A chain mail may refer to any of the following:
1. Chain mail, a chain letter, or a chain e-mail is an unsolicited e-mail containing false information for the purpose of scaring, intimidating, or deceiving the recipient. Its purpose is to coerce the recipient to forward the e-mail to other unwilling recipients, thereby propagating the malicious or spurious message. The following are fictious examples of what chain mail may look like if you were to receive it.
In the first example, this e-mail plays on an individual's sympathy. While the information about the sick or dying individual may or may not be true, there has never been a company or organization that would donate money if you forwarded an e-mail.
In the second example, a common myth or scare is sent out and because it seems significant or frightening, the recipient feels inclined to let all their friends know. A good rule of thumb to follow is if the mail sounds unbelievable, but has never been mention on a reputable news sources, it is not true. Don't forward these e-mails even if it claims its never been mentioned because of a cover-up or conspiracy.
Dear all, 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 money for each e-mail address that receives this message. Sincerely, Important person
Dear all, Please be aware of a major news story, political event, disaster, disease, miracle, or amazing product. Please forward this to everyone you know to help them or warn them about the above article.
Dear all, <popular or well known company, e.g., Microsoft> is giving away money, having a lottery, sending prizes, etc. to anyone who forwards this e-mail.
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 e-mails and instead delete it.
2. When referring to a game or armor, the term chainmail is used to describe armor that is made by connecting a series of small rings together. Chainmail is commonly more protective than ringmail armor.