Spam111 spam and virus filtering system





We use several methods for filtering with message scoring as an evaluation tool. The system decides whether a message is spam based on the number of "points" assigned to it. If a message gets enough points, you can determine it to be spam and it can be discarded or quarantined. You have control over the Delete Value and the Quarantine Value at both the domain and individual levels. Several methods we currently use for assigning points are as follows:

  • A Rules Based Approach that analyzes headers and message text for certain specific characteristics. Both positive and negative points are assigned based on what is found in the message.
  • A Learning Component that builds a database of tokens from known spam and known ham (wanted messages). These tokens add extra positive or negative point assignments to messages that have the tokens, thereby increasing the certainty that they are or are not spam. The token database is continually updated based on the content of incoming messages so it keeps "learning" what the spammers are doing.
  • Bayesian Filtering is based on a form of statistical analysis attributed to the 18th century cleric Thomas Bayes. Words are grouped into one of four groups: negative, benign, esoteric and positive. Scores are bumped up or down depending into which group words found in the message fall.
  • Collaborative Spam-tracking Databases are used. The system reads a signature of each incoming message and compares it to known spam from several databases. Since spam is typically sent to many people, the first people to receive a spam message can add it to a database -- at which point everyone else will automatically block it.
  • Whitelists are a lists of addresses known to be non-spam. You can make your own whitelist entries on a domain or individual profile basis. These are typically used when you have that one buddy who sends you those off color jokes that you really want to see. Be careful about whitelisting entire domains. You can defeat the spam filter easily this way.
  • Blacklists are a lists of addresses known to be used for spam. You can make your own blacklist entries on a domain or individual profile basis. These are typically used for those few addresses that you just can't seem to stop getting mail from. Making a long blacklist is counter productive and will simply slow down your service. Spammers change addresses often and typically don't even use their own address.

Spam Information:

  • What is Spam: Spam is unsolicited (unwanted) email. It can be anything from honest solicitations from legitimate businesses who have made the mistake of believing that people will welcome their message, to outrageous, obnoxious or illegal schemes to make money in various ways.
  • Sending Spam: If you send a thousand messages to people who want to hear from you, that's not spam. However, if you send one message to someone who doesn't want to hear from you and has never opted in to receive mail from you, you have sent spam. Typically, you are welcome to send mail to clients or others who have signed up to receive information from you. Just make sure your list is "clean".

What You Can Do:

  • Sign Up for spam111 so we can stop spam before it gets to you. You can see by our live statistics that we delete about 80% of the email that hits our servers.
  • Never sign up for a list unless you really want to be on it and you know that your address won't be sold to others. Read those privacy policies!
  • Don't bother to unsubscribe from spam messages unless you know that the message is from a reputable company or group. The act of unsubscribing tells the spammer that he has a real live address.
  • One way to avoid spam is to create a separate e-mail address for spam. Provide that address when sites ask for an e-mail address that they obviously intend to send spam to, and the unwanted messages will go to this second address. If you're expecting to receive a legitimate e-mail message, such as an order confirmation, at that address, you'll have to look for it carefully.
  • Another way to avoid spam is to change your email address frequently. Then the spammers won't be able to keep up with your address. For most business people, this isn't practical, but it works for a while.



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