Forward Responsibly

Go back to Topic Center

Friends Don't Spam Friends


Everyone knows that one of the biggest problems with the Internet and email is spam. McAfee experts define spam as “unsolicited or undesired bulk electronic messages”, and quite often, spam is dangerous. Some spam contains links to phishing sites or “free” downloads that could lead to spyware and other malicious software piggybacking along with the free application, giving hackers remote access and control of your computer.

Many savvy people employ software like McAfee products that have filters that send spam directly to junk or trash folders. However, no software can really help filter out the innocuous but almost always annoying spam forwarded to us by friends, family and colleagues, because it can’t know what message we consider not spam from these people in our lives.

It seems nearly everyone has at least one person in their personal network who insists on constantly forwarding cutesy, dopey, or sappy, and rarely really funny, inspiring, “awesome”, or interesting spam. Handling this constant stream of junk email is a monumental waste of time that also clogs up networks and mailboxes.

McAfee has coined a new word to describe this kind of spam forwarded from friends: fram.

Though all are annoying to some degree, fram has many faces. Here are just a few:

Pseudo-inspirational – encouraging you to have a nice day, week or life with a gooey stories and bad poetry; then instructing to pass it on to at least 10 people
Jokes & Cartoons – some are funny, most are not worth the time
Hoaxes – “Ashley Flores is missing!” (Ah, no…she’s not.)
Visuals – photos and videos of something “awesome” or “amazing”, generally not worth the effort or time
Politically Inaccurate – nearly always biased and untruthful rants or accounts of world events that have an extremist unbalanced viewpoint
Chicken Little – fear-mongering with urban legends like “drinking cold water after eating could lead to a heart attack”

To learn about the McAfee Forward Responsibly campaign, please visit

Just Don’t Fram (Forward Spam)

Currently, there are no hard stats on fram, but one thing is certain: a lot of email inboxes are filling up with it right now because few of us have the heart to label this otherwise decent person in our lives as "spammer" and block all their messages. Asking an individual to drop from their email blast list, doesn’t seem to work. So what can we do to end the blight of fram without losing friendships or poisoning relationships?

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Take the time to explain to the frammers in your life what fram is, and that you don’t appreciate receiving it
  • Encourage the “frammer” to take the time to personalize email before they forward it
  • Don’t believe every email you read, and try to verify the most outlandish emails and inform the frammer of their bogus nature, if and when you find them to be untrue
  • Practice what you preach: Don’t be a frammer. Take a moment. Take a deep breath. Then hit the delete button. Just don’t forward spam
  • Remember, real friends don’t spam friends

Back to top


The Ultimate Security:

McAfee® Mobile Security 

McAfee® Mobile Security

Connect with confidence and protect your most personal device


PC Infected? Get Expert Help Now!

McAfee Virus Removal Service 

Connect to one of our security experts by phone. Have your PC fixed remotely – while you watch!


Available daily, 24x7.