Spam emails, unwanted, unsolicited and untargeted electronic messages, are costing British and Irish businesses #5 billion a year, and are expected to escalate over the next few years.
Commissioned by Novell, the report, conducted by Benchmark Research, asked over 800 companies of all sizes and disciplines about rogue emails and found that three quarters of respondents spend up to 15 minutes a day reading, deleting or responding to spam. A further 15 per cent take up to one hour daily to clear through it.
The majority of spam comes from outside a company and is frequently commercial, with 74 per cent of respondents receiving product promotions, and 66 per cent, get-rich-quick schemes. Other forms of spam include messages from religious movements and pornography.
The junk email problem was also expected to gather pace over the next few years, further disrupting businesses. About 1.4 per cent of the UK workforce are idle at any one time dealing with spam.
Apart from the cost, the report revealed spam can harm morale, increasing stress and aggression in the workplace.
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