Why are Digital Marketers in India uneasy?

India has no concrete spam law nor a clear data privacy law. Email phishing and cyber fraud cases are rising. Here are a few news articles in the last few months on email scams in India:

December 2011: India is amongst the top destinations in the world where SPAM originates. AFP reported: Spammers propel India to junk-mail top spot.

January 2012 BBC reported: ‘Spam capital’ India arrests six in phishing probe.

April 2012 BBC reports: Spam – India leads world in junk emails.

I read 3 articles the last 3 weeks, in main stream media that makes the digital marketer in me uneasy. If you are a digital marketer, read the signs.

Raghu Raman in his article “Shaping opinion via spam” in the Mint says, “India needs a robust cyber defence strategy to stop this new ‘weapon of mass destruction’.”



However another article in Mint – “Why is India paranoid about privacy” – explores how  “Lack of effective legislation to protect personal data and the government’s efforts to monitor communication contribute to rising unease.”



Meanwhile “Cybercrooks mirror company emails to con victims” – is the head line of the news item that appeared in Hindustan Times this Sunday. It shows how cyber criminals execute the fraud – “They hack into networks to learn about their transactions and then use slightly different email IDs to fool victims.”

What if your brand identity was compromised? What if your list of emails was misused? What if your brand was used for Email Phishing? Scary stuff.

What does it mean for you as a Digital Marketer and especially an Email Marketer?

There is reason to be uneasy.  As a digital marketer you need to be on top of these emerging issues. Here are two top priority tasks you must not ignore:

1] Guard your CRM data.

Data theft can be a nightmare for you and your brand. Even reputed and large email marketing service providers can be vulnerable. Last year computer hackers stole the names and email addresses of millions of people, from an email service provider, in one of the largest internet security breaches in US history.

2] Pay attention to Email Authentication.

Do you know which IPs send out your email and which servers are authorized to send out email on your behalf? Read up on SPF, DKIM, and DMARC. These are international standards to authenticate your emails.

There is a lot more that needs to be done, of course. However the above points are a start, especially where Email Marketing is concerned.


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