Of all the many technology components in an organization, spam filters seem like they’d be the most straightforward: let the relevant messages through while keeping out the unwanted junk.
But with most email spam checkers, it doesn’t work that way. Whether they’re implemented as hardware or software, these checkers often don’t cut it when it comes to doing what should be a simple task. Here are the four top reasons that most email spam checkers are asleep on the job:
1. The rules are always changing
Because hackers and cybercriminals are constantly changing their tactics to try and game an email system, it makes sense that spam checkers would need to evolve to keep pace. But many of them make dramatic changes in their rules, so what worked a few weeks ago suddenly stops being effective after you implement a security upgrade on that checker. With those kind of shifts, it can be difficult to make sure an email checker has the security controls that are crucial for protecting your organization
2. They don’t implement DMARC
Some email spam checkers might excel at filtering messages, but what about the spammers who send out email pretending to be you? That tactic can negatively affect your company’s reputation and make your customers into phishing email targets. To prevent this, you need to set up DMARC, an open email standard that enables domain-level protection of the email channel. With DMARC in place, you can track emails that appear to come from you, and shut down spammers.
3. False positives are commonplace
Your tax preparer sends out an automated message to let all his clients know about an extremely important change in the law that requires immediate action. But you never get it, because the email spam filter tagged it as junk since it was sent out in a “bulk mail” setting. That’s a scary situation, but it happens all the time. Most email spam checkers incorrectly classify messages like tax documents, health records, and court notices as unwanted mail instead of using intelligent algorithms to classify them accurately.
4. They let in too many unwanted messages
Because most email spam checkers don’t have sender verification, you tend to end up with the kind of email deluge that eats up hours every day. Even if you’re an email ninja who wields a mighty sword of decision making, you’ll still be tasked with sorting and deleting messages that aren’t relevant to you, from senders who slip through your spam checker every single time. According to recent estimates, email is the second most time consuming activity, taking 28 percent of employee time every day. Although some of that is part of normal business operations, what would happen if you could filter out the irrelevant, unwanted messages and only handle those that drive the organization forward? With most email spam checkers, you’ll never get a chance to find out.
In general, it seems as if most spam checkers should be much more efficient at their tasks, but instead, they tend to cause IT managers and business owners to squander precious time dealing with unwanted messages and security concerns. Employing a better solution can go a long way toward increasing productivity, keeping an organization protected, and dealing effectively with spam, once and for all.