Quiz: 8 Questions About Spam You Should Be Able to Answer

Nothing tests your knowledge better than an actual test. And that is exactly what we are going to do today.

This post is meant to test your knowledge regarding spam. Each question revolves around something you, as an email user, should know about spam.

But don’t worry, if you don’t know the right answer we won’t send you to the corner with a dunce cap to wear on your head. We will help guide you along with an explanation for each correct answer.

1. Unsubscribing to spam emails will make them stop.
a. True
b. False

The correct answer is false. Legitimate e-mail marketers may stop after you unsubscribe but unsubscribing to spam will simply let the spammer know that you monitor that email address. Instead of taking you off the list, they will send you more spam.

2. Which of the following should immediately raise a red flag that a message is spam?

a. The message asks you to click a link.
b. The message addresses you as “Customer” instead of your name.
c. The message tells you that you may have won a new iPad.
d. All of the above.

The correct answer here is D, all of the above. If you requested that someone send you a link, then you can feel safe but any other time that you receive a link in an email message you should be wary since 91 percent of all spam emails contain a link. Spammers also don’t have access to your name, but people who you have accounts with do. Legitimate e-mails from banks, online stores and other places should address you by name, not Customer.

Finally, you should never believe that you won the lottery, an iPad or that someone is trying to move money out of the country. These are all scams.

3. The email came from my friend so it can’t be spam.

a. True
b False

Unfortunately, this is one that too many people fall for. The answer is false. There are many different ways that cyber criminals can hijack an email account and use it to spam everyone in the contact list. If you receive an email from a friend of yours that contains nothing more than a link then it is most likely spam.

4. Most spam is written in a foreign language.

a. True
b. False

Surprisingly, 90 percent of all spam messages are written in English. Usually it is poorly written English, but it is still English.

5. Most spam nowadays is related to:

a. A Nigerian prince asking to help get money out of the country
b. Pharmaceuticals
c. Free iPods

The correct answer is B, pharmaceuticals. In fact, two-thirds of all spam is related to the pharmaceutical industry; and Viagra isn’t the only thing they are peddling. With the increasing cost of medicine, spammers are trying to get people to buy just about any type of prescription medication online.

6. How many email accounts should you have?

a. 1
b. 2
c. 3

The correct answer is c, three. One email should be strictly for work purposes. Another should be used for your personal emails. The third email should be a throw away email used to register for things online. This email should be changed out every so often because spammers often harvest email addresses, or buy them, from online registrations.

7. Some spammers make money every time you click a link in their email.

a. True
b. False

This one is true. Spammers, especially pharma spammers, collect money every time you click a link or click a link and buy a product. It may be a legitimate product, but the way it was marketed to you was not.

8. Anti-spam filters block spam messages based on:

a.  The sender’s reputation.
b. The message content.
c. The time of day the message was sent.

The correct answers here are a and c. Anti-spam filters often look at the ip address of the sender and match it against DNS block lists. If they find a match, the filter either flags the message or blocks it entirely. These filters also look at the content of the message for keywords or other identifiers that flag the message as spam.

So how did you do? If you aced the test then congratulations! You are a bona fide spam fighter. Keep up the good work.

If you didn’t do too well, that’s alright. Take some time to read over a few of the other posts on All Spammed Up to learn more about spammers and spam.

Written by Jeff


  1. Maria Ortiz · October 5, 2012

    To my surprise, I answered almost all questions correctly. I didn’t know I can give more than one answers to a question, so I gave only ‘a’ to 8. Btw, isn’t ‘b’ correct for 8 as well?

  2. Margaux · October 5, 2012

    The third one is right. It’s possible that even those we know can send us spam. I should know because I’ve been a victim once. I have to make this very clear, though, that my friend didn’t have the intention to spam. It’s just that his account was hacked (that’s why you should be very careful in using your e-mail especially in public). On the other hand, I don’t find maintaining three e-mails comfortable, though it does have some point. It’s just too time-consuming and sometimes hard to do that. I know many Internet users prefer to collate their different e-mails.

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