Yes, that’s true. It’s not an exaggerated headline to get more attention. On average, 60% of the email that is sent to the domains we look after is unwanted, unsafe and sometimes plain dangerous. Fear not though, if you are using any of our advanced email packages, you’re safe.

This morning I was running some through reports to see how our email systems were performing and I was staggered to see the volumes of email that were being received, but more noticeably the percentage of that which is being blocked. We look after a number of email domains for our clients ranging from single person organisations up to twenty  or more people (we’re capable of handling much larger if needed!), and as part of that service we also offer an advanced spam filter.

This filter looks at the header of each received email for warning signs of spam and compares it to many of the well known email blacklists (several organisations monitor for computers that are known to be sending spam emails and list them for people to check against). It also runs through two different virus scanning systems before deciding whether to allow the email to pass through to the expected recipient. This is all done in milliseconds, therefore no delay is noticeable.

At the end of each day, every subscriber gets a report showing all the emails that have not been passed (called a quarantine report) which allows them to ‘release’ any held up email or whitelist a sender that will prevent future emails being quarantined from that sender. It won’t show every mail, just the questionable ones – if it’s a cast iron certainty that the mail is spam, you’ll never see it or even know of it’s delivery. Where there’s any doubt, these are put into quarantine for investigation by the user at a suitable moment (prompted by their nightly report).

Over the past couple of weeks, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time getting our filters tuned for maximum effect (without blocking too much genuine mail).  We’ve found that many companies are tightening up their own filters to reduce unwanted mail, and because of that we needed to put some measures in place to reduce the chances of mail sent by our clients wasn’t being blocked at the intended recipients end or being put into junk folders automatically. We’ll continue to manage this in the future to make sure we comply with changes to security and junk mail policies across the Internet.

Example report for a domainAnyway, I digress, the point of this post was just to mention the staggering percentage of garbage email that comes through our systems. Looking at the reports from today, our clients have between 40% and 91% of their emails filtered by our systems. Typically, the longer your domain has existed, the higher the volume of junk mail (the higher percentages on our systems are received by domains that have been in use for 15+ years), but even the newer domains are in excess of 40% junk.

Do you get frustrated with junk, virus infected or phishing emails? What is your provider doing to help you? What are you doing to help yourself?