Tag Archives: email spam filter

Spam Filtering vs. Email Prioritization: Two Different Approaches to Email Management

spam filtering vs email sorting and prioritization

We all know that email overload may result in loss of time, loss of productivity and unanswered email. To solve this problem, you may go for a good spam filter – in order to have bad emails separated from all the mail you’ve received. Or you can choose an opposite direction, and apply an email prioritization technique, i.e. having good emails separated from the rest of your mail. What are the pros and cons of both methods, and what can we do to eliminate the cons?

 

Email Filtering Done with the Help of Spam Blockers

According to Symantec’s Intelligence Data, about 8% of all mail was identified as spam in 2001. Email users were not overloaded with email then, and cleaning your Inbox from spam took only several minutes per day. Today spam rates are between 65% and 75% (depending on a season and special events), so removing spam by hand might take much more time.

Thanks to email spam filters, the process of email screening was simplified greatly. You could open your Inbox in the morning and see only a couple of spam messages in there; the rest of your messages would be legitimate emails. Email spam filtering may be based on sender email address, IP or domain blacklists, URL and attachment analysis, Bayesian spam filtering and other predefined rules. In most cases, you can even customize your spam filter to meet your requirements.

However the problem of email overload is not spam-related only. Even with all junk mail removed, you’ll still suffer the problem of an unmanaged Inbox. Emails from legitimate senders can be of different priority for you, so you need to know which ones are most important and which ones can be postponed.

Pros:

  • Spam filters save time that you could have wasted on removing spam from your Inbox.
  • The previously reported spam messages will no longer hit your Inbox.

Cons:

  • Thousands of spam emails may reach Inboxes before a spammer’s email address, IP or domain is blacklisted.
  • Spam filtering is machine-based so there is a room for mistakes called “false positives.”
  • Bayesian filters may be fooled by spammers, e.g. in a case of using large blocks of legitimate text.
  • A legitimate email sender may use potentially “suspicious” words without knowing it and trigger a spam filter.

 

Email Prioritization: Manual and Automatic

Initially people did email triage by hand and this tedious task consumed a great amount of time. One had to look through all emails, separate the good from the bad, and then categorize the “good” messages by priority. These could be emails that needed to be answered right away, messages to be forwarded, tasks to be delegated or just information which could be saved for future reference and did not require immediate action.

Later, email users discovered the power of email rules. You would simply tell your email client what to do with the emails which come from a particular sender, have particular words in a subject line or have other specific features which might help you differentiate these emails from the others. Email rules were definitely a godsend for many email users who had been drowning in email.

However email rules can’t help you much if you expect an important email but know nothing about his/her email address, the words which might be used in the email, etc. You’ll have to look through all emails, including the Spam box, every 15 minutes or so – in order to avoid missing that important email.

Pros:

  • After emails are prioritized, you can focus your attention on important emails first.
  • Further emails from important senders will always hit your Inbox if you apply email rules.

Cons:

  • It takes time to look through all emails if you choose to prioritize them by hand.
  • Even if you do automate the process of email prioritization, it takes time to create email rules.
  • Email rules will not always work well for emails from unknown email senders.

 

A Formula for Effective Email Management

As you see, using a spam filter is not enough to have an organized Inbox every morning. You’ll still have to sort the remaining messages by priority, as some emails should be replied to urgently while some can be postponed or archived. This takes time.

Email prioritization alone is not the ultimate solution to prevent email overload either. In this case you’ll have to sort ALL messages, including spam. And spam emails can make up 75%+ of your Inbox!

 

Taking all this into account, here is the best formula of the effective email management:
Effective Email Management = A Good Email Filter + Intelligent Email Prioritization

 

Let’s put this principle to work: you should not give up using a spam filter, plus you need an intelligent solution to automate email prioritization tasks.

