One of the most effective tools against the rampant growth in malware is the use of filtering techniques particularly as they apply to emails and their attachments. Basically, it is a way of communicating to the computer system that it must filter out those emails that potentially contain a virus. There are certain clues that are well known and are therefore used to develop an exclusion algorithm. For example, emails without a topic or ones that have cryptic attachments and titles. Any attempt to mask the file type or to send an exe file is automatically indicative of a potential virus threat. At other times, the filter does no more than organize the email list into a manageable set of similar items. This is critical for those that receive large volumes but wish to control how they are processed. For example, there could be a priority list that is determined by sender or subject.

The filters will not only relate to messages that are coming in but also those that are going out. Through the use of human and artificial intelligence, it is possible to develop an algorithm that will keep the spam away. Of course, there may be rogue elements that are using the sent emails to distribute forms of malware. Therefore, the filtering will allow the server owner to control output and keep off those potential threats. Some email providers also have a pre-entry filtering system that will determine potential spam candidates, placing them in a folder so that the user can determine whether they are genuine or not. It is almost like a temporary quarantine which has an expiry date after which the messages it contains are automatically deleted. Sometimes the scan gets it wrong and genuine mail is kept away but that is the beauty of the manual alternative which checks those errors.

A new way to manage email

As a processing tool, email filtering has proved to be very successful. It is a great companion for protective programs such as TotalSystemCare which are then able to handle their remit without having to deal with a deluge of bugs and worms. On the other hand, the user is also able to control their agenda and prevent rogue elements from taking over the computer system. The highest barrier to entry is that of authentication which combines with encryption techniques in order to ensure that only those that have permission to post messages to a particular in-box get their messages delivered. The user may install the filters or amend them according to their expectations and experiences. On the other hand, the service provider may also create their own filters to prevent an invasion of the system.

The redirection and drop functions can be used in this way. They work through transfer agents who can examine the emails faster before passing them on to the appropriate high level person to deal with. Spammers tend to incorporate an in-built mechanism for confirming delivery and reading. This can be prevented because it is one of the ways of keeping the spammers in the dark about whether they are targeting the right emails. Sometimes such functions can support a program like SafeBytes.