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An email firewall is an application that is designed to monitor and filter inbound email messages that may be problematic if they are received and opened by a recipient. This type of application gateway includes a number of features that include a combination of software that helps to reduce spam emails while also scanning attachments for signs of viruses or malware that could infect the system of whomever opens the mails. Many email firewall products also provide functions that make it possible to scan inbound emails associated with multiple accounts using different domain names, as well as providing customization tools that make it possible to block certain domains while allowing others to always pass through to the inbox.
One of the greatest benefits of an email firewall is to prevent the delivery of spam to a user’s inbox. Doing so helps to minimize the potential for receiving an unsolicited email from an unknown source that contains a virus or some other form of malware that would infect the user’s hard drive. In some cases, the flagged emails are directed to a spam folder that the user can review at his or her leisure. This makes it possible to extract emails that are flagged for some reason, but are from a trusted source, such as a vendor who periodically sends out mass emails that some servers may view as spam.
Another important advantage of an email firewall is the ability to manage multiple email accounts through a single application gateway. This can be especially helpful for a business, since the approach provides some degree of uniformity in how inbound emails are handled for all end users working through a single server. For example, an infected email containing a virus has much less chance of reaching the inbox of any users connected with the server, which in turn reduces the potential for the email attachment to be opened and begin to spread the threat throughout the network of users.
The good thing about an email firewall is that the application is relatively inexpensive, and provides an excellent level of protection. When paired with the right antivirus program, the chances of receiving an infection via email are extremely low. As with antivirus and spyware protection programs, it is possible to secure free versions of the email firewall, although the free products may be somewhat limited in terms of customization of settings and the range of protections provided.