Generally speaking, spam is unsolicited, bulk e-mail. Similar to how your mailing address is used, an e-mail address gets on to one or more mailing lists which are then used repeatedly to send advertising. Some of the e-mails are legitimate sales offers, but a large portion seem to be of dubious value. It’s this second type that often annoys people enough to form anti-spam groups and to ask governments to create anti-spam legislation.

Unlike junk mail which the senders must pay to have delivered, there is no charge for sending spam. Spam actually costs companies and end-users money in terms of time and potentially increased internet fees associated with the added bandwidth and hardware required to process all the spam.

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