This is where the EmailTray email client will fit your needs. It will aggregate junk mail from the Spam folders of all your tracked email accounts and double-check if any important messages have been mistakenly trapped by a spam filter of your Mail Service Provider. Besides, EmailTray will categorize the rest of the messages under the “Top priority”, “Low priority” and “No priority” tabs. All you’ll have to do is concentrate on the top priority messages first; then attend emails under the “No priority” tab. Then, if you have some spare time, you may want to look through the “Low priority” messages where you may wish to take the time to unsubscribe from the newsletters and notifications you’ll find there or mark certain senders as spammers so their future emails fall under the spam tab. By the way, once per day you can delete all the spam under the unified “Spam” tab which will ensure that all your spam boxes inside all your Webmail accounts are cleared.

You can always download EmailTray for Windows or get the EmailTray email app for your Android device, and enjoy an organized Inbox!

25 Proven Techniques to Stop Junk Mail and Correct Spam Filter Mistakes

stop junk mail

In the previous post dedicated to the email spam statistics for August 2012, we have highlighted the 7 most important tips to stop junk mail. This list of spam prevention techniques definitely has to be extended and requires a dedicated blog post, so here we go!

 

Be careful with the email addresses that you use

1. Do not use your primary email addresses when registering online. If you don’t want to have your corporate or private email address jammed with spam – do not use them when registering for online promotions, contests, giveaways, download sites, etc.

2. Use a “disposable” email address for online registrations and one-time downloads. You can always create a new email account using free email providers like Gmail, Yahoo!, or Hotmail. You don’t even need to waste time checking this email account for new messages, since you only provide the address to websites and forums as a log-in, and not to your friends or work contacts. If you are your own IT administrator, you can ask your email provider for a catchall service and then, when you signup anywhere, you can describe where you’re signing up before the  @ sign with your domain name following (example: forumname@yourdomain.com). With this method, you can just block all emails to that email address if you start getting spam for it.

3. Do not post your email address in public profiles visible by everyone. Keep from posting your email address on forums, blogs and public profiles. To automate the process, spammers use automatic programs to harvest emails, so you provide them with easy food when posting your email here and there.

If you really need to post your address, disguise it from the robots. You can choose to substitute some characters and separate them by brackets – so that your email address no longer looks like one. For example, if your email is “jack.rabbit@example.com”, write it out as “jack.rabbit [at] example [dot] com”.

4. Make your email address hard to guess. Some spam-sending programs coin email addresses using a combination of the randomly-used names and last names, and then send spam to the list of the newly created email addresses. If you don’t want to be included in such a list by accident, make sure to create an email address that is unique.

5. Be very attentive when filling out online forms. See if there are any boxes like “Send a catalogue”, “Receive monthly updates” or “Get free offers” which will often be checked by default. These check boxes are usually small or hidden. Also, read the privacy policy of the services you sign up for; you might unknowingly consent to spam being sent to you.

 

Remember the three NO’s: no opening, no clicking and no responding

6. Keep away from opening spam messages. When you open an email with graphics rendering turned on, the sender might receive an email delivery receipt which lets them know that your email address is valid. If you were using EmailTray, described below, spam messages would appear in the lower priority Inboxes where graphics rendering is automatically shut off.

7. Do not follow the links in a spam email. Such links might include malware which might result in identity theft. Even if you believe an email is legit, hover over the link with your cursor first to verify that the URL you’re being sent to is also legit.

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The Devil Is In The Details: 9 Things That Make The EmailTray Email Client For Windows Awesome

emailtray-email-client-for-windows

The EmailTray email client for Windows is great in dealing with all email management tasks: it sorts email according to importance and notifies you about important messages only, saves you from spam and phishing, rescues good emails from the Spam folder and synchronizes your contact address book. The EmailTray developer team does its best to implement other ideas to bring you the best email client possible:

