Aug 30, 2008

Best practices for email in the workplace

What may be appropriate when emailing family and friends may not be appropriate when emailing co-workers, clients or providers.

You may think that the appearance of an email has any impact, when in fact it can affect the efficiency of your message.

These are some best practices to ensure the look of your emails do not negatively influence their effectiveness, and to ensure you are getting the right message across:

1. Your name and your recipient name must be visible. It is the first step in order to receives attention and trust.

2. Use a subject line that gives the recipient an idea about the content. Otherwise, it may be ignored or end up in a spam folder. The subject line is a key to differentiate your email.

3. Start your email with a greeting. A proper greeting sets the tone for your message. Messages lacking a greeting may come off as rude. A simple greeting such as Dear, Good afternoon, or Hi is appropriate.

4. Include the recipient name in the greeting. Is the key to get his attention on the message.

5. Include the most important information at the beginning of the message to get your recipients attention. And keep your emails to the point.

6. Avoid using slang terms. Slang may be appropriate for emails outside of the workplace. Your recipient may not understand slang terms. They could be even offensive.

7. Follow good manners. If you are requesting something from your recipient, include "please" and "thank you".

8. Use proper grammar and spelling. Bad grammar and spelling may create the impression that you, the sender, are careless, sloppy, and do not pay attention to details.

9. Avoid typing in all uppercase letters. Typing in all UPPERCASE is the equivalent of yelling. Instead, stick with the basic rule of basic sentence casing.

10. End your email with a closing. Just including your name may come off as being abrupt. Try including a simple closing such as "Regards", "Sincerely", or "Thank you".

Aug 24, 2008

How many Internet users buy from spam emails?

29% of Internet users buy from spam emails. The most commonly purchased items include sexual enhancement pills, software, adult material and luxury items such as watches, jewellery and clothing, according to Marshal.

Botnets are networks comprised of thousands of infected personal computers, controlled remotely by criminals. They have enabled spammers to push down their costs through economies of scale and eliminated the need for spammers to host their own spam servers as they simply take control of other people’s computers instead.

Recent FBI prosecutions of bot-herders and investigations of message-boards used by spammers, suggests the going rate for spammers to send a mln spam messages is as little as $5-10.


Aug 15, 2008

Amount of e-mail spam from January to June 2008

74% of all e-mail in Q2 2008 was spam. Turkey became the country with most zombie computers (11% of the global total), followed by Brazil (8.4%) and Russia (7.4%). The USA, which in the Q1 2008 accounted for 5% of all zombies, is now in ninth place with just 4.3% of the total.

Google Adwords has been at the center of one of the most notable attacks over the last quarter, PandaLabs says. This Google service had been used previously to launch phishing attacks and the trend continues. This type of attack uses social engineering to trick users into revealing confidential details (bank account numbers, passwords, etc.).

Aug 5, 2008

Using company and professionals's e-mail

Using email at the workplace has its own special concerns for the user.

When you send an email message on behalf of an organization, or when you receive any email at an account controlled by your company, you should be aware of some of the realities of using email in the workplace.

For example, you must know the rules for using email on your organization. Everyone that uses email should have some kind of "e-policies" that covers how that resource can be used.

Ideally, that organization's email use policy is written down and everyone in the organization is made aware of the policy.

If there is no explicit policy, then review policies concerning the use of the organization's resources and use your judgment as to what is proper conduct.

Before you send out or forward any email message, ask yourself whether the contents of that message will come back to haunt you.

For instance, matters that are usually discussed in whispers at the office are best kept out of an email. Rumors, gossip, and other issues not directly related to the organization's business should be kept out of an email.

Before you send out any email, ask yourself the following question "If this email were accidentally sent to everyone in the organization, would I be in some kind of trouble?"