Anti-spam programs: it is now the order of the day to receive junk mail in your mailbox, called spam in the jargon. This type of message can be various: they can be trivial advertising promotions that only annoy by clogging up the mail folder or real scams, which often and willingly seem to bring the recipient the good news of winning money while concealing the real objective which is to obtain the bank details of the same.
In the last case, we talk about phishing. In any case, we are talking about an illegal activity from which it is worth protecting yourself, and to do so, you need the right tools or anti-spam programs, which will be extensively discussed and analyzed in this guide, whose ultimate goal is to report some of the best software on the net.
What Are Anti-Spam Programs?
Anti-spam programs are software that recognizes, thanks to a particular algorithm, spam emails and blocks them, generally sending them to a junk mail folder so that the user can recognize them more easily or eliminate them by acting as an antivirus. Later we will discuss how a generic anti-spam software algorithm works.
What Are Anti-Spam Programs For?
As already mentioned, an anti-spam program is used to identify unwanted content. These are not always easy to recognize, also because spammers, especially in recent years when users are more informed, tend to use more professional and credible tones instead of falling into the usual forms of “winning the lottery” style of persuasion.
An email containing spam usually looks like a notification from an important company, such as an electricity supplier, informing the recipient of an error in calculating the monthly bill, promising compensation after sending personal data that the spammer can use to complete his scam. Another typical example is a false notification from the recipient’s bank, which is told that an unknown device has accessed his account.
It is important to note that these two examples have a common matrix to arouse anxiety and concern in the victim who panicked, may not thoroughly investigate the message’s sender, and fall into the trap. Instead, by having a suitable anti-spam program, the user does not see the offending email in his main mail folder, thus avoiding the risk.
How An Anti Spam Program Works
We now go into more detail about the functioning of a generic anti-spam program. There are several technologies that software of this type can use to accomplish its task. A very common type of filtering is the so-called Bayesian filtering, which is based on the recognition of certain typical phrases present in spam emails. From the quantity of these phrases and their inclusion in the notification, the program calculates the probability that the email in question is spam.
This technique examines every aspect and component of the message, starting from the body of the email up to its metadata; moreover, this technique is often accompanied by a machine learning mechanism that allows the software to refine its accuracy over time, analyzing the structure of spam notifications to internalize further distinctive elements. The one introduced by artificial intelligence is a dynamic approach to the spam problem, where the algorithm improves with experience.
The Advantages Of Using Anti Spam Programs
The advantages of using this software are essentially two but very important:
- Time-saving. It is, in fact, a great advantage not having to spend hours in the mailbox distinguishing between useful and useless or, even worse, potentially harmful emails.
- Security. As already mentioned, the greatest risk is exchanging a harmful email for a useful one by replying to this message or opening links pointed to by it. In addition to the phishing mentioned earlier, the risk is introducing malware into the system or, even worse, one of its subspecies, such as trojans, malicious applications hidden inside a harmless program.
The security issue also deserves a little insight into all the types of malware you can come across. In addition to the trojans above, ransomware can often be encountered, which are always “malicious” computer programs that, however, have the peculiarity of infecting a digital device by blocking access to its contents which requires the payment of a ransom to be “unblocked.” Usually, the ransom note and the attached procedures appear in a window of the infected device.
Ransomware can be of the crypto type if they act on the device by encrypting its contents to make them unusable by the user or of the blocker type if they deny access to the device. Another very common form of malware is spyware which acts subtly by obtaining data on a user’s online activity without this being aware of it.
The damage caused by spyware is potentially enormous since criminal organizations can exploit this data to steal digital identity and access the user’s bank details. These aspects help to give an even better idea of which and how many are the advantages of using anti spam software.
How To Choose Between Anti-Spam Programs: Advantages And Features
Choosing an anti-spam program is not entirely trivial since you need to know how spammers operate and what features you would like to have to make an informed choice. First and foremost, good anti-spam software must allow the user to change the severity of the filtering. The higher this severity level, the more possible unwanted mail will be filtered.
The downside, however, lies in the fact that by increasing the level of filtering, the program can also label useful or non-harmful emails as spam. The user will therefore have to make a “trade-off” between these two aspects and set the severity of the filter as he pleases. Another feature that must be present in any self-respecting anti-spam program is the possibility of setting up a list of friends to ensure their messages always overcome the software barrier.
For more expert users, it could also be useful to have an advanced feature that allows the creation of personal filters with which the software algorithm is calibrated so that it can search for particular phrases contained within a notification received.
Another important note concerns the entire device protection system . Nowadays, companies in the sector provide complete packages with antivirus, antispam, web filtering, and firewall included. Therefore, in the event of having to make an expense for this kind of software, consider the possibility of having all those tools at a single expense.
Costs For Anti-Spam Programs And Limits
The costs involved in having good anti-spam software vary widely. Some anti-spam programs are free, even if they do not provide all the features mentioned above, and others that are paid for can involve a cost ranging from a few dollars up to twenty dollars a month, especially if you buy a package of complete protection, including antivirus.
Subsequently, 5 of the best antiviruses of 2022 will be analyzed in detail, and an attempt will also be made to give an idea of the economic aspect of each of them. Instead of wanting to dwell on the limits of anti-spam software, it must be said that even the best of these could be “deceived” if one had to deal with a very intelligent spammer.
In fact, in these spam emails, there might be some intentional typos in the sentences, which are only meant to confuse the program filter. By way of example, even if it is not very significant but serves to give an idea of what has just been said, consider that a certain anti-spam program has the word “winning” among the target words for identifying a spam message.
To bypass the protection, the spammer could instead write “win” to prevent the filter from recognizing the word. For this reason, it is very important to always be doubtful when reading an unusual email, even if you have adequate software, without rushing or panicking to avoid falling into the trap.
Five Anti-Spam Programs: Which One To Choose (2023 Update)
First of all, modus Cloud is mentioned, which is a cloud-based email security solution. It can detect phishing attempts and has features like quarantining suspicious emails and creating exclusion lists. The services are offered on an annual subscription basis with associated telephone support. Prices vary depending on the features chosen and customization requests. A free trial is offered.
It is one of the most effective anti-spam, guaranteeing 99.9% detection and providing a shield from malware. It also offers protection from DDoS attacks and phishing. The software offers a free trial, but as in the previous case, it is necessary to consult the supplier to get a quote on the subscription, which depends on the degree of customization the user wants to apply.
It is an anti-spam solution aimed at businesses, service providers, and schools, which guarantees protection against spam, viruses, ransomware, and phishing. It provides a complete package of protection. An interesting feature is a custom reporting engine that allows users to write reports on the types of threats encountered. The type of subscription can be monthly, paying $1.26, or yearly.
Protects from malicious emails, DOS attacks, malware, and phishing attempts. It can detect malicious attachments in incoming emails, effectively protecting your system from potential trojans. It allows a high level of customization, allowing the user to modify filtering parameters and manage blocklists and allowlists. The price is available upon request to the supplier.
ESET Home Office Security Pack
In this case, it is a complete security package divided into four technological products: ESET Endpoint Security, ESET Protect, ESET Server Security, and ESET Antivirus/Antispam. It can be a convenient choice if you want 360-degree protection. It also offers online identity protection and the ability to connect 5 to 25 devices. The package is $269/year, and a free trial is unavailable.