The 10th technology mistake afflicting SMALL/MEDIUM businesses is one with which most every business and user is familiar: unsolicited email, also known as spam. Spam messages have become a serious issue, particularly for SMALL/MEDIUM businesses that often misunderstand the problem and fail to take effective countermeasures.
Cost of SPAM
The Radicatti Research Group estimates spam costs businesses more than $20 billion a year. Further, almost half of all email is estimated to be spam.
Damage SPAM can cost you and your company
Thus, SMALL/MEDIUM businesses are investing valuable time, money and system resources processing, delivering and even storing these unsolicited email messages. In addition to lowering productivity (staff must regularly sift through hundreds or more junk mail messages, deleting the spam, in search of legitimate email), spam takes a toll on an organization’s servers and workstations, which often must dedicate processor cycles, disk space and backup media to untold gigabytes of unwanted mail.
Recommendations to minimize SPAM
Technology consultants wield several weapons in the war on spam. In addition to network filtering software, consultants can deploy server-based spam protection. Still other organizations choose to outsource email processing to an outside vendor, who can monitor email streams and filter out unwanted messages.
Such filters can generate false positives, however. And, they’re not cheap. Therefore, it’s often a good idea to begin by adopting effective methods for managing unsolicited email messages. Here are several first steps all email users and SMALL/MEDIUM business owners may take to minimize spam:
- Do not publish email addresses in plain text on Web sites; instead use form-based tools that prevent robotic harvesting
- Avoid forwarding chain email messages
- Ignore credit repair, get-rich-quick and other common email solicitations
- Use reputable email filters (such as those included in Microsoft Outlook, Google Gmail and other programs)
- Read all terms before ever submitting your email address to another party
- Review privacy policies before ever providing an email address
- Consider creating a free email account (Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail, etc.) for submitting to third parties
You’ve worked hard for your business, and it deserves the very best!