Email filtering, otherwise known as Spam filtering, is crucial for anyone who uses email, which is pretty much everyone. So, what is it and why is it important?
Spam is any email that you don’t want to come into your inbox. Like weeds in a garden, sometimes it’s hard to get rid of them. If you use an email service, such as Office 365 or G Suite, spam filtering comes native to these services.
Email Filtering with Gmail
If you have a Gmail account, let’s do a little exercise:
Log into your Gmail account and find the “Spam” section in the left-hand column. Go ahead and click on it. Trust me. it won’t bite.
Holy cow, right? There’s a lot of stuff in there that you’ve never seen. If you’re brave, you can start looking through there, but be cautious because I’m sure there are things in there that you don’t want to see.
So, Gmail does an excellent job of filtering out spam. The interesting thing about Gmail is that it lets you see that spam whenever you want to. It’s probably a good practice to go in there and clear it out occasionally.
Email Filtering with Office 365
Office 365 does a great job as well, but it takes a slightly different approach. Unlike Gmail, Office 365 doesn’t have a “Spam” folder with all your spam in it.
Instead, Office 365 has a “Junk Email” folder. This contains any emails that made it through the Spam Filter, but Office 365 still thinks there might be issues with it.
If you’re using these services, you are pretty much as covered as you can be from Spam. But what if you have your email hosted in your office on an Exchange server? You’re going to need a 3rd party spam filter, no doubt about it.
How Effective is Spam Filtering?
Okay, so you’re using Office 365 or G Suite, or you have your 3rd party spam filter in place, but you’re still getting some Spam in your inbox from time to time. Sorry to break the bad news to you, a spam filter isn’t going to be 100% effective. There will be some spam that gets through.
Spammers have gotten good at getting past spam filters. Some good examples of these types of spam are spoofed emails and phishing emails. They will make it look like the email is coming from a trusted source, so it gets through the filter and into your inbox.
Phishing emails using spoofing and they disguise the content of the email to look like something that’s coming from a trusted source with the intent to get information from you. If an email makes it to your inbox and something feels off, ask the sender if they really sent it. Inspect the content of the email. You can hover over links in the email to see where they are actually going to take you.
Spam filters are necessary in today’s digital world. For the most part, they do a really good job at keeping you safe from all the riff-raff. While they do a good job, don’t get a false sense of total security. Stay aware of the occasional spam email that might make it through.