1. Also known as a chain letter, a chain mail is a forwarded e-mail sent unbeknown to e-mail contacts containing false information and/or a myth because of sympathy or a scare. Below are two fake examples of common types of chain mails.
This e-mail contains information about a sick or dying individual. Please forward this e-mail to as many people as possible. This large company or organization will donate a money amount for each e-mail address that this e-mail is sent to.
Please be aware of a major news story, political event, disaster, disease, miracle, product, or other type of warning. Please forward this to everyone you know to help them or warn them about the above article.
<popular or well known company, e.g. Microsoft> is giving away money, having a lottery, sending prizes, etc. to all people who you forward this e-mail to.
The first example helps play on an individuals sympathy. While the information about the sick or dying individual may or may not be true, there is no way for a company to track an e-mail after it has been sent or forwarded.
Equally as common is the second example: a large myth or scare is sent out, and because this scare or myth is so significant or frightening, the individual receiving the e-mail feels that it is necessary to forward it to all. A good practice is if the mail sounds so unbelievable or frightening, yet you have not seen or heard any mention of it on reputable news sources, it is likely it is not true and you should not forward it to everyone; even if the e-mail claims that it is some cover-up or conspiracy.
Overall, a chain mail is a form of spam and in some cases is used to grab individuals' e-mail addresses for spam. Therefore, as a kindness to all your contacts in e-mail, do not forward these types of e-mails and instead simply delete it.
2. When referring to a game or armor, the term chainmail is used to describe a type of armor that is made by connecting a series of small rings together. Chainmail is commonly more protective than ringmail armor.