|Spam Blocker Information||
Let us create a 3d Digital eBook for you! DigyCat.com
Corporate Email Policies Lower Unnecessary Legal and Security Risks
What comes to your mind when you think about your email? Email makes possible almost instant communication with your co-workers without leaving your desk, a quick note to a family member who lives far away, but also has a very annoying downside such as junk mail. Since the introduction of the Internet, email has been one of its primary uses. The fact that it is a fast, cheap and easy means of communication, makes email a great business tool. But there are also a series of threats for employers associated with email usage. Email threats such as confidentiality breaches, legal liability, lost productivity and damage to reputation cost organizations millions of dollars each year.
In the majority of cases, companies are held responsible for all the information transmitted on or from their systems. As a result, inappropriate emails can result in multi-million dollar penalties in addition to other costs. For example, a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) employee unintentionally sent a dirty joke entitled 'Nuns in Heaven' to 6,000 journalists and government officials on the agency's group email list. This employee's lapse in judgment and electronic mistake resulted in negative publicity and national embarrassment for the FCC. In the US, Chevron settled a case filed by four female employees for $2.2 million. The employees alleged that sexually harassing emails sent through the company's email system caused a threatening work environment. One of the sexually offensive messages was a joke sheet titled '25 reasons why beer is better than women'. A company can also be liable if one of its employees sends an email containing a virus.
Confidentiality breaches can be accidental, for instance when an employee selects a wrong contact name in the 'To:' field, or intentional, such as the case where an employee uses his corporate email account to send confidential information to one of the company's competitors. In the latter case, both the employee and the recipient could be charged with trade secret theft. Nonetheless, whether it is by mistake or on purpose, the result of the loss of confidential data is the same.
Lost productivity due to inappropriate use of a firm's email system is becoming a growing area of concern. A recent survey revealed that 86 per cent of workers used their company email to send and receive personal emails. Given that it has become very hard in our modern world to segregate people's personal lives outside of the workday, companies struggle to find effective ways of balancing employee freedoms and corporate protection. In addition to personal emails, unwanted spam messages are a significant time waster. Spam and personal abuse of email can also cause a corporation's email system to waste valuable bandwidth resources. A Gartner Group study held under 13,000 email users found that 90 percent receive spam at least once a week, and almost 50 percent get spammed more than 6 times a week. Personal emails cause network congestion since they are not only unnecessary, but tend to be mailed to a large list of recipients and often include large attachments such as mp3, executable or video files that users do not zip. Adopting an anti-spam system alone has not proven effective to stop spam. The combination of spam- blockers with other methods of spam control technologies such as SIDF, SPF, Bayesian Filters, Blacklists, Whitelists, Anomaly Detection, and Spam Signatures has proven to be much more effective. There are also special organizations such as the AntiSPAMLeague.org that give Internet users the chance to report those individuals and companies that are responsible of spamming. You can become a member for free and learn how to control the spam problem by visiting their website at www.antispamleague.org. For more details on how to deal with spam, read the article 'How Can I Stop It? - The Challenging Task of Controlling Spam'.
How can a company protect itself from these threats? The first step in securing your organization is to create an email usage policy. Every company needs to establish a policy regarding use of and access to company email systems, and then tell all employees what its policy is. After you have created your email policy you must make sure it is actually implemented. This can be done by providing regular trainings and by monitoring employees' email using some type of email security software. The email policy should be made available and easily accessible to all employees and should be included in employee handbooks and company intranets. It is best to include the email policy, or a short statement regarding the policy, in employment contracts. In this way the employee must acknowledge in writing that he/she is aware of the email policy and of the obligation to adhere to it.