  1. The EmailTray email client for Windows is easy to set up. You need just click once to install EmailTray. Install the EmailTray email client.
  2. Add your email accounts instantly. You just need to add the email address and password in most cases and nor further setup is needed. The EmailTray email client knows all the necessary settings of the popular email providers.
  3. Create full and shortened signatures to be added automatically in new emails and replies. Your full signature will be automatically added to all your new emails and the shortened one to your replies and forwards. The automatization saves you seconds, and a second saved is an hour earned.
  4. Turn off/on sound notifications quickly. You can find a sound notification icon in the bottom right corner. Just click it to turn all the EmailTray sound notifications off/on; there is no need to go to the settings if you need no sounds.
  5. Access the most important emails quickly. Click the EmailTray email client icon in the notification area and you will get to the latest unread important email.
  6. Mark spam in different ways. You can mark as spam a message, a sender or all messages from the domain at once. These flexible settings help to fight spam as smoothly as possible.
  7. Create specific rules. You may set a sender’s priority before you receive any email, you just need to know the sender’s name or keywords in the subject. Do this to be sure you read important emails even if the sender uses a new email address.
  8. Manage your subscriptions in a smart way. The EmailTray email client combines emails from different senders but sent to one subscription email address into one contact card and one thread. Names of the senders in these subscription threads are highlighted so you will easily find a message you need. And there are even more things to make your subscription management easy: you may create rules and mark special senders with different colors.
  9. Add all of one sender’s email addresses into one contact card. It doesn’t matter what email address your sender uses, you will see the photo you chose for this sender anyway.

Are there any features you’d like to see in the EmailTray email client or Windows? Feel free to tell us in the comments or discuss your thoughts on our Facebook page.

The EmailTray Email Client for Windows: Protect Yourself from Spam and Phishing

In the previous post we told you about 5 simple rules that help you to protect yourself from cybercrimes and taught you how to protect your personal data. Today we want to continue the topic and show you the benefits of using the EmailTray email client for Windows for managing your emails and protecting yourself from spam and phishing.

The EmailTray email client for Windows recognizes senders and enriches your email communication with your contacts’ information from their social profiles on Facebook and LinkedIn. This helps you to detect valuable emails and ignore spam, while greatly decreasing your email overload.

Besides, the EmailTray email client for Windows will show the official icons for known senders like PayPal, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. This official icons save you from phishing attacks, i.e. from the attempts to steal your passwords or credit card details. You can see the PayPal official icon on the image below.

In case a possibly spam email went to your inbox, the EmailTray email client marks it with a special warning, that attracts your attention. Now you can teach the EmailTray email client how to treat such emails in future.

Phishing emails, in their turn, are marked with bright warning sign. You will notice these for sure. And this is really important, because a mistake may cost you a lot. When the EmailTray email client for Windows suspects the email to be a phishing attempt, you will see this bright red warning.

We hope our recommendations and the EmailTray algorithm help you to avoid phishing attacks, save you from spam and make your email management easy and enjoyable.

Download and install the EmailTray email client for Windows and Androids and have an easy time dealing with your email communications and email overload.

5 Simple Rules that Can Protect You from Cyber Crimes

Nowadays 68% of all emails are spam. 1 in 274 emails is blocked as malicious. The cumulative number of phishing attacks recorded through 2011 was 279,580, that’s a 37% increase from 2010.

Phishing attacks saturated the globe more heavily, with brands targeted from 31 different countries and phishing emails communicated in 16 different languages – reaching an even more diverse crowd of Internet users.

Cyber criminals become more and more diligent every day and the chance of being attacked with a phishing email increases every moment.

How to protect your personal data from cyber crimes?

1. Fight spam. Be especially cautious of emails that come from unknown senders and ask you to confirm personal or financial information over the internet.

Fortunately, the EmailTray email client, for PCs and Android smartphones, is great at fighting spam and knows how to recognize your senders while even checking the authentication of the servers used by major senders like Facebook, Twitter, Amazon and PayPal. EmailTray uses a special algorithm to detect the most important emails and notify you about them. In addition, you may see a sender’s photo in the sender’s panel to better know who is writing to you.

