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Unexpected problems while using email

What unexpected problems might you face as a user of electronic mail?

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Question asked by binsa_thapa

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angel profile image
Angel Paudel

Electronic mail or email increases the speed of communication within and outside of the organization. It also makes it accessible from anywhere to send and receive. However, it does come with some unexpected problems which can occur while using email. Some of those are as explained below:

Spam is one of a very common issue with emails. These are unwanted emails that are sent to your inbox. These are harmless even if it requires some of your time to go through them all and remove it. Having said that not all spam emails will be harmless as some of them may include contents for phishing the user, more of which is explained in the next paragraph.

Phishing is a term popular when it comes to information security. With emails, the sender fakes an email to show as if it’s coming from a trusted source like mentioning that you got an all-expense paid vacation or saying that you won a lottery or mentioning that you got a full scholarship but asks you to pay a certain amount to verify your identity. They can also use more aggressive form to tempt you (receiver of the email) to fill in your personal details including credit card and other sensitive information. Intruders often collect these details by sending a link via email which leads to a fake website but holds a familiar look to the original website, where people are asked to fill in details. These information goes to the intruder without the knowledge of the user (Gandhi & Kumar, 2012).

Circulation of Malware with the use of emails can be another problem one might face as a user of electronic email. For example BredoZp is a type of malware which amplifies itself once in the user computer. They often come as in a money order from Western Union with an executable zip file attached. Once the user runs the program, it installs several malware in the user device and it just auto installs the others, while also providing hackers access to your device. With 45.97% of the overall email users being hit with this form of malware (1H10), it can be very problematic and in an organizational network, can transfer from one user to another’s to hamper the workflow itself (Pope, Warkentin & Luo, 2012).


Gandhi, V., & Kumar, P. (2012). A Study on Phishing: Preventions and Anti-Phishing Solutions. International Journal Of Scientific Research , 1 (2).

Pope, M., Warkentin, M., & Luo, X. (2012). Evolutionary Malware. International Journal Of Wireless Networks And Broadband Technologies , 2 (3).

ncitujjwal profile image

Email is the fastest way of writing communication easy to use by sending information to thousands of people within a seconds. Email is defined as "The creation, editing, sending, receiving, storage, forwarding, and printing text - all facilitated by the computer” (Rice & Bair, 1984). But nowadays it is unsecured communication media where there is the absence of confidentiality, accessibility, transparency, and integrity on confidential business documents sending through email.

Talking is direct involvement between two parties but writing is not direct involvement between two or more parties, it is indirect involvement between of two parties. Writing is difficult than talking. Normally in human nature, we fell easy to speak than write. For example, we can easily deliver a lecture for an hour but we can’t write more than 500 words within an hour.

Here we talking about what unexpected problems we face as a user of electronic mail. We can’t convey our emotion and humor’ clearly through email. We are struggling to convey our emotion over email (as text or tweets, or written form), and struggling to interpret the emotions of others. In one experiment from a 2005 study, test participants emailed 10 statements to a recipient. Some statements were serious, some sarcastic. These senders believed the recipient would correctly identify the intended emotion behind most of the messages. In fact, the recipients only identified seriousness or sarcasm 56% of the time. Here is interesting thing is, when the same message transmitted through a voice recording, the recipient interpreted the emotion correctly 70% of the time, just about what sender expected (Kruger, 2017).

Similarly, we can’t convey facial expression or body language, and gesture through email. For example, our manager is sharing the company profit status and our bonus through email and this time our company makes 1.5 times net profit than the previous year. It is the happy moment for all but we have still same emotion and same facial expression after getting this email. If manager directly came there and sharing about this news is boom situation for all and we all are not remain in same condition.

The last thing is, who have good knowledge and skill of digital system he/she only can use email. The email writing is a special digital skill and everyone can’t write a proper email for an organization. So, email writing should be in the structured format and it should be short and to the point but covered all the subject matter.

Kruger, J. (2017). Why it’s so hard to detect emotion in emails and text. New York University.

Rice, R., & Bair, J. (1984). New organizational media and productivity. In R. E. Rice (Ed.), The new media: Communication, research, and technology , 185-215.

shantamilan profile image

E-mail is one of the most convenient form of communication used for both official and personal communication. People have started using emails for more than just communication purposes. Many organizations these days use email as a medium for placing business orders, official approvals etc. It is also used as a means of storing important data of the company and research have found that people store more than one half of their crucial business information within the messaging systems. (Research and Markets: Enterprise Email Archiving: Market Problems, Needs and Trends, 2004) People also use it to send company decisions and details of new decision for their sub officers at distant places.

