Fine Tuning Spam Filters In ITS Mail Guard

Typically ITS Mail Guard does a great job of sorting out spam from valid e-mail. We have found it more accurate and more convenient than other solutions like the filtering built in to Microsoft Exchange. However, even though the default settings are fine for most users, some may still want to tweak the filters. Such adjustments require careful balance to avoid blocking valid mail. Most users prefer receiving a few spam messages than having valid mail quarantined. Therefore ITS recommends the following steps be used. To adjust these settings, go to ITS StartCenter to log in to your personal ITS Mail Guard Message Center, and click Settings.

  1. Add e-mail addresses or domains of important customers and vendors to your Approved Senders list. Do not add your own domain; many spammers will try to fake messages as coming from your own domain name, and that would let all those messages through.
  2. To block mail from an e-mail address or even an entire domain, add it to your Blocked Senders list.
  3. When raising the Overall Junk E-Mail Blocking filter by one level, also click Show Individual Filters and lower the filters for each category. If a specific category of spam (e.g., "Get Rich Quick") still gets through after a couple days, raise that category filter one level.
  4. Make small adjustments such as adjusting one filter at a time, and test for a few days, before changing more. After adjusting filters, carefully review the next few daily Quarantine Summary e-mails showing which messages were quarantined.

Remember: the lower the setting for the Overall filter, the higher each individual category filter must be to have the same effect. Raising a category's filter level is more likely to falsely quarantine messages than raising the Overall filter level.

January 2007

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