E-mail policy urges user self-control

E-mail users should keep e-mails short, free from attachments unless they are crucial, and should limit the use of large...

E-mail users should keep e-mails short, free from attachments unless they are crucial, and should limit the use of large distribution lists, according to a new guide advising employees on how e-mail should be used in the workplace.

The guide, to be released next week, has been put together by Web and e-mail filtering specialist Surfcontrol. The firm identified the need for an informal best-practice pamphlet to complement more formal controls such as anti-virus and filtering software.

"E-mail is a can of worms for most companies," said Steve Purdham, chief executive at Surfcontrol. "Not only is it the route through which many viruses arrive, unfettered use of e-mail also poses a threat to productivity and network performance."

Consultant and former IT controller at Blue Circle Roger Ellis said, "If we don't [control it] e-mail will cease to be as useful as it is because we won't be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. It will just sink us."

A recent Metagroup report found that 15 billion e-mails are sent each day, and estimated that the number will rise to 35 billion by 2005.

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