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How Do I Choose the Best Internet Spam Filter?

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  • Written By: Jeremy Laukkonen
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 14 November 2016
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When trying to choose the best Internet spam filter, you may want to consider usability factors, such as black and white lists that are easily configurable. It is typically also important for messages that are marked as junk mail to be easily recoverable in case the Internet spam filter makes a mistake. The two main types of Internet spam filters are based on either hardware or software, each of which is best suited to different circumstances. Hardware spam filtering appliances are usually recommended for very large organizations, while software filters are better suited to smaller operations. The other option is to outsource your spam filtering needs to a third party service provider, which may be the best solution if your organization is too big and complex for a software solution but not large enough to warrant a dedicated hardware appliance.

If you are an individual email user, your Internet service provider (ISP), company, or school will typically provide spam filtering services for you. You may need to contact your service provider or network administrator to learn how to use the provided Internet spam filter. In many cases you will be able to mark messages as spam to improve the system, and you may also be allowed to create a black list of addresses or domains that cannot contact you or a white list that will always avoid the spam filter.

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Spam filters are typically set up by email providers, so if your company or organization offers that service you may be interested in the best solution. A hardware Internet spam filter will typically be the best choice if you need to screen a large number of email addresses. Internet service providers and universities are two examples of organizations that often have a large enough volume of email to warrant this type of filter.

If you work for a company or organization that offers email to employees, members, or some other relatively small group, a software Internet spam filter will usually suffice. This type of software is typically installed on your server and may offer a number of useful administration tools. In order to choose the best Internet spam filter, you will typically want to look for a solution that will allow you to easily monitor black and white lists and recover any emails that trigger a false positive. You may also want to look for a solution that can filter based on context and also remove any malicious code before your users are exposed to it.

Another option is to outsource spam filtering to a third party, which is sometimes the right choice for medium to large businesses that receive a large volume of junk mail. In some organizations, spam accounts for 98% of all received mail, which may create unnecessary server strain. Third party spam management companies can often provide many of the same configurable options as software or hardware solutions without requiring dedicated staff to handle such issues.

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