What are some of the benefits of having a clear and effective email policy? First, it helps prevent email threats, since it makes your staff aware of the corporate rules and guidelines. Second, it can help stop any misconduct at an early stage by asking employees to come forward as soon as they receive an offensive email. Keeping the incidents to a minimum can help avoid legal liability. For example, in the case of Morgan Stanley, a US investment bank that faced an employee court case, the court ruled that a single email communication - a racist joke, in this case - cannot create a hostile work environment and dismissed the case against them. Third, if an incident does occur, an email policy can minimize the corporation's liability for the employee's actions. Previous cases have proven that the existence of an email policy can prove that the company has taken steps to prevent inappropriate use of the email system and therefore can be freed of liability. Fourth, if you are going to use email filtering software to check the contents of your employee's emails, you must have an email policy that states this clearly. Some employees may argue that by monitoring their emails, companies are violating their privacy rights. However, court cases have shown that if the employer has warned the employee beforehand that their email might be monitored, the employer has a right to do so. People usually respond better when they know where they stand and what is expected of them.
The recent spike in the volume of spam traveling across the Internet, combined with the dangers of phishing and virus attacks that frequently accompany these messages, has forced corporations to reconsider how they determine which messages will be allowed into their network. For years, companies have addressed their email security needs through a mixture of third party software solutions designed to address specific areas of vulnerability. Today, however, this approach appears to be ineffective. New threats adapt to even the latest security technology, helping hackers and spammers stay a step ahead of most stand-alone protective measures. System administrators remain in a reactionary mode, waiting for the next attack and hoping their mixed bag of security software is up to the test.
The role of email in Sarbanes-Oxley compliance cannot be overstated. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 and associated rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) require certain businesses to report on the effectiveness of their internal controls over financial reporting. Effective internal controls ensure information integrity by mandating the confidentiality, privacy, availability, controlled access, monitoring and reporting of corporate or customer financial information. Companies that must comply with Sarbanes-Oxley include U.S. public companies, foreign filers in U.S. markets and privately held companies with public debt. U.S. companies with market cap greater than $75M and on an accelerated (2004) filing deadline are required to comply for fiscal years ending on or after Nov. 15, 2004. All others are required to comply for fiscal years ending on or after April 15, 2005.
Because the bulk of information in most corporations is created, stored, transmitted and maintained electronically, IT departments are responsible for ensuring that sound practices, including corporate wide information security policies and enforced implementation of those policies, are in place for employees at all levels. Information security policies should govern the following items:
Most of us would agree that today email is the primary internal and external communication tool for corporations. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most exposed areas of a technology infrastructure. Email systems are critical to ensuring effective internal control over financial reporting, encryption of external messages and active policy enforcement, all essential elements of compliance. Companies must install a solution that actively enforces policy, stops offending mail both inbound and outbound and halts threats before internal controls are compromised, as opposed to passively noting violations as they occur. An effective email security solution must address all aspects of controlling access to electronically stored company financial information. Given the wide functionality of email, ensuring appropriate information access control for all of these points requires:
On a final note, some clear guidelines for a good and effective email policy include the following points: a) Emails should comply with the proper RFC protocols for email, 2) Employees should not attempt to obscure content or messages in emails, 3) Companies should post privacy policies where they can be read and understood, prior to submission of a request, 4) Employees should not send email to unverified or nonexistent email addresses, 5) Companies should offer users opportunities to opt-out of programs.
Given that developments in email and the Internet are changing so rapidly, it is essential to review the email policy at least once every quarter. Keep an eye on new developments in email and Internet law so that you are aware of any new regulations and opportunities. When you release new updates, it is preferable to have each user sign as acknowledgment of their receipt of the policy.
With all of this said, if you want to reduce electronic risks in the workplace you must take the initiative. Electronic disasters can ruin businesses, sink careers, send stock prices plummeting, and generate public relations nightmares. Do not wait for a disaster to strike; prevention is always your best defense. Visit www.AntiSpamLeague.org and they will help you develop and implement written email usage and privacy policies that clearly reflect your organization's expected standards of electronic behavior, along with privacy and monitoring policies.
About The Author
The purpose of the Anti SPAM League is to help consumers and business owners reduce the amount of SPAM they receive. In addition, our Anti SPAM organization believes that educating site owners in the area of SPAM prevention and ways to successfully and responsibly market their sites, is key in making a difference.
Spam Blocker - Google News
This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news
Beware Of Spam Withdrawals
Q: I am so sick of all the spam that is sent to my business email address. I spend an hour every morning just trying to sort out the good email from the bad.
