Spam. The very name evokes either images of email you want nothing to do with or really bad meat, though it can be hard to know which is worse. In this blog we’ll tackle the former. What principles apply when you handle the email that inevitably you receive which you don’t want to clutter your Inbox.
First, let’s clarify what spam is. In succinct fashion, it’s simply email your don’t want. This can in turn be subdivided into two primary groups, that which is a nuisance and that which is harmful. It could be either Jack in the Box (a nuisance) or Jack the Ripper (bad news).
The nuisance emails don’t cost you much except time. Even if opened, it may expose sales at stores, entice you with seminars, and the like, but it doesn’t affect your system. Harmful email is what motivates a spam strategy, however. This includes email which, if opened, may do malicious things like encrypt your files, invade and record passwords, and the like. It is all spam, but the latter case should inspire you to protect what you receive proactively.
It may be that you receive very little excess mail without any spam services. If so, congrats. You probably need to get out more! It’s rare but you may have avoided the injection of your email address in the lists that spammers use. Even so, the potential for even harmful email to infect your system means you should use a spam service. It only takes one bad one to make you wish you did.
However, most people get loads of it now. The spam service vets your email first and then sends what is validated to you, essentially a bodyguard. In this case, the service applies an algorithm and a large number of options to determine if the email is valid or not. If so, you get it. If not, it is either put in a quarantine queue if the algorithm considers it a “maybe’ or it may be blocked if it is clearly bad news. You would normally receive an email with your quarantine list so you can release any emails which were accidentally blocked. There are a number of settings to modify how sensitive the quarantine setting is, to setup “whitelists” (which are used to allow all emails in from a sender), block email based on content in the body of an email, and so forth. These services require management to ensure your email gets through and you don’t lose important ones, but they can save you a world of hurt given the current virulent attacks hackers have devised.
In summary, we would highly recommend a good spam service for your email domain. Without it you’re on your own and opening just one email by mistake can bring you to your knees. There are some really evil people out there you don’t want to have for BFFs. If you’re not sure where to start, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get glad to help.
It could be good for what “mails” you!!