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We have almost 100 Outlook 2003 and 2007 users and we do not yet run our own exchange server. All of us have SPAM problems, but a lot of users have very serious SPAM problems, sometimes receiving over 1000 or more SPAM messages per day.

Our provider does label suspected SPAM with a number rating and I have created custom filters to direct these to the Junk folder, but this isnt enough.

Is there an Outlook feature or an opensource plugin that will take care of SPAM for me?

Ideally I would love an opensource solution that would "pre-check" mail and delete SPAM before the user even sees it.


EDIT - I guess I should have been more clear from the beginning....apologies....Ideally I would love an opensource solution that would "pre-check" mail and delete SPAM before the user even sees it.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Spambayes is a bit long in the tooth, but it's very good at picking out spam.

However you can't centrally manage spambayes and each client will have to have it's own install, which can cause you several problems.

Another cheap (money not time) and opensource is to get a linux box (fedora, ubuntu) to pull all your emails in and then run them through clam antivirus and spamassassin. It works surpisingly well and an average server or VM should be able to handle a couple of hundred users.


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I like this approach alot. Are there others who are doing it? Is there a specific app for pulling in all of the mail? Switching from Outlook is a no-go so whatever is used would have to support psts. – cop1152 Jun 1 '09 at 13:25
I run it at my current organisation, I used to have all the IMAP mail on the linux box and configure your outlook clients to pull from the linux server. I recently added microsoft exchange to the mix, so now all the clients connect to directly exchange. All incoming mail goes through the linux box and get's 'washed', i then use a procmail script to forward the sanitized mail to the exchange server. – Jujhar Singh Jun 3 '09 at 9:52

I'd look at an outsourced solution, as they work really well, and provide you with a quasi-DR capability in case your mail relay goes down.

Suggested places to start:

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I'd suggest moving your domain to Google Apps. Google is great at spam filtering.

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Google IS great at filtering SPAM. I have my mail forwarded to it, where the spam gets filtered out, and then sent to my laptop. This is good for me, but not for the rest of the staff. – cop1152 Jun 1 '09 at 15:15
On the contrary, you can migration your entire domain to google apps (which is what I suggested) where they host your email instead of your ISP. This gives you all the functionality of gmail if you desire or you can simply POP your email down to your Outlook clients like you do now and simply take advantage of their spam filtering. – Kevin Kuphal Jun 1 '09 at 15:26
thanks for the info....I will look into it. Do you know if 'relative text ads' still appear in the email. The higher ups will definitely have an issue with this, even though I believe its harmless. – cop1152 Jun 1 '09 at 15:44
I've never seen an ad in any email hosted through google when not viewed in gmail. – Kevin Kuphal Jun 1 '09 at 15:47
Google does not modify email by adding "relative text ads" this is just shown in the web application. This is a great recommendation I have deployed the solution and remember you can deploy it for FREE! – JJ01 Jun 1 '09 at 18:15

Let me google that for you ;-)

And if you want a big list of (not necessarily opensource) plugins:

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thanks for the Google..usually I google first and ask questions later... thanks – cop1152 Jun 4 '09 at 17:40

Spambayes is great at identifying spam, but it requires an investment of time. In addition to installing and configuring it, you'd need to provide some training so that the people using it know what to do with the messages it identifies as "might be spam."

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Symantec has either a bolt on SPAM filter for you SMTP server or you can also pass it though their server.

Both use bright mail I think and work really well. I've used it for years, well worth the cost. Which isn't that bad.

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Not opensource, but Cloudmark has a product, Cloudmark Desktop, that is not terribly expensive, and works wonders. I set it up for 3 users who use Outlook for email through an ISP, and after I installed it there were no more spam complaints.

I too was looking for something open-source, but for end-user ease-of-use and the relatively small cost, Cloudmark was a winner for me. YMMV....

Update: I noticed that it works for Outlook, Outlook Express, and now Thunderbird (which is new since I installed it a few years ago)

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Since you're not running your own Exchange server, I'm assuming that you're using your ISP for mail provision; is this correct? If so, do they offer any anti-spam services? Most will, and if you're already a customer the price tag may not be that high. Worth a look, anyway.

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They are pretty basic. They do add a numerical spam rating in the subject of each email, but thats all. – cop1152 Jun 1 '09 at 15:14

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