Did you know that about 90% of all email is spam? Yep, nine out of every ten emails sent in the world are junk mail so it’s really no wonder it can overwhelm your inbox and annoy you every single day.
To give you an idea of the problem spam can create, our mail servers here at The GraceNet have internal filters that block well over one million spam emails every day… per mail server… and that number continues to increase.
Even though mail servers can block that many junk emails, a huge amount still get past the filters and into your inbox because spammers are continually finding ways to trick these server-side anti-spam systems.
So what can you do about this problem? Well, after being in the web hosting business for 20 years now, I’ve seen just about every possible effort to stop spam and I’m going to tell you about the ones I’ve found to be the best.
In this post we’re going to look at the first layer of spam defense… Your email server.
If you have one of the large free email systems like Gmail, Yahoo, HotMail etc. you may “think” they have all this covered for you but, their system still catches good emails and still misses lots of actual spam. That’s because they have tried to find a happy medium to help with an overwhelming problem.
I know it’s unlikely you have any direct control over your mail server but it would be really unusual to find any reputable hosting company that did not provide some way for you to filter out some level of spam headed for your account.
Here at The GraceNet all our accounts have a tool in the web site control panel called “SpamAssassin”. If your email is handled by your web hosting company, it’s likely this tool is available to you. SpamAssassin is a “threshold based” filter which looks at many characteristics of every inbound email and applies a numerical value to each of them. If the “score” reaches the trigger level, the email is considered spam and either discarded or delivered with a **SPAM** notice in the subject… YOU decide which.
You are also the one who gets to set the trigger level as well so you can make it more sensitive which will stop more spam but also can result in more good emails being considered spam.
OK, so what should you do now? Be proactive! Find out what if any spam prevention features are available to you right now at your email provider or hosting company and get familiar with them. If they are off, turn them on. Try adjusting whatever settings are within your control and see if you can improve the result.
In our next post we’ll take a look at how to stop spam cold with a “Challenge Response” system.
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