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Spam: What is it?
Legally, spam is not only the sending of unsolicited commercial electronic messages, but also the unauthorized alteration of transmission data, the installation of computer programs without consent, false or misleading electronic representations (including websites), the unauthorized collection of electronic addresses and the collection of personal information by accessing a computer system in contravention of an Act of Parliament.
It can be malware, spyware, address harvesting, and false or misleading representations involving the use of any means of telecommunications, short message services (SMS), social networking, websites, URLs and other locators, applications, blogs, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), and any other current or future Internet and wireless telecommunication threats prohibited by Canada's anti-spam legislation.
CASL also prohibits anyone from installing software—including updates—on your electronic devices without your consent. Protect your devices.
Spam: Protect yourself
Spam: Fight it
Do you think you're getting spammed? Here are some options to fight it.
Report it. If you have received an email for which you did not give consent or that you believe is misleading or fraudulent, forward it to the Spam Reporting Centre. This new centre, created under CASL, will be used by the CRTC, the Competition Bureau and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada to investigate serious cases and take necessary action against this activity.
Don't be embarrassed if you suspect that you may be the target of fraud or if you have already sent funds; you're not alone. Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre.
Ignore it. Not all spammers are grammatically challenged. Some can be quite sophisticated. There are certain clues that you should look for. Be aware of emails that impersonate companies or people you know, ask for money up front or for your personal or financial information, try to scare you into action, or just seem too good to be true. If you suspect an email is spam, ignore it and delete it. Most importantly, do not click on any links or open any attachments.
Flag it. Most email inboxes today are equipped with sophisticated software that identifies and weeds out spam before it gets to you. If you do get an email that you think is suspicious, mark it as spam. This will move it from your inbox to a special spam folder that is deleted regularly. This will also help your spam filter learn and adjust to your preferences, ensuring that important emails get through while malicious ones do not.
Take legal action. Starting July 1, 2017: Following a three-year transitional period, you will have an option to take civil action against a company or individual that you believe has violated the law.
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