2. Never use the links in an email, instant message, or chat to get to any web page if you suspect the message might not be authentic or you don’t know the sender or user’s handle. Even if you believe a sender to be legitimate, at least be sure to hover over the link before clicking on it in order to see what the intended URL actually is.

The EmailTray email client for PCs and Androids cares for your online safety and will mark suspicious emails with a special warning. This helps you not to mistake a phishing email with a legitimate one. Be really careful with such marked emails.

3. Do not download files or open attachments in emails from unknown senders. It is best to open attachments only when you are expecting them and know what they contain, even if you know the sender.

4. Avoid filling out forms in email messages that ask for personal financial information. Phishing websites often copy the entire look of a legitimate web site, making it appear authentic. To be safe, call the legitimate enterprise first to see if they really sent that email to you. After all, businesses should not request that personal information be sent via email.

Note that the EmailTray email client for PCs will show the official icons for  known senders like PayPal, eBay, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. By the way, PayPal and eBay are reported to be the most highly targeted site for phishing scams, according to security experts.

5. Check your online accounts and bank statements regularly to ensure that no unauthorized transactions have been made.

If you are concerned about your online security and personal data, if you do not want to become a phishing scam victim, download and install the EmailTray email client for PCs and Androids – a smart email client that solves the problem of spam and phishing.

Don’t Let Your Email Spam Filters Kill Good Mail: Have It Rescued

email filters kill good mail

Why some email messages are lost

Most Webmail providers and Internet Service Providers offer a feature of email filtering which is executed right on their servers. That means that some emails initially routed to your Inbox will be rejected at the server level. This is point #1 where the emails get sifted and some of them land in a Spam folder.

Further on, a built-in email filter used in your desktop email client or a separate email filtering program installed on your computer may screen incoming mail again. It will look for suspicious mail and put it in the Spam folder. This is point #2 where incoming mail is filtered again.

As a result, an end user receives only part of the emails initially routed to their Inbox. Some emails are rejected on the server and some end up in the Spam folder of your favorite email client. The good news is that you can manually check what’s inside your email client’s Spam folder. The bad news is that email clients normally will not download the contents of the Spam folders of your tracked accounts. That’s really sad.

 

What exactly email spam filters do

  • Analyze email headers, message subjects and bodies for suspicious content
  • Block suspicious emails by IP address, server, email address or by country code
  • Offer sensitivity settings and custom rules
  • Offer a spam-complaint mechanism
  • Run black lists of suspicious senders and white lists of approved senders

 

Weak points of email spam filters

  • Good emails from real senders can get trapped by a content filter in case “suspicious” words are used in the subject or message body
  • Emails from prospects and partners can be mistakenly regarded as spam because of the country code
  • You can still get messages from spammers because their IPs or email addresses haven’t yet been added to the black list
  • Good emails can get blocked because your email spam filter sensitivity settings are set to be too strict
  • Cost: You are expected to pay $19-$29 to use one of the popular email spam filters

 

How the EmailTray email client sorts emails

  • Analyzes user emailing habits (read/reply/forward/delete actions)
  • Analyzes interconnections between all EmailTray users
  • Assigns a priority to each email sender
  • Ranks all incoming emails in your Inbox
  • Inspects the contents of the Spam folders of all your accounts for important messages
  • Rescues good emails mistakenly trapped by email spam filters and sends them back to your Inbox
  • Files all incoming messages under the Top Priority, Low Priority, No Priority and Spam markers

 

In other words, EmailTray processes emails just the other way round. Instead of taking suspicious mail away and leaving you face to face with all emails (both important and unimportant), EmailTray singles out important emails and lets you focus on them right away. Learn more why EmailTray is better than a regular email spam filter.

With EmailTray, you no longer need to look through the contents of the Spam folders, searching for any lost important emails. You no longer need to sort emails in your Inbox. You can now get focused on the contents of the Top Priority and Low Priority tabs and stop stressing out over email overload. That’s easier than you could expect.