Boss needs answer on spam filtering and recommendations for a filter?

By mlrome ·
Our boss needs an expanded answer on spam vs junk mail. We currently use a spam filter at the server level to filter out spam and junk mail. We use Webroot. A couple of the bosses' emails have gotten caught in the spam filter which we have corrected. Now the boss wants answers to what the difference is between spam and junk mail and why some email that does come through will land in the junk mail folder. They then want to decide whether or not we should use a spam filter at all, etc. So, I am looking for resources to read through to come up with something for them and hopefully keep us from going back to the 19th century. Currently over half of the email messages we receive are spam and the rest are legitimate according to Webroot report. Any suggestions appreciated.

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Short answers:

by seanferd In reply to Boss needs answer on spam ...

There isn't really much difference between spam and junk mail. Spam is unsolicited, whereas junk mail, while you may not want it, is coming to you for a reason. If unsubscribing to mailings works, it is just junk mail. Spam tends to be stupid, malicious, scam-oriented, or touching illegal areas, but these do not define spam.

Why some email you want lands in the junk folder? Because to the spam/junk filter, it looks like spam, at least as far as your configuration and filter "training" go. No spam filter is ever perfect - you'd have to have a human check email for a better filter, and humans don't always do so well either.

You might also find that another spam filter is better than the Webroot product.

Really short answer: Technology isn't magic, nor can it read the boss' mind.

Just how high is the false positive rate, anyway?

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And to see if you want to keep using it

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Short answers:

Turn it off for a day and see how long the Boss takes to sort the thousands of bits of Spam if they are anything like most people who are not careful with their E Mail Address.

The thing with allowing everyone to have your address is that you gets lots of spam sent to you and I've seen cases where thousands on unwanted E-Mails stop you getting what is needed to continue the business operations.

But of course if that's not important kill the service and see if you can work without it. I'm betting that after that the Person in Charge will want something better than Web Root but the reality is that the more that Humans Nurse and hold the hand of a product like this the better it's going to be. Of course that requires whoever it is doing the Hand Holding to know what they are doing of course. I've seen too many cases where the wrong person was tasked with the Unimportant job of managing the Spam Filter.

Tell your Boss to look at the Headings or Subject line of the E Mails this is always generally a good indication of why it got caught as a False Positive in the Filter.


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False Positive Rate

by mlrome In reply to Short answers:

Out of 6000 messages a month, .00001

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That is as near Perfect as you'll get

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to False Positive Rate

So just tell the Boss to look at the Subject Line of anything and change that to something less likely to peek the interest of the Filter.


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Currently over half of the email messages we receive are spam

by Curacao_Dejavu In reply to Boss needs answer on spam ...

use rbl lists.

and this will drop to less then 5%

the 3 rbl that I am currently using.

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Kerio helped us

by maclovin In reply to Boss needs answer on spam ...

We use Kerio, and ever since using it, and properly configuring spam filtering, and using public DNSRBL's we've had great success with it. It also allows for ActiveSync and Exchange functions, to an extent.

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