How Old Is SPAM? 35 Years Old Today!

What a perfect day for you to ask, “How old is SPAM? How long has it been going on?” Today is the perfect day because it is the 35th anniversary of the first SPAM message sent via email. On this day in 1978, Gary Thuerk (a marketer at Digital Equipment Corporation) sent an ad for his company’s newest model of computer to 393 ARPANET users. Much like today, the email caused negative criticism but it also generated sales. The first chain letter didn’t appear until 1988 and it wasn’t till 1994 that the first major SPAM issue hit the net. March 5th 1994 saw the birth of the Green Card SPAM. Laurence Canter and his wife Martha Siegel blasted their immigration law practice via bulk Usenet postings. The couple went on to claim free-speech protected their right to send unwanted commercial solicitation.

Today we are accustom to SPAM however sad that may seem. We have all been asked to refinance our genital enlargements and help Nigerian princes save their best friends who were robbed while on holiday in Scotland. These are persistent because they actually work! In 2011 a team at UC San Diego determined spammers make about $7,000 per day. Yes now it does sound like an interesting line of work. So for all the SPAM you actually get, how much gets blocked? A lot!

The number one SPAM blocking service is Spamhaus based in Geneva and London. They are the result of a non-profit initiative that helps support ISPs and a majority of all web traffic. They can block up to 90% of all SPAM and they do it without you knowing. Your ISP is most likely a customer and you benefit from tehir massive databases. They can even tell you who are the top Spammers in the world. 2 of the top 10 are from the United States and we are number one for worst SPAM countries (more than double the issues of number 2 China). Their site offers a great deal of information including a list of popular scams. Take a peek and save yourself a lot of trouble. Email already take about 28% of the average day, save your self some time. What’s your SPAM horror story? Post it in the comments to continue the birthday festivities.

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