Software company releases free COVID-19 communications service for government agencies

By Shannon Jenkins

April 14, 2020

Adobe

A new crisis communications program has been released to help government departments and agencies ensure emails regarding the coronavirus pandemic arrive in inboxes rather than spam folders.

The Validity for Good program is free for government organisations and gives them temporary access to the Validity company’s Return Path Email Certification service.

The email delivery service allows government organisations to ensure messages related to COVID-19 reach their subscribers, according to Validity CEO Mark Briggs.

“The email ecosystem is being flooded with COVID-19 communications, which means emails like critical infrastructure updates are being mixed in with a stream of marketing emails, personal communications, and the unfortunate steady influx of unwanted spam,” he said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Scamwatch has warned Australians of scammers who have been impersonating government agencies in order to “phish” for information through fake text messages and emails regarding COVID-19.

Validity argued the rise in coronavirus-related phishing, malware, ransomware, and spam has been “overwhelming spam filtering algorithms and materially reducing the effectiveness of email communication”.

The software company said its research has shown that in the past two weeks more than 14% of COVID-19 related emails were caught by spam filters.

Users usually have to pass a multi-point email program evaluation to ensure that the sender is trustworthy, adheres to best practices, and that their email campaigns meet strict program requirements before they’re approved to enter the certification program.

Validity for Good, however, provides an expedited path to the Return Path Email Certification service for critical infrastructure, governmental, and other essential communications related to COVID-19.

Departments and agencies can sign up for the free service via the Validity for Good website.

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