How Good Is Your Email Security?

stop spamWhether you’re a home or business user, one thing is certain: you need effective security software when you surf the Internet and communicate with people online. The Internet has grown so much over the last 10 years, and while it opened doors to so many great opportunities, it also brought with itself a dark side: fraud, cyber stalking, viruses, spam, hacking, information theft and many other criminal acts.

One of the main sources of viruses and spam is email. There are so many ways your computer may be infected or your information stolen, just by sending and receiving emails. Emails can carry viruses and spyware, bombard you with spam and phishing mail, send spoofing mails and much more. This is already worrying for home users, but imagine how damaging this can be if you run a business!

You must install email security software and anti spam/virus filter if you want to protect your data, email inbox, hard drive and your friends’ email addresses. Before I get into the products that may offer this protection, let’s look again at why you should have this software in your servers/computers:

Viruses: I’m sure you know how dangerous viruses can be. They often arrive through emails by known and unknown senders. A virus can do serious damage, even delete all data on the hard drive.

Spyware/malware: This is slightly less dangeorus, but still annoying and unnecessary. It’s usually some file that gets into your computer and monitors your usage and sends data back to the source. You don’t want this on your hard drive.

Phishing: Criminal act of attempting to acquire sensitive and private information such as user names, passwords and credit card details by sending legitimate looking emails with links to fake Web sites. An example is email from your bank asking you to confirm your details by entering all data into an online form. A real bank would never send you such emails.

Spoofing: This has happened to one of my friends the other day. Apparently, his email contacts received offers for discounted medicine through his old email address, even though he didn’t send anything and doesn’t even use this email address any more. I still don’t understand how this works, but we all must  protect our email inbox. This is done by preventing spam intrusion into your own inbox and hard drive.

Data theft: A malware that intrudes into your network and computer can be programmed to steal sensitive data and send it back to the creator. Industry espionage and hacking bank account are just a few examples that come to mind.

Spam: By now, I hope everyone knows what spam is: junk mail, email offers for products you absolutely do not need or want to know about. You never expect these emails, but somehow they keep arriving.

If you have a business, you must have security software that’s compatible with exchange servers and also with individual workstations. Some vendors that offer good email security packages include:

  • Barracuda
  • BorderWare
  • IronPort
  • MiraPoint
  • Postini
  • Proofpoint
  • Secure Computing
  • Symantec
  • TrendMicro
  • Tumbleweed

This top 10 list has been ‘borrowed’ from To read reviews and get more information about these products, please visit this Web site.

For home users, I recommend Bitdefender, Kaspersky, McAfee, Zone Alarm and Trend Micro Internet Security packages.

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