have fallen victim to Identity Theft?
If your personal information is lost, stolen, or otherwise compromised, you can minimize the potential damage from identity theft. For more information go to the Federal Trade Commission
  Test your knowledge with the phishing scam game?

Open Mail Relays

  What is an open mail relay
Open relay is a setting mail servers use to allows anyone to send email through it.
  How do I test an IP address for open relay?
Use the search term SMTP Open Relay Test to find a 3rd party tool to test for open relay.
  How do I report an open relay?
Use the search term how to report open relay to find a 3rd party tool to open relays.
  How do I fix an open relay?
If you need network or system security advice, you should hire a competent accredited security consultant.

If you feel comfortable troubleshooting on your own, use the search term "securing systems against spam" or "How to secure your mail system against third-party relay".