Spam emails are considered a nuisance by most of us. But what happens when your employees have to deal with these “nuisances” regularly? The problem is that with the proliferation of spam emails, many employees must scroll through hundreds of spam emails a year.
According to Mailmodo, about 45.37% of total emails were marked as spam in 2021. And things haven’t gotten much better this year. Your employees are not dealing with millions of emails a year (hopefully); however, the statistic that between 45% to 85% of all emails should make you realise that spam is a huge problem and it can lower employee productivity.
The problem is that not all employees deal with the same amount of spam emails, and each person deals with spam in a different way.
What’s the Problem?
Normal emails are considered time-wasters in most companies. It can take almost 61% of an employee’s day to check and respond to these messages. What’s more, external and internal communication is essential, so emails must be taken care of every day. But how much time is lost to spam emails?
Studies suggest that each employee spends about 80 hours a year sorting through email messages. Now, go back to the statistics that between 45% and 85% of emails are spam and/or contain malicious content. That’s quite a bit of wasted time.
These statistics hold true for large, medium, and small businesses. No matter the size of the company, dealing with spam is a waste of precious time that could be better spent on more important tasks.
The Most Common Spam Email Threats
Here are some of the most common spam email threats employees may encounter in their inboxes:
These are sometimes disguised to look like legitimate pieces of software. However, the emails may contain a trojan horse, which hides malicious code or links (including spyware, viruses, and more). These can be used to allow a hacker to gain control of a device or network or steal company data.
Hackers send phishing emails that may look as if they’re from a legitimate source. The emails may direct the reader to a spoof website, asking them to input login credentials or financial information (such as a credit card).
The emails are specifically designed to steal personal information.
Cybercriminals also use fake offers that may seem entirely legitimate. These play on a person’s desire to win something or to help a person in distress (by sending money, for instance). The reality is that this is another way for criminals to steal personal data and use it for their own purposes.
How to Stop Spam Emails?
Thankfully, it’s not difficult to put a stop to most spam emails. Sure, your inbox will never be completely free of spam; however, you can greatly reduce the number of these nuisances in your email.
Strengthen Email Filters
One place to start is with the installation of spam and ransomware email filters. These are pretty easy to install, and they use technology to detect spam emails and identify malicious links/images/attachments before they enter an employee’s inbox.
Be sure not to set the filters too high, however, or you could end up blocking essential emails from clients and stakeholders. Find a setting that’s high enough to keep the worst spam from getting through and that allows customer inquiry messages through.
The result is that you and your employees won’t have to waste so much time sorting through junk email.
Don’t Post Email Addresses Publicly
Keeping your business email off the company and public websites can also reduce spam. You may want to implement email forms on your site, which allow individuals to contact your business directly rather than send an email to you.
While this method is not 100% effective, it will drastically cut down on the amount of spam email your business receives. It also means bots are not able to scrape your email address and paste it online elsewhere.
Block Email Senders
Another great way to stop spam emails is to block spammers from contacting your company and employees again. This method is not completely effective, but it will significantly reduce the amount of spam mail employees must deal with.
Most email services offer a “blocked addresses” feature that allows you to block specific senders. When blocked, these specific senders’ messages will not reach your inbox.
While some spammers will create new email addresses and keep up the spam, others will stop and move on to other addresses that give them a response.
Don’t Reply to Spam
Spammers are looking for an email address that provides them with a response. They’re looking for someone to respond to their offer or fall victim to their phishing scheme. In addition, spam messages may contain malware and viruses that can attack a device and network. Files may be encrypted; hackers can gain access to valuable company data and so much more.
What’s more, spammers have the capability to track and see if you’ve opened their message and engaged with the contents. If they see you have, rest assured that more spam is on the way.
Instead of replying to spam, train employees to send the message to the spam or junk mail folder right away and delete it. However, if there’s anything concerning about the message, employees should forward these to a designated department, such as the IT department.
Change Email Addresses That Regularly Receive Spam
When the previous efforts are not effective at reducing spam, it may be necessary to change an employee’s email address. This is also the case if an employee’s email address has been used or exposed in a data breach.
Train & Educate Employees
Training and educating employees about the dangers of spam email and its contents is essential. This is an ongoing process, considering that hackers quickly develop new methods when old ones fail to be effective.
Employees need to be trained to recognise spam emails and how to handle them.
Summing It Up
It’s a fact that spam emails can reduce employee productivity and cost your company money. So, it’s best to take a stand against spam by using some of the methods we outlined in this article.
When your organisation has more control over spam, employees can get to work sooner on those more important tasks. Not only will their productivity soar, but revenues will also receive a healthy boost.
23rd February 2024
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