Busting Email Spam on Google Apps

By Niraj

There was a time when spam was regarded as a major threat to the smooth functioning of E-mail. Apart from the network overhead caused by spam, other issues such as malware were constantly on network admins’ minds. Then there was the precious time users spent deleting spam mail from their inboxes. However, it’s still something administrators have to incorporate in their planning, and users do come across the occasional spam message in their inbox.

Google Apps and Gmail have become the preferred E-mail solution for many businesses, in part due to the ease of maintenance. One of the best ways Google Apps makes life easier for admins is the simplicity of configuring a domain’s anti-spam measures. Some tools Google offers for fighting spam include:

  • Unsubscribe service: We often subscribe to E-mail newsletters, not realizing that we’ve done this for about a million other websites and services. Gmail offers an unsubscribe service for Gmail users that lets you send automatic opt-out E-mail for unwanted newsletters that can’t exactly be classified as spam. You’ll find this option automatically pop-up when you click on ‘Report Spam’ on a message.
  • Content Compliance: Similar to Objectionable Content, but with greater flexibility, this allows the creation of word lists that can be used in filters to target internal, outgoing, and incoming mail. Content Compliance can also be used to route mail to specific departments based on the message content. For example, you can route all mail containing the word ‘help’ or ‘firmware’ to your tech support department, regardless of who the original addressee is. You can get more info on this feature at: http://support.google.com/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1346934&topic=2683828&ctx=topic

Administrators should find these tools exceptionally useful not only for reducing spam, but also for improving security. While Gmail’s regular spam filters do take care of most spam issues, the greater functionality offered by Google Apps’ filtering capabilities will give you a lot more control over E-Mail security and integrity.


While most spam solutions are best implemented at the server level, you might prefer to include filtering at the desktop level. Many anti-virus and security apps include some sort of spam-fighting plugin for E-mail clients. Users of Outlook and Thunderbird also have quite a few options available to them:

  • SpamFighter: Available for Outlook, Thunderbird, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, and Outlook Express from www.spamfighter.com
  • Cloudmark DesktopOne: Available for Gmail, Windows Mail, Thunderbird, Outlook, and Outlook Express from www.cloudmark.com
  • CA Anti-Spam Plus: Available on Outlook and Outlook Express from www.qurb.com

About the author:

Niraj is the Founder of Hiver. Hiver turns Gmail into a powerful collaboration tool by letting you share your Gmail labels. When not working at Hiver on programming or customer support, Niraj likes to play guitar. Niraj can be reached on Twitter at nirajr.


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