Improving your Spam Filter

Our article this week will cover the importance of a spam filter, and how to use this properly to defend against phishing emails.

There are two main types of phishing approach – the first uses an email address that is untargeted but is sent to multiple companies to extract data, this type will generally have a lower success rate. The second is a targeted attack which will be used to deceive employees, often by posing as a trusted party, to extract data. For untargeted attacks, a spam filter is often quick to identify this mail as it is not specific to the company, is often worded very poorly, and does not look legitimate on first glance. However, a targeted attack can be more difficult to identify as it will usually pose to be an individual, inclusive of their email address, writing style, signature etc.

Another way to improve a spam filter used for e-mails is to utilise whitelists and blacklists. A blacklist allows you to mark specific e-mails are spam, any address within this list will automatically go to your spam folder. Blacklists are usually automatically updated by the e-mail provider; however, you will be able to specify specific e-mails if numerous spam e-mails are being sent from the same address. Whereas, e-mail addresses that are contained within a whitelist will always be delivered to the inbox. With numerous providers all e-mail addresses within your contacts are normally placed within this list.

If a lot of spam e-mails go into your inbox, instead of the spam folder, it is advised to increase the strength of your spam filter. However, be aware that legitimate e-mails could be flagged as spam and may get missed.