Q

How to protect your e-mail client with layers

What is the best way to prevent spam, forged e-mails and scam e-mails from entering our Outlook 2000 inbox? Our company outsources its e-mail and we access/send e-mails using POP3 and SMTP. Any suggestions on antispam client software would help.
On a cold winter night with the wind blowing strong and the sleet raining down the best way to stay warm is to bundle up into multiple layers of clothing for warmth and protection. I like to think of e-mail security in the same way. To weather the elements in the world of unsolicited e-mail consider the following:

Thermal underwear: The laptop/desktop is where protection should begin. You have asked for a suggestion for antispam software. I would recommend that you consider a product that can perform both antivirus and antispam (see links at end). But whatever spam software you do decide to go with, make sure that you also implement antivirus as well.

Sweatshirt and pants: Mail server solutions should be implemented at a minimum. Chances are that your mail services provider has integrated an antivirus solution. A number of providers also offer antispam protection for an additional cost. You might want to see if your provider does.

Jacket, hat and boots: Gateway services and appliances. One of the most effective ways to reduce the chance that you will get a virus or spam is to prevent it from entering you mail system in the first place. The gateway is also a great place to filter for forged (spoofed) e-mail. Again, in your case, this would be something that you would want your provider to have implemented as a value add for you.

I would recommend that all three layers I have discussed be fully implemented to best prevent spam, forged e-mails and scams from entering your inboxes. It sounds like two of the three might be out of your hands. Since I'm not particularly partial to any desktop solutions, I have decided to simply include the list of security providers that Microsoft has partnered with for Outlook, as you are most likely to get the best level of integration from a partner's solution.

If you want to look at an antispam specific solution, Slipstick.com has a great list here.


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This was first published in December 2004

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