Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Off Topic: A Simple Explanation of SPAM

There is an increasing number of spam messages getting through corporate email servers and into your inboxes.

This happens because:

- the server side spam filter does not recognize (haven't caught up with yet) the new messages. (Think of Steroids in major league baseball - as soon as they figure out how to detect the latest steroids, the labs are already working on next generation drugs - same as evil spam-doers)

- same goes for client side (your PC) spam filters. They may be up to date, but the spam-doers may be ahead of them.

It's important to know:

- Outlook allows us to identify (tag) email as "junk" or "not junk". If we do this, it begins to learn what is junk mail and what is not.

- Some 3rd party client side spam filters work better than Outlook. One of the recommended ones is $ 30 after the trial:

Other options:

Individually: Sign up for a spam blocking service such as SpamArrest - this will require any sender to verify their identity (once)

Server Side:

- You can reduce the tolerance level on the server side spam filter - thus increasing the number of good mails that will be trapped in the spam box, which we then have to "whitelist" so it doesn't happen again, so it's a time constraint either way, whether you are checking Outlook or someone else is checking the spam folder.

Other tips:

- never sign up for online forms, surveys, prizes, contests, downloads, anything with your corporate email address. That's what gmail is for!

- some evil websites will try to install Spyware on your pc. Spyware are programs that run on your pc, collect info, creates popup ads, and sends out messages to people in your address book. You know who deploys the spyware?

You guessed it - the evil spam-doers!

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