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Most email users have received spam, that is, unsolicited messages to multiple recipients. In 2004, the United States enacted a law to punish spammers who violate a set of practices. The CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing) Act outlines three basic rules for legal spam:
- Unsolicited emails must be clearly identified as advertisements for either products and/or services.
- Consumers must be offered an option to unsubscribe and opt out from receiving any further messages from the sender.
- The sender must provide a legitimate return email address and a postal address for consumers to contact them.
Email Finder has put together a white paper outlining the aims of CAN-SPAM and how to avoid being targeted by spam mail, which you can find below:
Under CAN-SPAM, email users are obligated to report violating spam to the Federal Trade Commission. Consumers can reduce their own likelihood of receiving spam by choosing an unusual email address (they're more difficult for spammers to guess), using spam filters and anti-spam software, and sharing personal email addresses only with friends, family, and clients. Internet Service Providers, but not individual recipients, have the right to take private action against spammers.
By reporting spam to the FTC, users help not only themselves but businesses who may be unaware that employees are sending illegal marketing messages. Just email firstname.lastname@example.org with the spamming email address, and report it to your ISP.