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US-sourced Spam costs UK economy £4.5billion each year

Open. Delete. Open. Delete. Open. Delete. It doesn’t seem as if it takes up too much of your time, does it?

Yet managing spam email predominantly sent from the US costs small to medium businesses in the UK over £4.5 billion in productivity costs according to recently conducted research by a leading anti-spam company.

Spam email is costing the average Small to Medium business nearly £2000[1] each year according to new research by anti-spam company, ClearMyMail, with the vast majority of it coming from America.

On average each employee wastes two days of their working year filtering through and deleting illicit and often obscene emails, with it taking on average 6 seconds to download, check and delete each email.

The UK based anti-spam software service has found that for an average small business managing 10 different email accounts, 160 hours of working time each year are devoted to the tedious task of ensuring spam ends up in the trash.

More than 2.5 million small businesses in the UK now use email as their main communicative medium. James Coakes of Progressive Resources Ltd claims that spam email has cost his and his employees valuable time and effort.

“These statistics come as no shock. My employees and I have been battling the menace of spam for years now, constantly bombarded with often lude and definitely unwelcome promises and messages, from senders claiming to have a personal knowledge of me.”He continued, “They were, and are a nuisance. I have since started using an anti-spam product, which has allowed my employees to concentrate on their work rather than what somebody is attempting to sell them.”

Dan Field, MD of has some advice for those looking to cut down on time spent dealing with these unsolicited messages:

“As the Internet and email has evolved, so has spam, which is often advertisement in the most intrusive way. Securing your companies servers means that there are fewer servers that spammers can illegally use to convey their messages. However, the problem of unwanted email will remain until enough of the population, including those who use their computers for personal use install anti-spam software.

He continued, “This way, spammers will have such a small pool of potential targets that they may have to resort to more mainstream methods of advertising.”

The company had previously looked at which countries produce the highest number of UK targeted spam, and America led the way with just under 50% of all rogue emails coming from the USA.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.