What to look for in a spam blocker

A spam blocker is key to have nowadays, especially with the influx of bulk e-mails and e-mail advertisements.  A spam blocker will detect spam, or unwanted e-mails, and then send them to a junk/spam folder within your e-mail inbox, or delete them permanently if opted.  It is easy to delete unwanted e-mails, but it takes up time and attention.  It is also easy to just pick up any spam blocker software, but you need to know what to look for a in a good spam blocker.  Here are a few things you want to look for in a spam blocker:

1.  Do not lose important e-mails – Many spam filters will filter so many e-mails that the software will also filter your personal or work e-mails.  You might be looking for a reply from your cousin, job interview, or proposal and never receive it because it was incorrectly filtered as spam.  I, for one, have not purchased spam blocker software for a long time due to the potential of not receiving the e-mails I want.  Then, it makes you look bad for not responding.  Currently, the better spam blockers are smart enough to detect good e-mails, but not every blocker is perfect.  It is good to check out the filtered e-mails once in a while to ensure there are no false positives.

2.  Stay away from suites – Software that provides anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware, anti-instrusion, anti-hacker, and anti-anything else usually has so much functionality that it slows down your computer.  Unless you have a new, high-RAM computer, stay away from these suite products, such as Norton SystemWorks or McAfee Security.  They have great features; however, they usually have so many features that are constantly working in the background that actually slow down the overall performance of your computer.  Purchase stand alone products, such as anti-virus, anti-spam, and anti-spyware.  You may also purchase a firewall unless it is already provided by your operating sytem.

3.  The airplane security dilemma – When flying now, there is more security at the airports which lends way to a more secure, relaxed trip.  With more security comes more waiting time to allow for the metal detector and random checks.  This is analagous to the more extreme spam blockers that request all recipients to go to a web page to request permission to send e-mails to you.  This is probably the best way to weed out mass advertisement e-mails, but probably the worst way to make friends by having them ask permission to e-mail you.  Well, it all depends how far you want to go with your spam blocker.

All of the spam blockers out there, including Trend Micro, Norton, and SpamCop, tout the features just mentioned.  Just make sure you do your due diligence in finding the perfect spam blocker for you.

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