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Definition: The term spam refers to unsolicated commercial advertisments distributed online. Most spam comes to people via email, but spam can also be found in online chat rooms and message boards.

Spam consumes a tremendous amount of network bandwidth on the Internet. More importantly, it can consume too much of peoples' personal time if not managed properly.

The most effective strategy for eliminating spam is to ignore it. Spam's continued existence depends on maintaining an audience of people who respond to the messages. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and corporations have invested in spam-filtering products and services, but this technology is not very mature yet.

Some people also label as spam any form of Internet advertising such as pop up browser windows. In contrast to true spam, though, these forms of advertising are provided to people in the act of visiting Web sites and are merely a "cost of doing business" to help support those sites' products and services.

Also Known As: junk

Related Resources:

Using Email Effectively
Series of articles discuss ideas around more effective use of business and personal email.

ISP Directory
Index of reference information on Internet Service Providers.

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