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What is a Forward?
Email forwards, also known as chain letters, are emails sent with the instruction to pass it along to any number of other Internet users. These messages are often cute, clever stories or lists intended to entertain. Many claim to be supporting a specific cause, warning of a virus, or recounting "true" stories.
The sad truth is that most of these chain letters are completely bogus. Promises to help sick children or protect you from the latest malware scare should be taken with a grain of salt (if not disregarded altogether).
Are Forwards Spam?
Many emailers consider forwards to be spam. While some users genuinely enjoy forwarded email messages, others find them irritating, especially when they come in large amounts.
Be considerate of friends and family by only forwarding emails you enjoyed receiving and felt were of some actual value. Be sure that the people you send forwards to enjoy them as much as you do.
If you receive many email forwards form the same unknown address that you would like to stop, you can often adjust the settings on your email to flag messages from a certain address as spam and have them sent directly to your spam mailbox.
If you find yourself the target of incessant forwards from a friend, family member, or co-worker, you have every right to ask that the forwarding stops. In addition to being a nuisance, many viruses and other types of malware are spread through these chain letters. Politely explain to your friend that you don't want to receive any more forwards. Doing this isn't rude--the person who is spamming you and putting your computer at risk is the inconsiderate party! No one has the right to turn your inbox into a virtual junkyard.