CAN-SPAM Gives Email a Makeover

By: Marissa Rodriguez

In business, we communicate heavily with our customers via email. As many of you may already know, a law called CAN-SPAM set parameters 14 years ago for how businesses can send promotional or advertising messages. Recently, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has opted to review this act. They will audit its effectiveness, compliance costs, and need for amendment to reflect socioeconomic and technology changes.

Curious minds wonder how this will impact not only consumers, but businesses and their marketing practices as well. One thing is clear – stricter rules for email could prove to be a step in a positive direction when it comes to preventing email phishing, malware, and improving overall cybersecurity.


CAN-SPAM Refresher

CAN-SPAM sets rules by establishing requirements for spam mail that among other things, provides an opt-out for recipients and breaks down the penalties involved for those violators. Critics believe that although this act has good intentions, it was not made in a way to really prevent spam emails and enforce regulations.

The FTC has stated they are currently accepting feedback from any interested parties to provide insight on the efficiency, costs, benefits, and regulatory impact of CAN-SPAM. If you would like to contribute to this effort, you can find the form here.

So what does this mean for you?

It is estimated that 65% of all emails sent today are spammy in nature. Many times, this comes in the form of phishing, which is the fraudulent practice of sending emails pretending to be well-known businesses to entice individuals to reveal personal information.


Positive Outlook: Less Phishing = Less Data Breaches

While tightening the CAN-SPAM regulations may make it harder to send marketing emails, it will also likely help keep us all safer from email threats like phishing and malware (some of the top causes of data breaches).

In the latest 2017 breach report provided by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), 791 breaches  have already occurred this year. If it is more difficult for hackers to send spam, this may have the potential to lead to a decrease in the number of data breaches resulting from phishing and other email hacking techniques.


Making the world a Safer Place

The cyber war impacts us all, worldwide. It is important to always stay informed on what you can do to keep yourself safe from spammers, hackers and phishing. Take a moment to provide your feedback to the FTC and let them know how this has impacted you/your company. It is one step in the fight against cyber crime.

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