Anti-Spam Controls Cause Over One-Third of Workers to Miss Deadlines

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Mirapoint, a leading provider of email server and security appliances, in conjunction with Infosecurity Europe, has announced the results of a survey on the impact of spam controls on the reliability of email as a communication tool. The survey also highlights how UK companies enforce email policies in the workplace.

Sixty six percent of respondents said that legitimate emails they should have received have been blocked by a spam filter - known as false positives in the industry. Two thirds of those respondents said this happened on a monthly basis but a quarter of those surveyed revealed that they experience this problem on a weekly basis. While 51% of those respondents said time wasted was the most significant repercussion, 42% have missed a deadline as a result.

"The spam hysteria of the last few years has created the impression that blocking unwanted email is the primary concern for businesses with the result that some service providers and companies appear to have lost sight of their users' real needs and requirements," said Nigel Brooke, VP EMEA, Mirapoint. "The speed and reliability of email delivery is integral to its value as a business communications tool. Filtering unwanted messages ultimately serves no purpose if it undermines the effectiveness of the overall message network's responsiveness."

Nine out of ten of respondents are aware of an email policy at work but more than half of those surveyed are not required to formally sign up to this policy.

The key to an effective email policy is enforcement - there must be an element of compulsion if the policy is to be taken seriously. This is evident by the fact that while the vast majority of respondents were aware of the existence of an email policy at work, 29% of those surveyed admitted to sending an email containing inappropriate content, 34% said they had forwarded an email chain letter and 38% admitted they had forwarded an unsolicited product offer.

"In the same way that Internet misuse policies are now a provision of most employment contracts, email policies should also be made a standard provision, outlining the level of care expected of employees when using email," added Brooke. "In this way, all staff are made explicitly aware of their email obligations and the penalties of email misuse."

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