Despite High Popularity of E-mail System, Consumer Trust is Low

As traffic from personal e-mail and online shopping swells during the approaching holiday season, consumers feel a sense of insecurity in the e-mail mode of communication. Such a development could diminish the worth of e-mail exchanges and consumers' goods transactions, thinks Habeas Inc., the company that provides compliance to e-mail, and management of reputation.

While many in the US relying on e-mail, the prevalence of spam, increase in various Internet threats, and low confidence in conventional security solutions to beat those problems have given rise to consumer insecurity with respect to e-mail communications.

The Habeas study, which tried to understand online insecurities facing consumers and their e-mail usage, observed that although e-mail continues to be a popular service - with 96% of e-mailers using it everyday at work and 74% using it daily for non-professional reasons - consumers do not seem to have full trust in it. Respondents gave the reasons for it as concerns of privacy and safety, the inconvenience involved, and the lack of e-mail service to provide the necessary protection.

Although an insecurity factor revolves around the e-mail system, yet no one seems to abandon it, said Vice President of marketing, J.F. Sullivan, at Habeas. DMnews published Sullivan's statement on October 22, 2007. Consumers have found a way to deal with phishing and spam by owning more than one e-mail address. They create and maintain different addresses for colleagues, friends, and newsletters, Sullivan added.

Habeas' study found that while the factor of e-mail insecurity works, 50% of respondents created about three e-mail accounts regularly. Other e-mail users use the spam option in their e-mail software and 83% of respondents were found to have that option.

The study highlights that this phenomenon of multiple identities has emerged because consumers feel their concerns are not adequately addressed.

It suggests that despite the widespread existence, acceptance, economic and focused qualities of e-mail, relationships on the Internet via such interactions are frail. If businesses, marketers, individuals, and Web 2.0 communities are unable to trust the e-mail system, the Internet's killer approach will remain unfulfilled, as these people would hesitate to indulge in higher value communication via it.

Related article: Deceptive Grum Worm Lies on IE7 Beta Download

» SPAMfighter News - 15-11-2007

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