Microsoft Exchange 2003 – Junk Mail Filtering

Introduction to Junk Mail Filtering in Exchange 2003

How satisfying it would be to see all the spam filtered out at the Exchange server.  Think of the extra productivity from happy workers, compared with their rage at opening another unwanted email.

Topics for Exchange 2003 Junk Mail


Intelligent Message Filter – Spam Confidence Level

The combination of Intelligent Message filters on the Server and Junk email filter in Outlook, provide state-of-the-art protection against unwanted email.

Intelligent Message Filter showing antispam features in Exchange 2003Once you buy and install this junk email filter, you can set thresholds to allow mail through.  The filter checks word patterns and calculates a rating called a spam confidence level.

Outlook 2003 uses Smartscreen* technology, to filter out junk email.  Users can change Outlook’s filter from Low to High or Exclusive.

As an administrator you can set thresholds either on the Exchange gateway, or an individual mailbox.  If the mailbox has a more serve level than the store, the email gets delivered but to the junk email folder.

*SmartScreen Technology

SmartScreen technology was developed through thousands of Hotmail subscribers, who analysed over a million emails, as either ‘cool’ or as spam.

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Real time Block List service provider support

This blocks known spammers by IP address.  It also blocks servers identified as relays for spam.  The best tactic to beat the spammers is to get regular updates of block lists from SPAMHAUS, SPYWAREGUIDE or MAPS.

Other tactics:

Global Deny and Accept lists
Sender filtering – Accounts which should never send email.
Inbound recipient filtering

Relay protection – thwart spammers

Unfortunately, spammers often use unsuspecting people’s Exchange server to proliferate their spam, you can thwart them by configuring the SMTP virtual server.  The good news is that anti-relay protection is the default setting.

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Import users from a spreadsheet, complete with their mailbox.  Just provide a list of the users with the fields in the top row, and save as .csv file.  Then launch this FREE utility, match your Exchange fields with AD’s attributes, click and import the users.  Optionally, you can provide the name of the OU where the new mailboxes will be born.

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Junk E-mail – Outlook 2003

There is further protection available at the Outlook 2003 client end.  In fact, one of the best new features in Outlook 2003 is the Junk E-mail filter.  Here is where you land combination punches on spam.  You can go for an upper-cut and block the sender, my method is to right-click the offending email, select Junk E-mail, then add Sender to Blocked Senders list.  For the highly organized, Outlook 2003 provides a Blocked Sender tab where you can manually add address that you consider spam.  Perhaps the best feature of this tab is the import and export, my idea is to share lists with friends and so build up your spam protection.

To defend against spam, adjust the level of email protection in Outlook 2003.  Click on the Tools, Options menu, Junk E-mail, now choose Low, High or Safe Lists Only.

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