E-mail is a useful business and personal communication tool unless spam gets in the way. To prevent a spam barrage and keep inboxes clean, businesses and individuals have several tools they can use, but an anti-spam gateway is one of the best. That is, an anti-spam gateway can be one of the best weapons against electronic spam if you purchase the right one. The best anti-spam gateways allow you to choose your wanted contacts but will also learn your preferences as it works. It will also block unwanted contacts and store possible e-mail spam for future reference.
Of course, the anti-spam gateway should fulfill its primary purpose, which is to prevent e-mail spam or harmful messages from ever landing in your inbox. This can be easy when it comes to obvious spam messages. These often come without a message in the e-mail, without a legible sender's address or with a suspicious attachment.
The status of other e-mails, however, could be in the eye of the beholder, such as e-mails from a legitimate online retail outlet, your airline's frequent flyer program, or your local pizza store. For some users, these might be electronic spam. For others, they could mean valuable coupons or sales offers. Your anti-spam gateway should also be flexible and allow you to designate some senders as unwanted or wanted.
The strongest anti-spam gateway can also allow you to create many more, perhaps even hundreds, of different e-mail classifications besides just wanted or wanted. If you want to keep your personal e-mail separate from your work e-mail when on the job, the anti-spam gateway could be programmed to separate one from the other and to save your personal e-mail for when you're at home. Superior spam protection will also learn based on your programmed rules, and in this instance, it will be able to tell work from personal e-mail without you having to tell it.
Another characteristic to consider when shopping for an anti-spam gateway is how it stores your incoming messages. The safest versions are designed to save messages to an outside server and not to your computer or internal server. That way, if a malicious message happens to sneak through the filter, it will not damage your computer when you open your e-mail program. E-mail spam is bad enough but is mostly just annoying, whereas a good anti-spam gateway will also stop messages with viruses, worms or other malware in them, all of which can be outright dangerous and costly.