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In my regular ‘Nitty Gritty — Online’ column for Australian Business Solutions magazine, due to hit the shelves in a few days time, I address the question “Is there anything I can do to minimise the amount of SPAM that I’m getting each day?”. With only 500 words available to cover this whole, complex topic, I just briefly touched on how to avoid getting your email address into the wrong hands, and also how to try to filter incoming email for SPAM. This blog post is intended to provide a few more details about SPAM filtering options that are available to you.

As mentioned in my column, if you’re an individual user and use the mail services of Gmail, Hotmail/Live Mail, Yahoo, or another of the large, reputable, hosted email providers then most of the work will already have been done for you — with such enormous user bases, and a major investment in their email infrastructures, each of those providers already have very sophisticated SPAM/Junk Mail filtering capabilities and do a very good job of eliminating the bulk of unwanted messages. And because they’re hosting millions of email accounts, they can identify patterns across all the mail boxes and use this ‘collective intelligence’ to more accurately flag mail as ‘Junk’.

But what if you want host your own mail? Most corporate networks, and even small companies these days, will run their own in-house mail server. It’s pretty easy to set up, provides some great collaborative capabilities for your staff to work with each other, and leverages most effectively the capabilities of Outlook and your network infrastructure. However, once you take responsibility for your own mail server you’re also responsible for your own SPAM filtering. So what solution should you implement to protect yourself?

There’s a huge number of content and SPAM filtering providers around, so I’ve broken them down into two groups and outlined some of the most popular below:

Installed in your own premises

If you want to take full control (and responsibility) for SPAM prevention on your network, these are the top products to consider:

Mailwasher Enterprise Server

TrendMicro ScanMail Suite for Exchange

SPAMfighter Exchange Module

SPAMfighter Mail Gateway

MailMarshal

McAfee Total Protection for Endpoint — Advanced

McAfee Total Protection for Secure Business

Symantec Brightmail

SpamAssassin

CleanMail Anti Spam & Anti Virus

Exchange Server Toolbox

GFI MailEssentials for Exchange/SMTP

SpamTitan

Hosted Solutions

There’s a growing number of solutions available which usually involve having all your domain’s email forward to a hosted solution provider, and then forwarded on to you sans the junk. Known as SaaS (Software as a Service), here are some of the most popular examples of this approach:

Google Postini

McAfee SaaS Endpoint & Email Protection

MessageLabs

Trend Micro Hosted Email Security

Netintelligence Email Filter

Spam Experts

Remote Anti Spam

MailProtector

This list is not comprehensive, but covers the best-known and most loved solutions. Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and can use a variety of approaches. If you’re unsure about which solution is best for your needs, you can contact Aktiv Tactics for assistance in implementing an appropriate solution.

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