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What Does Spam Do? How It Damages Your Business

written by: Ashwin Satyanarayana•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 7/4/2011

Spam is ubiquitous. All pervasive and is extremely irritating. It pulls back productivity and takes up resources, staff time, up keep time and drains resources. See how exactly spam delivers its sweet poison and ensures that your organization trots like an over burdened beast.

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    Spam, apparently is said to be a major threat to email, which happens to be a ubiquitous form of communication in the entire world. So would spam threaten the very existence of email? Would it put an end to email then? That seems remote and unlikely. However, it does affect the organization in a lot of ways, of which, the ones mentioned below can hit the bottom line almost immediately.

    Productivity: Spam actually wastes a whopping amount of people’s time -- all the way from the employees, IT Staff, administration staff, and possibly everybody else within the organization. It sucks time out and saps the company of its productivity. Users have to literally sift through messages and delete them (well, some of them actually read them too. May god bless these souls).

    Support costs: Think about this for a second, your email servers spend more time sorting and sifting your email to deliver the appropriate emails to you. But with 75 to 80% of the inbound mail is spam, could you fathom the kind of computing power that is spent on doing this? If you thought that your email servers are slow and it takes you forever to send an attachment to your recipient, now you know why. Some companies even have their helpdesks and IT departments swamped with calls from distraught employees begging to be relieved from spamming (as if they had a magic wand that could make everything vanish).

    Jeopardy and Liability: Did you ever check up on one of those spam messages you get? It possibly contains more filth you can handle. Employees might end up receiving all of those lewd spyware, malware or viruses through attachments and that might possibly harm the system or even the entire network. If the organization isn’t doing much about this, employees might even feel traumatized. Employees might also put themselves at risk having fallen for fraudulent mails and get victimized by phishing attempts.

    Virus, Trojans, Malware and Spyware: Voluntarily or involuntarily, spam is the vehicle for all of the digital vermin you might find online. Earlier, spam was harmless. It was just irritating perhaps. Today, however, spammers and the malicious code writers have joined strategically to ensure that their partnership remains profitable. The writers write the code and the spammers deliver to the masses. A pure numbers game which give both the parties what they want and ruin the users in the process. Spam is the official carrier of phishing, spyware, malware and viruses.

    Huge overhead costs: Email is free, but handing it and delivering it; processing it and managing it, is not. The email servers, email hosting accounts, networks, servers and the IT staff to manage all that traffic -- all of this, including the support costs mentioned above -- is going to be expensive for the organization. The more you shy away from doing anything about this, the more expenses you have to boot.