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The Misconceptions of Spam Filters

Written By: Laurie Rogers

The Misconceptions of Spam Filters
by Laurie Rogers Copyright July 2002

Unfortunately there are a lot of people online that all have
many misconceptions regarding Spam Filters. Today I’m
going to answer some questions that people have asked
me about my “Spam column” for DEMC Small Business
Ezine regarding them. With regards to spam filters, one
can never have enough knowledge, so I do hope that this
article will clear up any misconceptions that you may have.

1. Don’t spam filters ONLY apply to those who have NOT
opted in?

This is indeed a very sad misconception, Spam Filters do
affect EVERYONE who sends and receives email in some
way or another. Whether you publish a FREE ezine OR a
PAID ezine, it does not matter, if it is being sent by email
it affects YOU. The biggest problem with filters is that they
have NO way to detect that the email message is in fact
“Optin”, they actually base it on your headers.

Should you use a third party list server, your chances of
being filtered are even greater, because of that reason.
And this is how ALL filtering is based: By looking at the
headers in your email message, by using a point system
based on the contents in your subject line as well as the
body.

This can also be done by subscribing to a blacklist service
that will provide them with a list of domains or hosts that
have been identified as being used by spammers -such as
http://www.spamhaus.org or http://mail-abuse.org/ AOL,
Verizon and Accessus are widely known for using services
such as these. It should also be known that spam filtering
programs MAY also subscribe to these services, some do
and some do not.

2. I heard that spam filters don’t apply to autoresponders,
is this true?

Actually they do, because if you send email using a third
party list server, and put your FROM email address in the
field rather than a FROM address on the third party’s list
server – the spam filter will read it as being a “falsified”
email address or header. Because REAL spammers do
it all of the time.

3. Spam Filters do not target HTML ezines because they
can’t read the code properly, is this true?

Yes in fact they do, some more so than text ezines, this is
because HTML ezines are considered to be more virus
prone. And NOT all list servers and email clients “clean”
their email before it is sent. Meaning, even if you do not
have a virus on your computer, your ezine can still pick
one up during the process of sending through your list
server. This has been known to happen on “high traffic”
list servers as well as FREE list servers, such as Yahoo
Groups.

3. Aren’t spam filters ONLY used by large ISP’s?

Although it is very true that the majority of larger ISP’s use
Spam Filters (such as: AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, Mindspring,
Verizon, Accessus, Sympatico etc.) you will find a lot of
smaller ISP’s use them as well. For instance, my ISP has
only 900 customers and they do use them, although I’ve
made it quite clear they are unacceptable on my account.
The most “popular program’ that ISP’s use is called Spam
Assassin.

I hope this article has cleared up any misconceptions that
you may have had regarding Spam Filters. You can learn
more detailed information about Spam filters by visiting:
http://spamassassin.org ests.html

Article by Laurie Rogers Copyright 2002 All Rights Reserved

About the Author

Laurie Rogers is co-author of the Ezine Resource Guide, you
can check it out at: http://www.zineadz.com/erg.html She
is the owner of Optin Frenzy a list building program for ezine
publishers http://www.optinfrenzy.com You can also obtain
Laurie’s articles at: mailto:ezinearticles@optinfrenzy.com

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