Combating and managing spam

Everyone has seen an advertisement for an enhancement drug or two come into their inbox unexpectedly. Although good for a laugh these messages cause decreased productivity leading to millions of dollars in losses per year. There are several ways to combat spam and I will examine a few of them in this article.

Desktop software

Often the most popular vendors of antivirus software also provide a complete protection package which does offer some spam protection. These software solutions do provide some level of protection however they also take up resources on your local computer and use up your Internet access pipe to download the spam messages.

Pros:

  • Low cost software (usually an annual subscription fee).
  • Low cost to deploy (15-30 minutes per desktop).
  • Will eliminate a large portion of spam with minimal interaction.

Cons:

  • Will impact computer performance.
  • The spam will still reach your network and use Internet resources.

Server software

As an alternative your company may choose to install spam protection software on your local email server. Again there are a lot of software options out there that provide some protection however instead of draining resources from your computer now you are draining resources from your server and still using Internet resources.

Pros:

  • Can be costly (annual fee may depend on number of users).
  • Will eliminate a large portion of spam without impacting individual computers.

Cons:

  • Can impact server performance.
  • The spam will still reach your network and use Internet resources.

Third party filtering

The last option is to have a company filter your email prior to it arriving to your desktop or your server. If you are running simple POP3 accounts often this filtering is free of charge. It will take some time to configure and will deliver varied success however it is free. If you are running an email server you can purchase a service which will block email prior to reaching your network or server.

Pros:

  • POP3 filtering can be free depending on your service provider and not take up resources on your network or computer.
  • Third party filtering prior to server delivery can deliver results without impacting your network or server.

Cons:

  • There can be a per account charge for POP3 filtering.
  • POP3 filtering often provides limited results and no access to quarantined suspected spam.
  • Third party filtering prior to server delivery will cost a varying amount per mailbox, per month for the service.

Summary

There is no guarantee when it comes to filtering spam. Spammers are consistently coming up with new methods for beating anti-spam technology. If your budget permits third party filtering on either the POP3 or server level is the best solution simply because it doesn’t use any local resources.

The Dunham Group Inc offers a wide variety of spam prevention solutions. To find out how we can help you fight spam please contact Jeremy McMaster at 905-628-6010 x106.

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