spam filter

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spam filter

A software routine that deletes incoming spam or diverts it to a "junk" mailbox (see spam folder). Also called "spam blockers," spam filters are built into a user's e-mail program. They are also built into or added onto a mail server, in which case the spam never reaches the user's mailbox. See e-mail program and mail server.

Spam filtering can be configured to trap messages based on a variety of criteria, including sender's e-mail address, specific words in the subject or message body or by the type of attachment that accompanies the message.

Blacklists and Whitelists
Address lists of habitual spammers, known as "blacklists," are continuously updated by various organizations and ISPs. Mail from blacklist addresses is rejected at the mail server. See Blacklist of Internet Advertisers.

The opposite approach is taken to ensure that bona fide mail is not automatically rejected. Users or network administrators can create a list of allowed e-mail addresses, known as a "whitelist," and the mail client or mail server will always accept mail from whitelist addresses. Mail client software typically treats the user's address book as a whitelist, presuming that mail coming from an address maintained by the user is always valid.

Analyze the Content
In order to more effectively analyze the content and not trash a real message, sophisticated spam filters use artificial intelligence (AI) techniques that look for key words and attempt to decipher their meaning in sentences (see Bayesian filtering). See spam trap, spam relay and spamdexing. See also ad blocker and popup blocker.
References in periodicals archive ?
Version 11's improvements to Virus Blocker address the ever-present and growing threats of malware, and Spam Blocker is now more capable than ever at keeping unwanted email at bay.
Many new spam blockers use a method called white listing, which means that you must grant permission for e-mail to enter your in box by pre-approving specific senders.
Total Traffic Control Spam Blocker is now being included in the company's Total Traffic Control v3.
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com/ or 1-877-630-1183) enjoy leading-edge Internet security tools and ID theft protection, including virus and worm protection, firewall protection, spyware protection, spam blocker, parental control, ID theft support service and ID theft insurance.
Designed to give the user more control over Spam filtering and complement the Internet Service Provider's spam-fighting tools, SecureSpot Spam Blocker is an easy-to-use, easy-to-install, self-configuring email filter that requires no changes to most email programs, such as Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express, Eudora, Netscape and Incredimail, and AOL, Hotmail, MSN and Yahoo web mail systems.
And because callers have to pay, the system is a very effective spam blocker.
The company offers filtered dial-up as well as a spam blocker, virus protection, and a filter-only option for broadband users.
The customized suite provides a convenient way for customers to manage security and includes six other applications: Anti-Virus, Firewall, Parental Controls, Anti-Spyware, Spam Blocker and Pop-Up Blocker.
All Cox High Speed Internet customers can download a free suite of security software including anti-virus, parental controls, anti-spyware, spam blocker, pop-up blocker and firewall, accessible at www.