Do you find that you are wasting a lot of time every day on processing emails? If so, then you may find that investing in good spam protection will save you time, and it will also help to protect your network against malware, viruses, phishing and other threats. This is a particularly important benefit if you are concerned about the security of your network and have a large number of users – some of whom aren’t all that experienced with IT.
Spam protection services can run on your email server, or be installed as add-ons to your email clients. The best option is server-side protection, since this will cut down on bandwidth consumption and stop potential threats from reaching your user’s computers at all, but client-side spam protection does still have some value, and is an efficient way of filtering out emails that are simply time-wasters.
Spam protection usually uses a combination of whitelist rules (to determine emails to allow through), and then heuristics to look at unknown emails and make an educated guess as to whether those emails are spam or not. They may look at keywords, the length of the email, how many links they contain, whether you have ever replied to the sender before, whether the email was CC-ed to a lot of people, and other factors, including comparing the sender’s details to massive databases of known spammers, to decide whether or not the email should be allowed through.
These algorithms are not perfect, and sometimes they will block legitimate emails, but most of the time they get things right. The best idea is to use a relatively low setting for the spam filtering to begin, with and increase the level of strictness gradually as you ‘train’ the filter what to allow through.