- Junk emails or spam are costing British and Irish businesses £5 billion a year and threaten to severely affect the progress of the Internet, according to new research.
The survey carried out by software firm Novell UK also found that amongst people who had received repeated spam there was a worrying incidence of those that had received emails of a sinister or offensive nature, otherwise known as cyber-stalking.
The report, entitled A Spammer in the works, found that 75 per cent of those people surveyed receive up to five spam emails a day, with a further 16 per cent receiving between six and 25 spam emails a day.
In dealing with these emails 75 per cent said they wasted up to 15 minutes a day reading, deleting, filing or responding to spam and an amazing 15 per cent wasted an hour doing the same.
Taking the working population as a whole, this means that the amount of time being wasted dealing with spam emails each year in the UK equates to over £5.1 billion.
As a result, 68 per cent felt that spamming was the cause of stress or aggressive behaviour in the workplace with 64 per cent believing that spam emails are the cause of many abusive, aggressive or deliberately anti social emails -flamemails.
As well as costing business money, the report claims that spamming is eroding the efficiency savings brought by the internet in the first place. With 47 per cent of people believing that the spam problem has reached levels of seriousness which could lead to people being driven away from using the Internet and email.