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45 Years of Spam: From ARPANET to Today

It’s a meaningful occasion. The anniversary of something that has touched every one of us. No, not National Pizza Day. It’s the 45th birthday of email spam! That’s right, and we’ve been dealing with unsolicited messages for 45 long years. And much like a clingy ex, it just won’t quit.

Let’s travel back to 1978 when the internet was in its infancy and known as ARPANET. Our digital lives changed forever that year with the first unsolicited email sent.

The Digital Equipment Company sent an unsolicited commercial email to every ARPANET address on the West Coast, and that’s how email spam was born. Only 300 to 400 people initially received the email, but it worked! The company received around $13 million in orders for its new computer. Since then, other companies and scammers followed suit, and unsolicited emails became more prevalent as more people started using the internet.

However, not all commercial emails are unsolicited. Companies routinely request customers or visitors to opt-in or at least give them the option to opt out of email lists for coupons and newsletters. Granting permission in any manner does not classify it as spam.

According to estimates, anywhere from 45% to 85% of emails are spam. Despite consumer complaints, those who use unsolicited email have been successful for 45 years. Therefore, it’s likely that you will continue to see these emails in your inbox. However, remember to be cautious and report anything that looks suspicious!

At Abusix, we understand how spam can negatively impact individuals and businesses.

Our innovative and cost-effective set of blocklists protects your mail servers and customers from more than 99.6% of malicious email attacks. Want to try it? Contact us today!

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