Posted by: todd in Untagged on
Sep 8, 2008
Speaking to our business clients, a lot has changed over the last two years. Probably one of the biggest issues that we all face is SPAM and the annoyance that it has become. Did you know that 14.5 billion messages are sent each day and that some sources estimate that up to 73% of this is SPAM! I know, it is one of the most frustrating things for a service provider because most SPAM is generated overseas beyond our country's ability to enforce legislation. So what can we do to eliminate the junk?
What you can do to get rid of SPAM:
- Do not try to respond to surveys or websites that solicit your email. Usually these emails are collected into lists and sold to any company willing to pay for them. Try to limit giving your email ONLY businesses that you have to.
- If your on a list you can TRY to email the list to be removed, however depending on the company this may or may not have any impact.
- Make sure you have a good Anti-Spam, Anti-Virus program that is kept current on your computer. You can be infected with spyware very easily these days. Most programs will scan incoming messages (as well as outgoing) to filter these out.
- Enroll in a premium Anti-SPAM control through your Internet Service Provider (ISP). Most ISP's include basic levels of Anti-SPAM, Anti-Virus protection. It's almost impossible to filter out SPAM because believe it or not, some people like certain SPAM. However, if your not of that opinion you may have to pay to have individual control to adjust your level of Anti-SPAM protection. Many of these can also block certain domains and email accounts as well.
- If all of the above fail, the easiest way to eliminate SPAM is to change your email address. I know, this is a pain, but desperate times call for desperate measures. In essence your starting fresh with a new address and then you can limit the sites you give your address out to.
- Future trends
In the future the email standard will need to be redone to finally get rid of SPAM once and for all (much to the dismay of marketeers). It will possibly take the form of a "trusted recipient list" whereby you receive mail that only you authorize to receive. Look for these changes in the next 2 years or so (I hope).
Before I get into the benefits let me just comment on some things you need to know as a business in regards to email.
But first some alarming facts:
- The average employee spends about 2.2 hours per day processing email (or roughly 34% of their time)
- Almost 30% of your employees email is personal in nature and some estimates put the figure of receiving "inappropriate" email at nearly 50%.
- Also some 27% of Fortune 500 companies end up having to defend themselves in court over sexual harassment charges from inappropriate email.
- So, what are we supposed to do? Be involved in your IT discussions regarding email policies and be forthright with your employees on what is appropriate or not in email correspondence. In fact, you might want to notify them that company email is the property of the company and is subject to routine inspections as needed. Being honest upfront can set expectations from the beginning.
Additional Email Compliance you need to be aware of. Did you know there are laws that govern email security? Depending on the industry that you're in you need to be aware of your compliance.
- HIPAA (Health Insurance Portibility and Accountability Act) applies to Health care organizations regarding confidential patient information. More information can be found here http://www.cms.hhs.gov/HIPAAGenInfo/
- Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) applies generally to the financial industry to ensure privacy and security of all non-public information. More information can be found here. http://www.ftc.gov/privacy/privacyinitiatives/glbact.html
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX or SarbOx) applies to companies that are governed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Controls call for retention of communications (including email) for at least 6 years. More information can be found here http://www.sarbanes-oxley.com/
There are several other laws in addition not mentioned above. Now whether or not you are involved in one of these industries it just makes good business sense to understand what your liability is in regards to email communication. I'm not a lawyer and don't pretend to be so be sure to check with your attorney as to your risk assesment. Being informed has never been a bad policy.
Advancing Business Communications through Microsoft Exchange Email
At this time I'd like to introduce a new advanced business email service available through PocketiNet called Microsoft Exchange. Most larger businesses that have IT staff, chances are your already running Exchange without knowing it. The client side on the computer usually is running Microsoft Outlook 2007 (not Outlook Express) and is able to do quite a few things not found in conventional email. Overall, it's a very compelling email system designed from the ground up for business.
- Shared Calendars amoungst workers and now even resources (such as meeting rooms, equipment check out's, etc)
- Shared Company Contacts & Tasks
- Multi-site Email access (work, home, business trips) to the same features at the office
- Wireless Email to mobile phones/PDA's - automatic PUSH technology when the email arrives to the mobile phone
- Public folders (internal to the company)
- Encrypted Email - Encrypted messages can be sent to anyone to access the locked email and features digital signatures for authenticity (optional service)
- Email Compliance
- Compliant Achriving - Complies with Sarbanes-Oxley, SEC, NASD, and NYSE regulations
- Message Mirror - creates a copy of each email sent and received for staff monitoring
- Company Disclaimer - company disclaimer feature is an effective way to help your customers enforce a company-wide email policy
- Advanced Anti-SPAM Protection
- Content filtering - Protects on the server side against bad headers and suspect attachments.
- Company-wide white and black lists - Define in detail which senders should always or never be allowed to email you, both at the mailbox level and across your account at the administrator level.
- Outlook integration - End users can control their personal white and black lists directly from Outlook.
- Flexibility - Administrators can manage all spam settings and users get mailbox-level white/black list control.
- User-defined sensitivity - Customers can refine spam sensitivity levels according to their company's email usage.
There are many more features available in this platform and we are making this available as a paid upgrade to our valued business customers. Prices start at just $12.95/mo per email box and you can either select individual email accounts to be on Exchange or you can move your whole domain (www.business.com) onto this platform. Your choice.
At PocketiNet we're constantly striving to better our portfolio of services we offer our customers. Offering a new level of business communication based on leading software from Microsoft is yet another way to make your business more productive and efficient.
If your interested please call us at 509-526-5026 or email email@example.com for more information.
Ok, so that's the end of my sales pitch and blog entry. Again, let me know what topic is of interest to you and I'll write about it in the future.
Thanks for being a loyal PocketiNet customer!
President, PocketiNet Communications, Inc.