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How to stop SPAM

Previously we showed you how to prevent spammers from getting hold of your email address but what about those that already do? It depends how you collect your email, through a hosted email account or an Exchange Server.

Options for a hosted email account

  • Most email programs like Outlook or Outlook Express have a filtering option which will move messages into a junk folder for you to check. These features may not be on by default so look in your chosen program for spam or junk mail settings.
  • Many email providers will have some form of spam filtering option available. Be sure to check with you ISP if it has been enabled on your account. Some providers will simply attach a word into the subject line of emails they suspect are junk such as “[spam]”. You can then use your email client to move these emails automatically into a junk folder by using the rules wizard. If your ISP don’t provide any form of email filter, it may be worth moving.
  • If the above option isn’t thorough enough for you then you should consider routing your emails through a third party first. At Connexion, we like to use MailController by Opal. These email filtering solutions will clean out and delete all spam and viruses from your email before they are sent on to you. These normally need some configuration to ensure that legitimate emails aren’t deleted so some effort is required. These types of providers normally charge a monthly or yearly fee.
  • If your e-mail program or webmail service can’t deal with the spam you are getting you could try a dedicated anti-spam program. There are two types, some delete mail on the server and some delete mail on your computer .The good thing about products which delete mail on the server is you don’t have to wait (and pay) to download spam onto your computer. Norton and McAfee provide a system for removing emails that have arrived on your computer.
  • For the ultimate in spam removal, you could opt for black and white lists or challenge response. These systems only accept emails from an approved list of contacts. This does mean that you won’t get emails from new contact unless you approve them first but it is the only guaranteed method to get rid of 100% of spam.

If you are running your own copy of Microsoft Exchange you have a lot more options:

  • Set up reverse DNS lookup on your exchange server. Effectively a reverse DNS lookup checks to see if the email is coming from an allowed server. If the email fails the reverse lookup the server will automatically mistrust the email and reject it. Reverse lookup is a facility that can be set up for you by your Internet Service Provider. This is not a foolproof solution, spammers have managed to get around this.
  • IMF is an anti-spam service that is included with Microsoft Exchange. Once installed you can ensure that you get regular updates to combat the latest type of spam. You can increase the level of spam filtering until the point at which real emails are blocked. You will know that the level is right when you are at the point where you only get a few emails a day. IMF is available in Exchange 2003 only. Exchange 2007 has a load more filters to combat spam which we have found to be very good.
  • Install an additional anti-spam service onto your Exchange server. For most of our clients, we like to use GFI mail essentials. These programs use many tactics to block unwanted emails including spam blacklists, lists of blocked IP addresses and content scanning and provides you with a greater level of tuning than provided in the standard IMF service.

If you are having problems with spam, then why not call us on 0118 9209600 and we will be happy to help.

Rob Leverton

Rob has worked as an IT technician and project manager with Connexion for 14 years before moving into his current role as head of the technical services team.

Although Rob comes from a technical background he’s very much a people person and he is exceptionally good at building excellent working relationships with our customers and his technical team to deliver service excellence to our clients.

Rob Leverton

James Stratton

James is passionate about technology and how it can transform business.  Having worked with hundreds of businesses in many different sectors over the last 25 years he has a huge amount of business IT knowledge that he enjoys imparting to Connexions customers.

James is responsible for Connexions strategic development and also still enjoys a role in consulting and sales and marketing