Nobody enjoys getting spam in their email inbox. It’s annoying, it can take up precious time to sift through, and did we mention that it’s annoying? Every email user is familiar with spam, but not everyone may know how spam got its infamous name. The answer may surprise you and make you chuckle.
The extra annoying thing about spam is that it makes up almost 70% of all emails sent over the Internet. Many spam messages are harmless advertisements, but then there are the really nasty spam messages that carry computer viruses like malware and ransomware that can steal your identity and delete your data. Because spam is universally hated, and because it’s so common, it was given the name “spam” from our Internet forefathers to correlate with a popular Monty Python sketch that communicated these same dislikes about the food product, Spam.
The skit goes back to 1970 and involves floating customers at a diner, crossdressing, singing Vikings, and of course, Spam. It’s a little too silly to try and describe, so we will go ahead and show it to you:
“I don’t like spam!” The “woman’s” attitude toward Spam, and her increased frustration that comes from the Vikings singing about Spam, captures perfectly the attitude of the modern PC user dealing with spam emails. Additionally, the increased intensity of the Vikings’ singing can be equated to the increased frustration experienced when you check your spam folder looking for a message that’s not spam.
Therefore, because the group of computer users that first noticed an unwanted abundance of advertisements hitting their inbox happened to be Monty Python fans, they thought of their favorite skit and named the unwanted email “spam.”
The name “spam” has a comedic element to it, but spam messages have a very unfunny side that can do great harm to your business. It’s estimated that spam costs the average American company $712 per year for each employee. This figure takes into consideration the loss from destructive malware that’s transported via spam, and the loss of productivity experienced by workers having to sort through spam from their inbox.
Spam also has the ability to spread. Much like the Vikings raided Europe with their longships in the 9th century and expanded their reach through savagery, so too does spam use intrusive methods to spread its destruction. Once spam infects a user’s inbox, it will automatically trigger more spam messages to be sent to every personal contact. It’s a method that is so hostile and so devious that it would make famous Viking Leif Erikson proud.
To win the battle against spam, you can take a page out of the medieval Viking defense playbook. The giant castles in Europe with high walls and moats were built in response to the Vikings’ quick attacks from their longboats. With a strong castle in place, villagers would see the Vikings’ boats coming and take shelter behind the castle’s thick walls.
Your network needs a strong firewall in order to protect your business from the onslaught of spam. We can offer your organization a secure castle-like firewall solution with our Unified Threat Management tool, and there are anti-spam solutions available for your email inbox. To learn more about these security solutions from Michell Consulting Group, and find out which solutions will work best for your business, then give us a call at 305-592-9577.