Email Spam

The following information explains what Spam is, and the steps you can take to minimise the issues related to Spam.

What is Spam?

Spam is the common term for unsolicited electronic "junk mail". While content can vary, spam is generally used to promote products or services, while others attempt to obtain personal information by tricking users into providing banking details or private information. Spam often contains offensive or fraudulent material and can even spread computer viruses.

How do I know its spam?

A message that does not meet the following conditions can be defined as spam.

  • Consent - the message must be sent with your consent.
  • Identity - Correct and accurate information must be supplied regarding the person or organisation that authorised the sending of the e-mail.
  • Unsubscribe - the message must contain a functional 'unsubscribe' facility to allow you to opt out of receiving messages from that source.
  • Be careful of any e-mail that offers competitions, or an offer that seems too good to be true.

E-mails do not need to be sent out in bulk to be considered spam. Under Australian law, a single e-mail can be considered spam.

How to avoid spam?

There are a number of steps you can take to avoid spam.

  • Protect your e-mail address online.
  • Delete any suspicious e-mails without opening or replying to them.
  • Read the terms and conditions of anything you sign up to, to ensure you're not consenting to receive commercial messages.
  • Use spam filtering software like EscapeNet's award winning anti-virus software, F-Secure.
  • Ensure you have an up to date virus scanner and firewall. F-Secure will cover spam, virus scanning, firewall, spyware and parental control.
Dealing with spam

Spam can be sent by professional spammers or legitimate businesses, that have failed to comply with Australia's spam laws. To ensure you do not inadvertently provide them with your information, please deal with suspected spam by following these steps.

If you receive an e-mail that seems suspicious, you don't recognise the sender or the subject line looks dubious:

  • Don't reply or click on any links (including unsubscribe), enable, download or look at pictures. Doing this may result in you receiving more spam, or allowing malicious software to be installed on your computer.
  • Do not purchase any of the products or services advertised in the email.
  • Delete the message without opening it.

If you receive an e-mail from a legitimate business but you do not want to receive any further e-mails from them, you can:

  • Unsubscribe. You are able to unsubscribe from a legitimate business as Australian businesses must honour your request within 5 working days, under Australian spam laws.
  • Check the e-mail the spam was sent to, to ensure that an old e-mail address you used has not been forwarded to your new e-mail address.