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Tips for Preventing Business Email Spam

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Tips for Preventing Business Email Spam

Our tips for preventing business email spam - or, more accurately, tips for reducing business email spam to the minimum amount possible - have been prepared to help businesses who are still plagued by large quantities of unwanted spam emails every day.

Some of our tips for preventing business email spam concern implementing safeguards that should be provided by default by mainstream email service providers - but are not. Others involve best practices that you may already employ but could do with a refresher.

Ultimately, it is in the best interests of your business to evaluate what mechanisms you already have in place to detect spam, block malware and prevent phishing campaigns from being successful. Then you will be in a better position to implement new safeguards and amend your practices as necessary.

1. Ensure Your Spam Filter Uses a Realtime Blackhole List (RBL)

A Realtime Blackhole List (RBL) is a list of IP addresses from which spam email is known to originate. One of the first actions of any spam email filter should be to compare inbound emails against this list as the list is responsible for detecting 70% to 90% of spam emails. A Realtime Blackhole List is present by default in filters offered by most mainstream email service providers such as Outlook and Gmail.  

2. Activate the SMTP Handshake

The SMPT handshake is one of the more important first-line tests conducted by a spam email filter. The filter will look for a HELO command, a Fully Qualified Hostname or a Resolvable Hostname and reject any email that does not have a DNS A or MX record. It only takes a small adjustment to the spam email filter to activate the SMPT handshake, and this is one of our easier tips for preventing business email spam to apply. 

3. Engage Recipient Verification Inspection

Spam email is often addressed to “info@” or “admin@”, and Recipient Verification Inspection looks to ensure that inbound emails are addressed to valid recipients. This check is conducted before emails are downloaded onto your server, saving bandwidth and reducing the load on your server. You should only engage Recipient Verification Inspection after uploading your business´s valid recipients to your spam email filter.

4. Quarantine Potentially Dangerous File Attachments

Malware and phishing campaigns can often be hidden within documents, PDFs, images and spreadsheets. By using MIME filtering software, your organization can prevent potentially dangerous file attachments from being delivered to unsuspecting users. Rather than rejecting or deleting the email, the software quarantines those suspected of harboring malware or a malicious URL so that the email can be virus scanned independently.

5. Scan Inbound and Outbound Emails for Malware

Most antivirus software detects malware only once it has been downloaded and is already at work. By scanning inbound email for malware, you reduce the risk of a malicious payload from being delivered. Outbound email scanning is a secondary measure that can help identify emails that might be considered infected or as containing spam by a business that has set its spam filter´s parameters to “over-zealous”.

6. Scan Inbound Emails for Malicious URLs

In addition to hiding malware, inbound emails and their attachments can hide malicious URLs to exploited websites and those created to conduct phishing campaigns. To protect your business from fraud and theft, you should implement a spam email filter with “URIBL” and “SURBL” protocols to check links within emails against a blacklist of domain names frequently used in bulk spam emails

7. Use Greylisting to Block the Latest Sources of Spam

Ensuring that your spam email filter has Greylisting is one of the most important tips for preventing business email spam. This is because many of the previously mentioned anti-spam mechanisms reject emails from “known” sources spam, whereas the Greylisting feature can identifying new sources of spam by requesting that each email is resent. Most spammer´s outbound mail servers are too busy to reply to the request, and the request is rejected.

Educate your Employees

By applying the seven tips for preventing business email spam above, you can improve your email spam filter´s spam detection rate from typically 96% to virtually 100%. However, your employees also have an important role to play in reducing the amount of spam email received by your business. 

Educating your employees about how to identify, flag and report any business email spam they receive can help to reduce the risks of email-borne threats. You should also test your employee´s on their ability to spot business email spam by sending them occasional “fake” spam emails.

Prevent Virtually All Business Email Spam with SpamTitan

SpamTitan is TitanHQ´s solution for detecting business email spam - a solution that uses the complete set of mechanisms listed above to achieve 99.97% spam detection. The high level of spam detection is complemented by dual anti-virus software that includes malicious URL blocking and phishing protection.

SpamTitan has a choice of deployment options - SpamTitan Cloud and SpamTitan Gateway - that make it an ideal solution for business of all sizes. Both options are universally compatible with all operating systems and infinitely scalable. Both options are also easy to configure and manage remotely via a browser-based portal.

Try SpamTitan by TitanHQ Free for Thirty Days

The best way to evaluate our spam filtering solution, and test out our tips for preventing business email spam, is to try SpamTitan in your own environment. Consequently, we invite you to take advantage of the most appropriate solution for your business (SpamTitan Cloud or SpamTitan Gateway) for thirty days, with no set-up costs, no contracts, no credit card and no obligation to continue with our service.

To find out more about our offer, or for technical assistance implementing our tips for preventing business email spam, please contact our sales technicians today. Our team will be happy to answer your questions about the mechanisms featured in this article and walk you through the process of registering your business for a free trial of SpamTitan.

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