But there are a lot of unexpected problems associated with using the email. One of the biggest problem is theft of important conversation documents via hacking. An example of Hilary Clinton whose email was hacked and many delicate information were stolen which became one of the leading aspect for her to loose in the presidential election to Donald Trump.

The other problem with email is virus infection. PR Newwire reported that a global email virus that took place from December 29-31, 2006 and 19-21 January 2007 was large enough to increase the virus level in the internet by a factor of 20. This was targeted to steal information and hijack personal computers and these type of activity is expected to increase. (Newswire, 2007)

Aside from these major problems miscommunication, ethical issues, lot of spam emails clogging the inbox, mistake in email address can be some of the problems related to email users.

Newswire, P. (2007, Jan 29). Second Massive Email Virus Attack in a Month Portends Explosive Growth in Fraud, Theft, Spam and Viruses; Storm Worm Drives Volume of Email Viruses on the Internet Upward by a Factor of 20. PR Newswire , p. 1.

Research and Markets: Enterprise Email Archiving: Market Problems, Needs and Trends. (2004, Aug 27). Business Wire , p. 1.

dipadhungana profile image

Electronic mail (Email) is a method of exchanging messages between people through electronic devices. People opt for email because it is delivered extremely fast. Email can be sent and received at any hour of the day from any corner of the world if there is internet connection. It also allows communicating with multiple parties at once. So a great deal of communication and workflow is centered on email these days but whether it is the long-term solution for communication and workflow processes is still a big question (Sassenrath, 2001).

As the user of electronic mail, we all face some unexpected problems that include:

1. Loss of personal contact: Email is used in place of face-to-face contact and people mistake email exchange for relationship building. People may forget that there are people involved in the transaction as text speaks more than the person in email (Bryant, n.d.). People are hidden behind technology in email. For example: I write emails to multiple people every day as a part of my job but none of them know me personally neither do I.

2. Emotions are not conveyed: Body language and facial expressions cannot be conveyed through email. The voice element is also missing. What the person on other side is feeling cannot be predicted through the content of the email. An employee who is feeling depressed and sad may have to write a cheerful and happy email. Thus email fails to communicate mood and feelings at times.

3. Misunderstanding: It is not sure that receiver will get message as intended by sender. The pronouns, popular jargon, abbreviations and short descriptions used in email can be misunderstood and interpreted in wrong way. Words cannot always describe what we want to express and the same words may have different meanings to different people.

4. Insecurity: Viruses can spread through email attachments though most email providers scan viruses on behalf of the users. In addition, anyone who has access to the email account can send and view email so there is no guarantee that the one we expected is on the other side.

5. No guarantee of delivery: The email is not accessible without internet connection. So we cannot guarantee that sent email is received by the destined person on desired time. There is no assurance of real time delivery.


Bryant, B. J. (n.d.). Chron . Retrieved from The Disadvantages of Email in Business

Sassenrath, C. (2001, February 10). The Problem with E-mail . Retrieved from Rebol Technology.

ujjwalpoudel profile image

I would like to begin with my personal experienced that I had faced while writing an email. As I am enrolled for service oriented company (i.e. recruitment agency), I have to approve business through a quotation and it’s approvable. Here, what happened was I went through my process of sending quotation, but its approvable came through telephonic conversation. Though, I continued and completed their fulfilment of requirements. Later, at the time of billing to the requirements the manager left the company. Then the company reject for payment saying no any written confirmation, which is a good learning for me.

Email has become one of the basic yet one of the most convenient, preferred as well as significant medium of communication especially in the field of professional life. Bell & Smith (2014), in their book Marketing Communication, today’s world where most information is processed virtually, and email plays a significant role in everyday life. The business communications as well as personal messages are conveyed through email and many deals and business communication is centred on email. But, is it a safest way to communicate confidential information? There is a question.

In Nepal, there are numerous people who are less familiar with the use of emails, and I have already mentioned through my personal experienced. So my conclusion here is that, the audience we choose also should have email literacy or say the culture of email responding in a mean time. This is why it is said that cultural differences may lead to communication gap as different culture has different email etiquette (Noon, 2006).

Every day I receive unwanted emails which might contain heavy attachments that crash the system. These spam emails seem to be authentic but in reality they are sent as an advertisement of some products, service or event. So far, deleting these unwanted files are time consuming.

Most of the time while sending an email, I faced the problem of not be delivered. Last time, I sent a mail of candidates’ interview time scheduling to the company but due to internet connection the mail is saved as a draft which I thought received by concern person. The next day, the candidate reached to their time but the concerned person was not there for taking interview.


Bell, A. H., & Smith, D. M. (2014). Management Communication. San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons.

Noon, C. (2006). The problem with e-mail. In forbes . Retrieved from forbes.com/2006/09/21/cisco-skype-...