August 8, 2016

Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE or Spam) is a significant problem for all e-mail users and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). It can be a problem because you receive e-mail you did not want and did not request. These unsolicited e-mails could contain viruses and may be offensive. They consume time on downloading, reading, determining if it is Spam, and then deleting it from your system.

Options to Handle

An ISP has three options to handle e-mail traffic;
1. Let all e-mail traffic flow through, with no restrictions
2. Block or stop e-mail traffic without customer input,
3. Provide a service for customers to control their e-mail with filters.

GCI believes your mail is yours, which includes unsolicited Spam e-mail. (One person’s Spam may be highly desired by another person).

For these reasons GCI offers a Spam and Viruses filter program for those customers who desire it. This program does not bounce the messages, but does quarantine your messages on our servers, so you have the ability to see the e-mail messages. We believe this is good solution to the Spam issue.

How Did They Get My E-Mail Address?

Spammers can generate or collect your e-mail address in many ways, some are listed below:

  1. Selling or trading of known valid e-mail address.
    • GCI DOES NOT sell, trade or disclose information to third parties, except as required by law. See our Privacy policy for more details.
    • Other companies MAY and DO sell or trade your e-mail. Once a spammer has a known good e-mail address they will continue to sell it. Know the privacy policy for each company you do business with.
  2. Another method used is name and random letter generation. Using computer programs with this method, thousands of e-mail addresses can be generated in just a few minutes. This system works by merging a list of common names and words (like dave, smith, or student), randomly generated letters (as in abcd, abce, abcf), and a combination of the two (asmith, bsmith) with known domain names, such a Then send these out e-mail address, the spammer does not care if a large percent are not valid e-mail address. If only a few valid addresses respond to the ad, it is profitable and the spammer will continue.
  3. More importantly, any time you use your e-mail address on the Internet you could be making it available to junk e-mail senders.

Fight Back

  • You can also fight back by forwarding anything objectionable to us.
  • Forward the full e-mail, copying all header information into the text of your e-mail message, to and then delete the message.
    • We can try to get the spammer’s ISP access disallowed.
    • However, spammers can and do forge innocent senders systems and these individuals do not know they are being used. Then the spammers move on. The Spammers shift Internet accounts constantly, so senders of particularly objectionable Spam is hard to fight.

Spam is on the increase!

  • Seeing the increase in Spam e-mail messages plus customer requests for assistance to manage Spam lead GCI to implement our E mail Guard Spam and Virus Protection product.
  • Fighting Spam is a current topic for governments and ISPs. U.S. Federal Government, many states, and foreign governments are looking at different forms of Spam laws (do a search on Spam laws). These laws may assist with slowing down some of the Spam however, remember that the Internet is global, and it takes only a single location on the planet with Internet access to allow Spam to enter the network.

GCI Terms and Conditions contain policies against sending Spam from e-mail accounts, we do not sell or publish your e-mail address, and we will take action against those users on our platform who violate those guidelines. Click here to see GCI’s Terms and Conditions for more information.