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Stop m-spam before it stops you

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Some researches estimate that 90% of e-mail traffic is spam, and as mobile communications grows in popularity, very soon we could be facing a similar situation with mobile spam. However, RUSSEL STROMIN of WASPA believes that if we act now, we can control m-spam.
Spamnhas become so prevalent on the Internet that some researchers estimate up ton90% of all e-mail traffic is spam. As mobile communication has grown in popularity,nmobile spam, or m-spam, is similarly increasing. However, m-spam is currentlynnowhere close to the problem of e-mail spam – yet.

That’snaccording to the Wireless Application Service Providers Association of SAn(WASPA), which says that as mobile devices become the primary way that peoplencommunicate and access the Internet, it is logical to assume that m-spam willnincrease in volume. Chair of WASPA`s Code of Conduct Working Group, RusselnStromin, says, “It is vital that the industry, and consumers of mobile contentnand applications, work hard to create an anti-spam culture right now. We allnneed to cooperate on ways to stem the tide before m-spam swamps us all andndegrades what is a brilliant marketing and communications medium.”

Manynpeople find m-spam much more offensive than e-mail spam because the mobilendevice is carried on one’s person and therefore much more personal. Unwantednand uninvited communication on this highly personal device thus tends to feelnmuch more intrusive. And that`s understandable.

So,nhow can businesses that use SMSs for marketing and mobile phone users go aboutnreducing m-spam now, before it’s too late?

Tipsnfor businesses

CommercialnSMS messaging in South Africa is regulated by the industry organisation WASPA.nUnfortunately, some messaging providers send messages via unauthorised routesnin order to bypass the jurisdiction of WASPA. Tracking down the origin of SMSsnusing this kind of routing is hard, so the originators are seldom heldnaccountable.

Thus,nbusinesses should only use messaging providers that are members of WASPA. WASPAnprovides a list of its members athttp://www.waspa.org.za/members/index.php.nWASPA members are also required to display their membership of WASPA on theirnwebsites.

Tonensure that messages are sent via a legitimate route, businesses should alsonverify that the originating number of messages is registered at http://www.smscode.co.za/index.asp.nLegitimate numbers will always be local, using the +27 South African diallingnprefix.

Tipsnfor consumers
Whennconsumers receive commercial SMS messages, they should also check the SMS Codenwebsite at http://www.smscode.co.za/index.asp tonsee whether a registered number was used. If not, they should take the matternup with the business, and urge it to use a member of WASPA.

“Pressurenfrom customers is the surest way to change behaviours because the customer isnstill king, no matter what anyone says,” notes Stromin.

Whennunsolicited messages are received from WASPA members, a complaint can be loggednat WASPA’s website,www.waspa.org.za.

“Ifnall businesses use only WASPA members for messaging, and only send vianregistered originating numbers, WASPA will be able to regulate the commercialnSMS messaging space much better. This will increase the value of SMS messagingnfor all,” concludes Stromin.

* Follow Gadget on Twitter onn@gadgetza

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