What is Electronic Spam?
Electronic Spam was defined in our last post as “unsolicited and unwanted messages automatically spread or posted in bulk through emails, contact lists, links, instant messaging, advertisements, forums and more.” This serious definition actually has an entertaining origin.
These unwanted spam messages may simply be annoying advertisements in your inbox, but may also be a vehicle for viruses and malware to spread to everyone your business is connected to (If for some reason your business is sending the latter, Internet liability insurance can cover the damages you may be responsible for).
Sending out electronic spam whether intentionally or unintentionally can also get your company’s email address blacklisted, which could seriously disrupt imperative commutations for your business resulting in major loss. Typically, as long as you have Internet liability insurance essentially all issues related to spam, whether you are receiving or distributing it, should be covered in your policy.
So How Did Electronic Spam begin? What is the history of spam email?
The term Spam was coined, taken to refer to unsolicited bulk messages in the early 1980’s. The term was named after the Monty Python sketch; a comedic bit about the salty canned meat (named after Spicy Ham) being included in every dish on a dinner menu and repetitively sung about by the wait staff.
The history of spam dates back well before 1980’s, though. Just as hacking began with land line telephones, (read History of Computer Hacking) electronic spam began with telegraphs. In 1864 the telegraph was invented and many clever people had the bright idea of sending out unsolicited investment opportunities to affluent Americans.
The first modern example of electronic spam was sent in 1978 via ARPANET, the military computer network that was used before the Internet. A man named Gary Turk used it to send ads about a line of computers to 400 people. Later, the first spam email was sent in 1988. It was passed around in many variations by oblivious email users and had the subject line, “Make Money Fast.”
As Internet quickly became a key method of communication and information exchange, spam emails grew in number and frequency. In 2000, email providers started integrating spam filters in order to battle spammers, although their methods have hardly proven effective. Today, close to 80% of all emails sent each day are considered spam email.
Does your business do email marketing that could possibly be considered Spam? You need Internet liability insurance.
In 2003 the United States passed a law called the CAN-SPAM Act, which gives the Federal Trade Commission some power to curb spammers, but there is still a loophole in this act: spammers do not need your permission to send you an email.
While this is good news for businesses that have a large email list and send out messages that could be considered spam-ish if some sort of malware or virus gets attached to your business’ email you could be responsible for distributing highly disruptive software. This is why Internet liability insurance is of the utmost importance for businesses that regularly employ email marketing.
Curious if your email marketing campaigns are at risk for spreading spam, viruses or malware? Contact Insuring Tech today to find out if you need Internet liability Insurance.