Business Email Management | Corporate Email Management | and General Email management Service from BITS Solutions Wiltshire BITS Ltd

Spam and how to tackle it

We've all been there. It's the start of the day and you're sifting through loads of Spam emails offering you all kinds of unmissable deals as well as a few topics you wouldn't want your maiden aunt to see!

All you want to do is get straight to the genuine emails. These days this is all too common but it doesn't have to be that way. Wouldn't it be great if you could spend less time sifting through and deleting all that Spam? That would leave you more time to get on with your work. After all time is money!

The Spammers are continually coming up with ingenious ways to get past the filters so these solutions are never going to be 100% effective. But they do work and can mean you only need to delete a couple of Spam emails rather than hundreds.

Spam filters also have other valuable benefits. They can scan incoming email attachments to weed out potentially damaging viruses. Your outbound emails can also be scanned for Spam and viruses protecting you from sending out harmful emails. This can happen if your computer has been unknowingly infected with a virus which then emails everyone in your address book.

There are also downsides to using Spam filters. Just like we humans they can make mistakes! What this means is Spam filters can sometimes trap genuine emails. This is known as a 'false positive'. That's not great if it's an important email from a client.

Clearly there needs to be a balance here between risk and reward. This is normally in the form of a sensitivity setting within the Spam filter. It is important to get this correct but initially it is worth trialling different settings and checking the results.

Some Spam filters work in a slightly different way by blocking any emails they are not sure about but then giving the recipient the option to release that email. That puts you in control of your own sensitivity settings and means that you literally 'train' your Spam filter. This might mean a bit of extra effort on your part at the outset but it may well save you time longer term and enable you to get the best out of your Spam filter.

One option is to use a Spam filter that is hosted on the internet with no software to install on your computer. This has several advantages:

1. The Spam emails never reach your computer. That leaves your internet connection free for valid emails and internet use.

2. Viruses never reach your computer or server.

3. It also makes your network or server more secure as you can set them to only allow connections from your hosted Spam filter rather than anybody who might be sending you emails.

My recommendation would be for a hosted Spam filtering solution for the benefits listed above. There are also additional benefits including business continuity. When your server/network is down you can still access emails through a web interface and then when your network/server is working again the emails are delivered as normal. There's also the option of email archiving for compliance reasons along with access from any location though a web site, for example if you are away from the office.

You can easily contact us by email, via our enquiry form or simply call us on 01373 888 333. Posted by Lee Edge on 13/10/2009

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