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Best method to filter spam in Exchange 5.5

SearchExchange.com expert Richard Luckett discusses the most effective way to filter spam in Exchange 5.5.

My company is using Exchange 5.5 and we get a lot of spam. Could you please tell me how to configure Exchange 5.5 to filter spam? Thanks.
Exchange 5.5 does not have a built in "spam filter." What you do have the ability to do with Exchange 5.5, service pack 1 and higher, is prevent your server from being an open relay that spammers can use. And you can set up some limited filtering:

This is a snip from the Exchange 5.5 SP1 release notes:

  1. Open Admin.exe.
  2. Select the Connections tab.
  3. In Accept Connections, choose Message Filtering.
  4. In Prevent these domains and users, choose Add.
  5. Type the name of the domain and user you want to prevent from delivering messages to your site.
  6. To save and automatically, move messages from the selected sender to the Turf directory, clear the Delete messages instead of moving to the Turf directory check box.

Exchange 5.5 requires the use of a third-party plug-in, to check block list services and filter spam. These block lists will contain the IP addresses of well know spammers and open relays. Some of these lists are free to the public and others will cost money to subscribe. One of the easier freeware tools you can use to connect to the block lists is GFIMailEssential for Exchange/SMTP. Click here for more information on how to use block lists and to download the tool.

It is worth noting that there are a number of very good third-party spam filtering software products on the market that are still compatible with Exchange 5.5. Of course the drawback there is you have to pay for them.

Do you have comments on this Ask the Expert Q&A? Let us know.
Related information from SearchExchange.com:

  • Expert Advice: Trouble with inbound e-mails
  • Tip: Archiving filtered messages
  • Learning Guide: Spam
  • Download: Sam Spade
  • Reference Center: Spam prevention and management tips and resources

  • Dig Deeper on Legacy Exchange Server versions

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