An Overview of Spam Filters: Their Use and Importance

An Overview of Spam Filters: Their Use & Importance

Spam email is at best a nuisance and at worst a means for viruses and other malware to infect computers and devices. Unfortunately, spam is a reality that anyone with an email account must be prepared to deal with, especially businesses with networks that could be affected by malware intrusion.

Consider this: approximately 49.7 percent of all email messages sent in a day (some 269 billion) are spam. This makes it imperative to have a good spam filter to weed out the junk.

There are several different types of spam filters. These include the following:

  • Content filters, which review all of the content included in an email to determine if they match content or common characteristics of messages reported as spam.
  • Header filters, which review the header of the email to determine if there is any falsified information indicative of spam messages.
  • General blacklist filters, which stop any and all emails that originate from a specific file or source of known spammers.
  • Rules-based filters, which block emails based on user-defined criteria. You might, for instance, implement rules that block certain senders, or some specific wording in the body or subject line.
  • Permission filters, which require anyone who wishes to email you to have your approval to do so.
  • Challenge-response filters, which require anyone who would send you a message to enter in a code to be able to gain permission to email you.

The filters can then be deployed in several ways: via the cloud, via an on-site appliance or via software installed on your PC that integrates with your email client (such as Outlook).

Choosing the right spam filter for your company

The type of spam filter you choose ultimately depends on the volume of email you receive on a daily basis, as well as the types of emails sent and received and your specific needs. A business that deals with particularly sensitive information, for example, will want tighter security controls and will likely look into permission-based filters. Businesses that regularly receive articles and newsletters will likely want to look into content filters.

IDMI.Net utilizes a variety of spam filters to keep spam from reaching your inbox. Ultimately, it is important to realize that spam is not going anywhere—scammers make billions of dollars per year off of it, and it is up to all email users to protect themselves from these unwanted messages. Contact us today for more information.