by Mike Masnick

Spam Costs $874 Per Employee Per Year

from the more-data dept

It appears that figuring out the "cost" of spam is pretty popular these days. There have been plenty of articles about it, and now a new study has come out saying that spam costs $847 per employee per year. It sounds like this was determined in a fairly simple way, though. The company assumed an hourly salary of $30, and that the average person wastes 6.5 minutes a day dealing with spam, leading to a 1.4% drop in productivity. I'd question these numbers, since there are a ton of other factors that would go into determining how much spam actually "costs" a company. Would the employee be working on other things instead of spam, or would they just be goofing off? Are there additional costs of dealing with spam (such as deleting important legitimate emails while trying to manage spam)? While I think it's good to quantify the costs, this study seems more designed to get the company doing it some publicity than to give any really useful numbers.

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  • identicon
    thecaptain, 2 Jul 2003 @ 5:52am

    I don't know about those numbers not being useful.

    The point seems to drive home the point to everyone that spam COSTS EVERYONE. For years spam-fighters tried to get the message across that even if you pay a flat fee for your net use, you still subsidize the bandwidth that spam uses (what is it now...50 percent of all email?). People simply could NOT understand that in any meaningful way (as opposed to fax spamming where paper cost came out of their pockets...that riled them up a lot faster even tho its the same principle.).
    Spammers ALWAYS take the defense in interviews in this manner: "Just hit delete, that takes no time and its easy...what's the big deal?"
    Well the big deal is simple cost in time and money. I get paid say 30 bucks an hour, so if I spend 10 mins a day sorting through spam (that's a hopeful figure, its usually a bit higher) that means I spent 3 bucks daily dealing with the crap spammers dish 3 bucks a day for 365 days adds up to 1095 bucks a year in wasted time...time that I didn't ask to waste, that I can't can add to that bandwidth and service costs from my ISP that are rolled up in my monthly fee, plus the few megs off of my download limit and it adds up...and why should I have to pay this cost? Can a spammer answer me that?
    Simple numbers...but they make a point.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Oliver Wendell Jones, 2 Jul 2003 @ 7:03am

      Re: I don't know about those numbers not being use

      the captain,

      No offense, but $30 an hour and you can't perform simple math? :-)

      If you spend 10 minutes per day, that is 1/6 of one hour or 1/6 of $30 which is actually $5 per day, which means your total amount wasted works out to $1,304 based on $5 per day and 5 days per week and 365.25 days per year.

      If you're truly working 365 days per year at $30 per hour ($87,660/yr assuming 8 hour days), you can probably afford to hire someone to sort your spam for you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        thecaptain, 3 Jul 2003 @ 5:38am

        Re: I don't know about those numbers not being use


        Oops :)

        I'm a programmer...we don't DO math :>

        We have computers for that...

        grrr, that's what I get for typing too damn fast..thanks

        On the other (or original) point, I *could* hire someone to sort the spam for me...but again..why should *I* incur that cost? :) Why would my income mean that I have to pay to receive spam?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    michele, 2 Jul 2003 @ 7:16am

    New, better, worst data

    Hi Mike,

    take a look at this article on the BBC


    Michele Costantini
    Whaling Voyage by one Ishmael

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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