Configuring Your Exchange Server to Filter Spam

In today's world, it seems that almost any topic is open for debate. While I was gathering facts for this article, I was quite surprised to find some of the issues I thought were settled are actually still being openly discussed.

Unsolicited junk e-mail or spam is an unfortunate reality that comes with the use of internet although web users are affected by it in different degrees. At times it becomes difficult for e-mail account holders to distinguish between genuine messages and spam and this makes it a constant bother to many individuals as well as business enterprises. There are several programs that have been created to block out spam from e-mail inboxes and among the main components to aid this process is what is known as a spam blocker or Exchange spam filter, which is installed within exchange servers. A spam filter for Exchange Server is capable of scanning messages that have spam keywords and spam headers. After the spam messages have been identified, the Exchange spam filter server will inform the user which mails have been treated as spam. This will significantly reduce the chances of attacks from viruses and malware.

If you find yourself confused by what you've read to this point, don't despair. Everything should be crystal clear by the time you finish.

There is an option of setting the server to block out blank senders; however this is not advised because some important documents such as read receipts do not have sender fields. The filtering process can be done without the sender knowing and this is advised because it can significantly reduce the server load. Most exchange servers have an inbuilt ORFilter or Open Relay Filter as well as a Realtime Blackhole List or RBL capability, which means that there will not be any need for any third party software for filtering spam.

The initial process is to go to the delivery settings for messages and clicking on 'new' so as to add another connection filter. From here, the preferred Realtime Blackhole selection will be chosen and the OK button clicked. There are some exceptions to these specifications that can be chosen by clicking on exceptions and filling in the desirable settings. There will be a warning pop out stating that a SMTP virtual server will need to be enabled for the process of filtering. One will have to go to SMTP virtual server properties and click on 'edit'. The checkbox with 'Apply Connection Filter' should be checked. After clicking OK, exit completely.

There may be a need for third party spam filter software applications; however they are quite costly meaning that small enterprises and individuals will find it difficult to invest in it. In most cases though, the Exchange spam filter embedded within the exchange server is enough to block out most of the threats from spam. There is an option that can be used to store junk mail and its configuration may be done by defining a particular threshold that is based upon the SCL rating. By doing this, the system will be able to distinguish whether a message is to be put into the inbox or in a folder for junk e-mail.

The Exchange spam filter within the exchange server makes use of several combinations that are supposed to decipher the composition of messages and identify whether they are spam. It is for this reason that the configuration should be appropriately done to ensure that the spam filter within Exchange will be able to effectively carry out all the necessary procedures to keep out unsolicited e-mails. Users, who want to control or avoid spam mail, will have a better alternative by using the Exchange filter for spam emails.
Unfortunately spam is becoming more and more popular and now more than ever having a good exchange spam filter is of the utmost importance. A proper exchange spam filter is useful not only to minimize the amount of spam that gets to your mailbox but enables systems administrators to focus their attention on more important tasks rather then running around after spam.

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Now might be a good time to write down the main points covered above. The act of putting it down on paper will help you remember what's important about Configuring Your Exchange Server to Filter Spam.

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