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Affordable IT: E-Mail

Whether you run a local specialty shop or an international supply service, e-mail is vital for linking your employees, customers and suppliers. Sole proprietors can often get away with using a Hotmail account or other free e-mail services, but if you're looking to kick it up a notch in terms of professionalism, you've got to build, buy or outsource.

There are three critical components to insist on. First, it must be reliable. If messages are lost, your customers' confidence in your ability to deliver on a business arrangement will deteriorate.

Second, your solution must include an antivirus scanner. Our own experience bears this out: Over the past month, 2 percent of the e-mail we received at our editorial mail server was infected with a virus or worm.

Third, your solution must include a spam filter. Without it, you'll waste precious resources separating the wheat from the chaff.

E-Mail on the Cheap

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