How do I Choose the Best Spam Filter Gateway?

Keith Koons
Keith Koons
A spam filter is designed to clean junk mail from a computer.
A spam filter is designed to clean junk mail from a computer.

A spam filter gateway is often the only thing that stands between a computer user and millions of unwanted solicitations. There are several key options that any spam filter gateway should contain to prevent these annoyances, and unfortunately, most of the programs found on the Internet do not have enough tools to protect the user properly. The number one feature a spam filter gateway should contain is the option to decipher wanted and unwanted contacts, but it should also have the capacity to learn from the user's classifications inside each category. An online server to house these suspect files is also a great attribute, as is the ability to block certain senders permanently.

Spam represents a very real threat to millions of e-mail users worldwide.
Spam represents a very real threat to millions of e-mail users worldwide.

When a solicitation pops up on a user's computer screen or inside his email account, the basic job of a spam filter gateway is to quarantine that message so it can not harm the computer. Since there are billions of locations that a message can originate from on the web, it would be almost impossible for a single program to be able to effectively classify every one of them. For example, one user may encourage solicitations regarding sales at his favorite websites where others would think of it as junk mail, so a spam filter gateway has to have the technology to learn from the user and sort these messages accordingly.

Some anti-spam products filter emails based upon a continually updated list of known spammers.
Some anti-spam products filter emails based upon a continually updated list of known spammers.

Many users are simply looking for a spam filter gateway to separate important email from the junk they receive. Almost any program of this type will include this ability, but some of them actually allow additional classifications as well. For example, a user may not want pictures or videos sent to their inbox because of the associated download time, but some spam filter gateway programs will sort these types of correspondence between approved and blocked senders. Although both types would be blocked from the user's computer system, the ones from trusted sources would be stored on a server for future viewing. A powerful spam filter gateway allows for hundreds of customized rules and definitions to be implemented.

Viruses and malware are commonly hidden throughout the Internet, so another feature of a solid spam filter gateway would be to house any incoming messages at a location other than the user's computer. The importance of this trait is simple; if the solicitation is viewed in cyberspace, then it poses a much smaller threat. Many viruses are programmed to launch immediately when opened, and this extra layer of protection will normally allow a virus scanner enough time to locate and neutralize the threat. A great spam filter gateway will remember these types of instances and never again allow correspondence from that sender.

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    • A spam filter is designed to clean junk mail from a computer.
      A spam filter is designed to clean junk mail from a computer.
    • Spam represents a very real threat to millions of e-mail users worldwide.
      Spam represents a very real threat to millions of e-mail users worldwide.
    • Some anti-spam products filter emails based upon a continually updated list of known spammers.
      Some anti-spam products filter emails based upon a continually updated list of known spammers.