While watching a recent episode of The Office, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. During a meeting, the character Andy says to his co-workers, “Ok, I have emailed you all the critical data so be sure to check your spam folder.”
Oh, if only had a dime for everytime, we said to someone in our office, or to a customer, “Did you check your spam folder?”
It’s so much of an accepted problem now, companies anticipate that the information a customer requests may be filtered to spam. So in response, websites, sales material, new customer information and often telephone staff are briefed to include information on how to whiltelist, or mark email as acceptable.
For the most part we love our email don’t we? We rely on it to communicate with customers, family members, co-workers and conduct business. Email is better than voice mail, you can send it when convenient for you, from anywhere in the world. But will the person you are sending it to actually get it?
If you don’t know that someone sent you something, how will you know that you didn’t get it?
Despite the best efforts and money invested by ISP’s and Mail Service providers, the spam still gets through. You can’t find that important email from your customer, and you swear you never got the flight confirmation for your next trip. You check your email, then check again. Still nothing, but the “enhancement” emails still get through. Amazing!
It seems the spammers have won the war on junk email. Yes, some serial spammers have been caught, but take one look in your junk or spam email box and it’s busting with all kinds of offers and tidbits, malware, phishing schemes, and more. The simple task of opening an email attachment can unleash hell on your computer, harvest it and turn it into a Bot. Almost makes you want to watch The Terminator movie again. What was that Sarah Connor said about Skynet and self-aware computers taking over the human race?
I guess a positive way to look at it is this. The spammers, and the baddies of the Internet are helping to create jobs. As they release viruses and malware through email that infect computers it increases sales of Virus Protection Software, and increases calls to the Geek Squad at your local computer shop. The spammers keep the Internet police occupied and are contributing to economic recovery.
Most of us know to check our spam folder when an expected emailed does not arrive. Sometimes Email providers like Google’s Gmail, make it a little difficult to check for misdirected email. For some reason, Gmail, (which otherwise is a great program) has hidden the Spam folder under the MORE tab. Rather than having a very obvious folder called Spam that users can see clearly then check, instead users have to click on MORE, than on the Spam sub-folder. Only then can users see what legitimate email has been filtered unnecessarily. Some ISP’s block the spam before it even gets to your email box. This cuts down on spam but also means you may not get email that you actually DO want to receive, but your provider has deemed it not worthy for delivery or has blacklisted a domain.
Yes, spam is a fact if life. Just like we hate junk faxes, and telemarketers, and flyers in our mail boxes, we now we find our email boxes crammed with junk.
For most of us in an office environment we have come to accept junk email, as annoying but a part of life. The delete button is always a click away. It’s just not worth getting upset about.
** What do you think? Is spam the problem it once was? Submit a comment below we’d like to know what you think.
About the Author
Sandi Hunter is the Director of Website Development at Worldprofit Inc. Worldprofit provides a number of services for the small and home-based business community including hosting, design, webconferencing, traffic, advertising, SEO, safelists, traffic exchanges, training and resources. This year Worldprofit marks their 17th year in business. Details at worldprofit.com