What You Need to Know Before Choosing a Spam Filter
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In this article we are going to help you with the basics of what you need to know in order to choose a spam filter which is right for you.

The first place to start in choosing an add-on anti-spam program is a list of your system requirements. Take a look at your computer and be sure you are aware of the following parameters.


Operating system
The program you purchase must be compatible with your operating system. Here is a list of common operating systems:

– Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000/2003/XP
– Mac OS 8/9/X
– Linux
– BSD
– Solaris
– Unix

E-mail client
The next thing to look at is your e-mail client. This is the program that handles your e-mail, displaying and organizing it for you on your computer. Some common e-mail clients are:

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– Eudora
– Exchange
– IncrediMail
– Netscape Mail
– Outlook
– Outlook Express
– Postfix
– QMail

E-mail account
Finally, determine what type of e-mail account you have. If you have an account with an online service, you are either using web-based e-mail or one such as MSN’s Hotmail. The most common types of e-mail accounts are:

– AOL
– Hotmail
– IMAP
– POP3
– Web-based
– Yahoo!

 

Your Specific Needs
Once you’ve narrowed down the field of potential programs to the ones that work with your operating system, e-mail client, and account type, you can look at the special features offered by each.

Business or personal use
Different programs work best with either personal use or business use. For example, challenge response systems that require the sender to click a link and verify their identity may be too impersonal for a personal user. Then again, they may be too intrusive for a business user.

For personal use, a freeware program may have just enough accuracy to work on your home computer. But a business may want to look into a program with a live 24-hour helpline in case of emergencies.

Memory availability
Check out how much memory you have available. Your computer stores this information daily. Depending on your operating system, you can find the location of this information by using your help feature. If you are using a fair amount of your available memory, you may want to consider a spam filter that is managed offsite to avoid using more memory. You avoid a large download and get the advantages of an effective filter for a small monthly fee.

Additional features
Several programs offer additional features that are incredibly useful to both the business and personal user.

Fraud protection is vital if you wish to avoid becoming a victim of a phishing scam. A search or index feature is useful for businesses that receive a number of e-mails daily that are saved for future reference. Many users also like added virus protection in their anti-spam program, and if it’s not included in the program, some vendors offer it as a bundle with your anti-spam system.

Now that you have determined what your system and needs are, you are ready to move on to step 2, figuring out which of the spam filters which fit your unique needs is right for you.

Most users find adding on an anti-spam program is well worth the cost and the small amount of time in most cases that it takes to install and train. When choosing the right system for you, check out your computer’s requirements, and then make a list of your preferences before you start to shop. The perfect anti-spam program for you is out there.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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