Anti-Spam and Mail Monitoring with GFI MailEssentials 8

Anti-Spam Features

Version 8 marks a new beginning for GFI MailEssentials. In the past, the product had relied on very common anti-spam capabilities in the form of keyword lists that needed to be manually created. While this method is effective for blocking spam messages that include offers of university diplomas, cheap mortgages, and a variety of free offers, the creation and maintenance of the keyword lists can be cumbersome, especially based on the increasing creativity of spammers in getting their messages through to end users.

With GFI MailEssentials 8, it seems that GFI has recognized the need for a much higher level of spam detection in order for their product to reach maximum effectiveness. Keyword and message header checking are still a central component, including a great default list that includes many of the most commonly used spam keywords. However, the use of blacklists and its patented whitelist is what really sets GFI MailEssentials 8 apart from the competition.

For those not familiar with these terms, blacklists and whitelists are among the most effective ways to eliminate spam. A whitelist is simply a list of email addresses, maintained by GFI MailEssentials, which includes all addresses from which you always wish to receive mail for example, your customers, suppliers, and so forth. A blacklist is basically the opposite a list of addresses from which you never want to receive mail.

While individual addresses and/or entire domains can be added to these lists manually, the process can also be automated in two key ways. First, you can configure your whitelist settings such that when any user in your organization send a message to an external person, that address is automatically considered valid and added to the whitelist. This helps to ensure that incoming mail from these users is never considered to be spam, and is delivered as normal. Secondly, instead of trying to manually block the individual email addresses associated with incoming spam messages (which are usually false anyhow), GFI MailEssentials is also capable of using what are known as third-part DNS blacklists (explained shortly) to block potential spam sources.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.