Some Unknown Costs Associated With SpamWritten by Jeff on May 31, 2012
Spam is an odd thing.
We all know that it is annoying, we know that it wastes time, that it can spread malware and that it can be the cause of financial troubles. So when it makes its way to our inboxes we avoid it as soon as we recognize it.
But this doesn’t slow the spammers down. We put up sophisticated filters to block spam, their botnets are dismantled and people are trained on how to identify junk mail; and still spammers persist.
Obviously this persistence pays off for them or we would see a lot less of it.
Many of the problems associated with spam are rather evident. We read all the time about the costs associated with fighting spam or how much money is lost as a result of lower productivity due to spam. But there are some hidden costs as well.
Some of the problems associated with spam aren’t in the immediate forefront. And today we are going to take a look at some of the lesser known problems that are caused by spam.
Going green has been the goal of many businesses for many years now. Companies have instituted recycling programs, encouraged car pooling and switched to energy efficient lighting. Others have designed their entire facility according to sustainable practices.
But what have they done about spam? That’s right, spam is an unknown enemy to many a environmentally conscious business. In fact the green house gas emissions associated with one spam email equals the same amount emitted by a car driving three feet.
That may not seem like anything to worry about though, so let’s put it into perspective. If you take the 95 million spam emails sent in the year 2010 and multiply that by three, the green house gas emissions are equal to what we would see if that same car drove around the world 2 million times. And 16 percent of that comes from actually filtering out spam messages.
Without your anti-spam solution the 28.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide would increase 270 percent so by fighting spam you are actually helping to save the planet.
If you run a search for spam statistics, you will find that there is a plethora of results for these keywords. And the results vary by year because just about every company that deals with spam or security provides a report that show how much spam is being sent, where it comes from, where it goes, how much is blocked, etc.
Not only that, but companies who are in the business of stopping spam need to continually research trends in email spam so they can learn how to best stop it with their products.
To gather all this research costs money. Of course, spending money on this is necessary. Without it people wouldn’t understand the dangers of leaving email systems unprotected and anti-spam filters wouldn’t be able to keep up.
Roads in your neighborhood need work? Want more cops on the streets and teachers in the schools? Well you can put some of the blame for not having these things on spammers.
Businesses aren’t the only targets for spammers. When you see that spam costs organizations in the United States 10 billion dollars a year, a good portion of that is coming from government organizations. That means tax dollars that could be going towards improvements in your community are spent dealing with unwanted junk emails.
Health Care Costs
Everyone wants to save money, and when it comes to healthcare people have found that they can find certain items for a lower price on the Internet. This includes prescription drugs.
When you consider that 66 percent of spam is advertising for pharmaceuticals you can safely assume that someone, somewhere is falling for it.
Unfortunately for those who buy from these online stores, they might not be getting what they paid for. Medicines are often counterfeit or the dosages vary meaning a person could easily take too much or too little – and that can have serious implications on their health.
Can you think of another way, besides the obvious, that spam costs us in the long run? Share it with us in the comment section below.