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How to explain spam filtering to cranky users?

By WallyTCW ·
I must admit, most of my users are pretty well-behaved and technically savvy, especially for engineers. However, a few of them simply cannot understand the concept of spam and why it's difficult to block altogether.

Granted, we don't have the best spam filters in the world - we use only keyword filtering and the spam filter built into Outlook 2003 - but it still does a decent job, blocking around 70% or so of the spam we receive. We were looking at better solutions when the bottom fell out of our IT budget earlier this year.

Even if we did have a better solution, though, we still wouldn't be blocking 100% of the spam these people get. As everyone reading this probably knows, it just isn't possible. Has anybody seen any good, plain-English articles I can show them that will help me explain this to them?

I keep trying to explain to them that computers aren't necessarily capable of "looking" at an email and deciding whether or not it has value, but they still complain incessantly. Any suggestions?

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One Solution

by jdmercha In reply to How to explain spam filte ...

You could point them to to see how Syracuse University deals with spam.

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You can actually kill 99-10% now

by Oz_Media In reply to How to explain spam filte ...

I installd GWAVA for one client as it runs well with thier GroupWise mail system.

They have phenominal accuracy and it also has a SPAM/HAM trainer that will allow you to give it a ew thousad GOOD and BAD emails ad it will customize it's heuristic scaning rules to accomodate YOUR organizations mail flow.

The last SPAM/HAM test was 100% SPAM caught with NO false ositives and NO SPAM in the mailboxes. Onejust has to begin venturing outside the MS world and looking at what less expensive and more robust software can actually do.

I would say a better issue to address is how can you put together a case that proves your organization can do a LOT mroe with a LOT greater stabiity by leaving the MS trap.

You could upgrade your entire network, all workstations ad deskop software for less than a few MS user licences.

NOVELL/SUSE or NOVELL/XIMIAN, Netware on th lInux kernel, it's about as stable and simple as you can get. User learnig surve is NOTHING because the desktops are practically identical to windoze, except can be completely configured and licensed WITH Office for less than $100.00 each.

Now there's an easy case to make, once you have increased stability and security for next to nothing, making a case for a DECENT Anti-Spam solution is a breeze.

As for convincing people there is no sound solution, well you can try but if they look around you will soon be proven wrong.

Best of luck, be a leader and get some decent sotware in house first.

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Tell them you'll read their mail for them

by Gryfon In reply to How to explain spam filte ...

That might quiet them down.

The ONLY effective way to detect all spam is for a human to read it. Tell them you'd be happy to read all of their incoming email for them and manually remove spam. Your rate is $65 an hour.

Also tell them to quit signing up for crap online using their email addresses. Do not post in forums using email addresses. Do not forward every piece of crap 'feel good' fluff with 10 gazillion email addresses in the CC line (teach them how to use BCC if they MUST engage in this). These things are spammers wet dreams, and most folks never think twice about it.

In short, make them responsible for their part in the spam problem.

Good luck!

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Or just buy a geek T-Shirt

by Oz_Media In reply to Tell them you'll read the ...

"I read your email" across the front of a t-shirt usually reduces such issues.

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