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Managing SPAM

Whether its offensive, annoying or just plain unwanted, according to the ThreatWatch service from MessageLabs, SPAM is responsible for the somewhere between 70% and 80% of e-mail messages being sent around the world today. In April 2007, their monthly intelligence report covered what is being termed a "converged threat" where SPAM messages have been found to be carrying a virus payload as well as the original SPAM message. At this point, the problem only looks to be growing larger.

Because of these worrying trends, SPAM filtering software has, along with anti-virus software become an pre-requisite for users who use e-mail to conduct business or simply stay in touch with family and friends. Finding ones' way through the maze of possible software solutions can be daunting but failing to do so could spell disaster for your inbox.

Protecting your Inbox

New Media Development mail servers perform non-desctructive filtering of SPAM on behalf of our clients. This means that all e-mail that passes through our servers is checked and any mail that is identified as spam is tagged but crucially, still delivered. This stops any possibility that our servers filter out that all important business e-mail.

To take advantage of the tagging mechanism we provide, you simply require an e-mail client that supports header based rules (almost all e-mail clients support this).

If an e-mail fails to pass our filtering criteria, it is tagged with several extra headers that indicate that the e-mail is suspected as being SPAM. The headers refer to the results of Realtime black lists (RBL's) and Bayesian analysis on the content of the e-mail and look like the examples below.

X-RBL-Result: Generic, Fail

X-ME-Content: Deliver-To=Junk

X-ME-Bayesian: 95.000000

Received-SPF: fail (newmediadev.net: domain of senderdomain.com does not designate xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx as permitted sender)

For more information on how these rules can be implemented in your e-mail client, please contact us.

Protecting your reputation

In an attempt to reduce the amount of SPAM that is sent purporting to be from our clients domains, our e-mail servers support the Sender Policy Framework which helps mail servers identify legitimate sources of e-mails for a specific domain.

Whilst this service is not widely supported worldwide, services such as AOL, Hotmail and Gmail do run Sender Policy Framework systems to reduce the amount of SPAM they receive.

Further SPAM filtering technology

 

Having dealt with spam for many years and having tried and tested many products over the years, we have found several application to be worthy of note for various reasons but the one thing they all have in common is that they significantly reduce the workload when dealing with SPAM.

For those on a budget, SpamBayes is a free, open-source solution that is highly effective, using Bayesian analysis to "learn" what it is that makes your mail genuine or SPAM. In short, it grows with you and adapts to the changes that inevitably occur as the spammers evolve their techniques.

Spambayes is the foundation for several commercial SPAM filtering products, and amongst these, InBoxer has been found to be very effective in combating SPAM and classifying the mail you receive so that you can manage your Inbox more effectively.

If you have several email users and/or run your own mail server, you may want to centralise your anti-spam policies and the market for anti-spam and anti-virus applications that can filter e-