Spam, otherwise known as junk e-mail, can be a real problem for a business. When spam is unfiltered, it can pollute corporate e-mail boxes with so much unwanted mail that legitimate communications either go unnoticed or cannot get through at all, and can present a security risk by introducing viruses or other malware onto corporate computers. Selecting a business spam filter can alleviate many of the problems businesses feel with spam. There are many different types of business spam filter, however, and choosing the right one depends on a variety of factors. The best choice for your business will depend on the number of e-mail accounts your company supports, whether or not you own your own server, and how much you are willing to spend.
The simplest business spam filters work like spam filters in personal e-mail settings. They are programmed to flag e-mail messages that are sent to more than a set number of recipients, usually in the hundreds, and are also trained to identify certain keywords that frequently appear in spam messages. This type of anti-spam filter stops spam on an account by account basis, which is to say that it will stop spam in each account, and each account will have its own quarantine or block list.
Anti-spam software that works at the account level is typically easy to install, and is often purchased as a simple anti-spam software package. It is a good solution for a small business with a limited number of computers and e-mail accounts to monitor, and works well for e-mail accounts that are routed through a larger server that the company does not itself wholly own. An account-based business spam filter screens out electronic spam, but leaves much of the spam control up to the individual user.
For companies that own their own e-mail servers, a more powerful anti-spam proxy program, anti-spam firewall, or anti-spam gateway program may be a more effective solution. This type of business spam filter works at the larger network level to block identified electronic spam from entering any corporate e-mail account at all. Installing a proxy or gateway system is usually more complicated than simply installing anti-spam software. A company’s technology department is usually charged with maintaining and updating a server-based spam program, and special training and support is usually required.
Business spam filter solutions vary in cost, both upfront and looking forward to maintenance and upkeep. Spam is in many ways an evolving problem. It tends to adapt to filtering technology, finding new ways in over time. Part of the cost of any business spam filter is regular updating, and proactive monitoring to ensure that e-mail security threats are not only blocked for the present, but also will remain blocked into the future. This requires time, installation monitoring and updates, and often additional e-mail bandwidth.
Choosing the best business spam filter is mostly a matter of choice and long-term goals. A wide range of spam filters exist on the market. After you have identified the vital information on your company’s spam filtering needs — including the size of your company, the number of computers you will need to cover, whether you own your server, and the frequency and volume at which your employees use e-mail — it is time to research. Look into the options available, and ask questions about installation and upkeep. Talk to your tech department, if you have one, about realistic installation goals. Then sit back and enjoy the peace of working without the threat of spam.