Unsolicited Bulk Email

What Does Unsolicited Bulk Email Mean?

Unsolicited Bulk Email (UBE) is email that is unwanted or not requested by the recipient and sent in large quantities (in bulk).


Most UBE is for advertising purposes and costs the advertisers little or nothing to distribute. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may obtain lists blocking the most persistent UBE senders. This protects customers from unwanted, annoying and sometimes harmful UBEs.

This term is commonly known as email spam.

Techopedia Explains Unsolicited Bulk Email

Unsolicited bulk email is not only annoying to users but is a serious security threat due to its use in spreading viruses or launching phishing attacks. ISPs are becoming increasingly proactive in reducing unsolicited bulk email received by their customers. Much spam sent nowadays is sent through botnets, which are robot networks or a collection of computers that have been taken over by hackers.

UBE and UCE (Unsolicited Commerical Email) are generally used synonymously, though UCE has a more specific legal definition based on its regulation by the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.