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Small businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to spam, with over a third of firms still without a junk email policy, new research has found.

The study, conducted by Clearswift, found that 34 per cent of small companies did not have measures in place to combat spam, with a further 57 per cent of firms with a policy not communicating it properly to staff.

UK businesses appeared to be doing little to stamp out unwanted emails, with just a quarter reporting spam to their IT personnel. A worrying 22 per cent of employees surveyed had replied to a spam offer, with just seven per cent of employers taking action against them.

Although anti-spam laws introduced last year has cut the amount of spam originating from the UK, little has been done to stem the flood of unwanted emails from the USA.

Alyn Hockey, director at Clearswift, said that many businesses were not doing enough to combat the threat of spam: "The recent MyDoom email virus confirmed for the security industry the lack of awareness about opening spam email attachments, with too many people being tricked into opening the virus.

"While those companies who are actively educating employees on safe email use are to be applauded, the research shows there are still too many businesses not taking the threat seriously. A safe email usage policy and regular employee education is vital if organisations are serious about curbing the spam threat," he concluded.

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