Viruses and spam prevent small businesses from working

More than one out of four people at small businesses in Sweden have not been able to work on their computer at least once during the past year because of a virus attack or spam mail. This is one of the findings of a survey that Telia recently conducted to poll 1,800 people working at small companies in Sweden.

Small businesses in Sweden suffer from productivity losses when their employees cannot use their computers. As many as 26 percent have been affected by computer downtime during the past year, of which 8 percent responded that their computers have been down several times during the past yea because of viruses or spam problems.

“It can be costly for small businesses if their computers are not properly updated with the latest virus protection, or when their IT security is poor. Companies can do a lot to prevent viruses and spam. For example, they can avoid downloading files and programs that they suspect are not safe. However, businesses especially need anti-virus software that is continuously updated, as well as a firewall and a well-functioning spam filter,” says Bodil Prising, head of dataservices for the enterprise market at TeliaSonera Sweden.

At least 30 minutes a week
Most of the respondents in the survey spend between one and five minutes a day cleaning up their e-mail accounts to remove spam, make updates, run anti-virus software and perform similar security-related work. The survey also showed that 16 percent of small businesses in Sweden spend at least six minutes a day on this type of data maintenance, while only 24 percent said that they do not have to spend any time at all on such measures.

Seventy-two percent of the small businesses in the survey have spam filters and the majority are satisfied with the way the filters function. Twenty-three percent completely avoid spam in their e-mail inboxes and the majority receive from one to five spam mails a day. However, 10 percent responded that they feel that their filters work poorly, and that they receive a lot of spam as a result.

About Telia’s Communications Barometer survey for enterprises
In its Communications Barometer survey for enterprises, Telia polled more than 1,800 people working at small businesses in Sweden that have between one and nine employees. The purpose of the survey was to ask them about Internet security, among other subjects. All of Sweden is represented in the survey. The respondents work at companies that are customers of TeliaSonera Sweden. The survey was conducted between November 17 and 28, 2005. The entire report is available (in Swedish only) at www.teliasonera.se under “Press”.
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For further information journalists can contact:
Bodil Prising, head of dataservices for the enterprise market at TeliaSonera Sweden
through TeliaSonera Sweden’s Press Office, +46-(0)8-713 58 30