Email Issues

In the modern world, communication via the Internet has become a part of most people’s everyday life. We read online news, participate in interesting blogs, chat via social networks and instant messaging systems. Email is an indivisible part of the online communication. It is used for both work and leisure and lets us send and receive data in a matter of minutes even if the sender/addressee is on the opposite side of the planet. 92% of adults use email, 61% of which use it daily making email usage the most popular online activity alongside with the Internet search engines.

Electronic mail (referred to as email since 1993) is a tool for exchanging information through Internet networks, which allows a user to send messages to one or more recipients. The early email systems required for both the sender and recipient to be online at the same time to be able to send and receive messages. The modern technologies do not require this, as servers store and forward information from the sender to the recipients.

Email is widely used for leisure as it enables to send much data at a time (photographs, music, movies) or just communicate with friends and relatives who are not near. The percentage of consumer email accounts makes up 75% of online mailboxes (The Radicati Group, Inc., 2011).

Despite it entertaining use, email is growing more and more popular with working environments. It is estimated that the number of corporate email accounts will grow more rapidly than the number of consumer mailboxes as a result of the rising popularity of affordable cloud-based email services. A typical corporate email user sends and receives approximately 105 messages a day (The Radicati Group, Inc., 2011).

While obtaining many advantages, the email user can come across certain issues too, which will be especially unpleasant in case of corporate email systems, as at work the employee usually requires that all resources work precisely according to one’s needs.

The common issues a corporate email user can come across are the following:

  • 1. The first issue is that email is insecure. While many consider that having a strong password on one’s account is enough to keep the information safe, the reality is far from being that positive. Threats to security and privacy range from the right of the National Security Agency to lawfully demand private information regarding any email account to the elements added to graphical components in HTML mail, which let the sender see whether the addressee has opened the letter and when it was done. The latter method is often used by marketing companies to collect data. They are minor risks but still many people take security and privacy very seriously and prefer being asked whether they do not mind that someone else knows when they read their letters.
  • 2. Even in the case of careful users who do not register their email address on different websites, the possibility of receiving spam messages remains, despite all the filters. Usually employees consider that the quantity of spam they receive is quite small (Fallows, 2002).  But in fact it has been estimated that 19% of email messages that are delivered to a corporate email user are spam (The Radicati Group, Inc., 2011). Being distracted from work by incoming unnecessary letters is not a pleasant experience.
  • 3. Viruses spreading through email remain a threat even nowadays. If we consider the Microsoft Outlook program, even clicking on the infected message can launch a virus into the addressee’s computer system.
  • 4. Just like in the case with conventional mail, the letters can be delivered or can be lost in the way. The fact that all the messages a user sent before reached their recipients is no guarantee that all the future letters will be delivered. Also, the fact that most email systems use spam filters makes it possible that important letters might be placed into the spam folder, which is usually neglected by the user as considered containing only unimportant messages.
  • 5. As a not real-time system, email has certain advantages and disadvantages. The benefit would be for global companies where workers from all over the world, from different time zones communicate with one another, it lets the senders sent messages when it is convenient for them and recipients read the letters and reply when it is convenient for them. Though most users claim to check their mailbox at least several times a day (Fallows, 2002),the delay with the reply may be a drawback when email is the primary means of communication in a company and the topic of the letter requires swift response from the recipient.

The components of email managing system important to ensure the security of the corporate mailing system are the mail flow, storage, and access. All these three components should be thoroughly approached for secure and successful business communication.

Mail flow consists of many aspects, but it is mainly centered on auditing and tracking email letters into and out of the organization. Corporations tend to overview the content of every corporate email, sent or received by its workers, for compliance with the business policy of the company. Mail flow also includes the protection of the corporate email network from malicious attacks. The means of protection include both software and hardware, as well as spam filters and virus scanners. When it comes to storing data retrieved from email, the greatest threat is a possible loss of information, which might be needed for some purpose in the future. Here, attention should be paid to securing and auditing the access to corporate mailboxes (Johnston, 2013).

To summarize, the email systems available to corporations now are becoming more and more popular and can help greatly in business communication of workers from one and the same country or from all around the globe. However, firms should be aware of the threats and issues connected with the email technology and take appropriate measures and precautions to ensure the best corporate communication experience.

References

Johnston, M. (2013). Email security – what are the issues? Retrieved from: http://www.net-security.org/article.php?id=816&p=1

Fallows, D. (2002). Email at work. Retrieved from: http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2002/Email-at-work/Summary-of-Findings.aspx

The Radicati Group, Inc. (2011). Email statistics report, 2011-2015. Retrieved from: http://www.radicati.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Email-Statistics-Report-2011-2015-Executive-Summary.pdf

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