Block Ads, Defeat Pop-Ups, and STOP Page Hijacking
You're not alone!Who hasn't surfed the web looking for information only tohave their session interrupted by those annoying pop-upwindows displaying everything from banner ads to newslettersign-up's?Though pop-up windows and other methods of influencing auser's online experiences originally had positiveintentions, they now seem only to annoy and manipulateusers at every turn.For anyone who ever felt extremely irritated by onlineadvertising, the following advice should help.
Fight Spam and Fortify Your Web Site with RSS
RSS is the answer to the Spam epidemic of the past. Spam, any mass distribution of material across the Internet, can cause systems to back up and crash with unwanted and unsolicited material.
Im Guilty Until Proven Innocent
No doubt about it."Spam" (unsolicited commercial email) threatens toparalyze and ultimately destroy the email system as itcurrently exists on the Internet.
Spam - How to Report it
I'm sure you find spam just as frustrating and annoying as I do.So I've done some investigation in how to report it to get thesepeople hopefully in a bit of strife! And put spam to an end or atleast lessen it ;-)You see, I actually didn't realize for a while I was actuallymaking the situation worse.
How Can I Stop Getting Spam?
Are you getting too much spam? We all are, but if you're a webmaster the word spam takes on a whole new meaning.It's not uncommon for the luckiest of email users to receive a dozen or so spam messages each day, while those of us who aren't so fortunate receive hundreds.
SPAM: A Nutrious Food or a Waste of Time?
Unless the filters on your computer are really good, you're getting at least an occasional SPAM message in your email Inbox. For most of us, we spend more time sorting through and deleting the SPAM than we care to.
What Is Spam?
If you've been around the interenet any length of time then you probably know what spam is. However, if you're new to the internet you might be asking yourself the question "What is Spam?"The best place to begin would be to explain to you exactly what spam mail is.
Kill The Messenger (Service)
You are familiar with the software applications that you run on your computer, but you may not be familiar with the dozens of programs running in the background on your computer. These programs, called "services" handle tasks like event logging, spooling files to the printer, and networking.
The Great Spam Scam: Five Strategies To Stop Brand and Revenue Robbery
Marketers usually think of anti-spam tactics as 'how to prevent' readers from perceiving their e-communications as spam. There is another, more sinister, consequence that may affect you.
Do Not Spam
The temptation among internet marketers to SPAM is greater than ever. By now, most people know that SPAM isn't the popular food from Hormel but a pseudonym for "unsolicited commercial email," also known as UCE.
A Practical Approach to Eliminate Spam
Spam is out of control! I guess that would be the understatement of the year. Like any other annoying fact of life, you let it drive you crazy or you deal with it.
How To Stop Spam
I imagine you have seen, heard about, or already know what spam is. But just in case you don't, it is unsolicited and unwanted emails that arrive in your email inbox from a person or company that you don't know.
Where Did The Word Spam Come From?
We've all become familiar with the term spam. It's become so commonplace that even people who never use computers are familiar with the term spam.
The Cybermagic of Whitelists
Before we start getting deep into the meat of this article it's important to explain some standard terminology to make sure the rest of this article makes sense.An IP address is a number which identifies your location on the Internet.
Beware of the Newest Activity Online: Phishing
No. I'm not talking here about the outdoor activity enjoyed by many.
Customers Demand Internet Privacy
ANTI-S*P^A#M: Protecting Your Web Sites Email Address(es)
Did you know that there are software programs that viewweb sites and steal email addresses? It's called"harvesting" because they're harvesting your email addressfrom your site. This may be one of the reasons your web siteemail address is receiving more s*p^a#m than wanted email.
Why Is Spam Such a Problem?
Spam can be a lot more damaging than you might think. Obviously, they are the most annoying thing that you can receive through your inbox, but it goes deeper than that.
Do You Know Whats in Your Trash?
A hearty welcome to all the spam fighting filters and programs created to rescue us from the deluge of unwanted e-mail! There is practically a "solution" for everything. But as with most online "solutions" filters and programs are only tools that users need to make some effort to use properly to reap the benefits.
DigyCat Domain Is For Sale - $105,000 For Enquiries eMail Us
© www.DigyCat.com - 2012