I think everyone in the worl is aware of the spam/uce problem on the internet. The problem is growing and world governments are doing little together to stop it. I have seen estimates as high as 92% of the internet traffic is spam. So what can you do about it? The answer is: very little. Yes you can have spam filters on your desktops but what good is that? Again, virtually nothing. But why? Because by the time you have downloaded that junk mail the bandwidth on the network has already been wasted. Think about it.
So the next big question is where should the spam filtering point be? I gurantee you it should not be your ISP. That said it is the only place that can do it easily, more later. The real filtering point needs to be on the internet backbone. Hard place to do it but if we could block 60% of the spam or more before it gets on the backbone then imagine how much faster the internet would be. So why should it not be your ISP or mail provider. OK before I lay it out, yes it would be a good place to trap outbound spam, but most of the time this does not work as spammers avoid using ISP's mail servers. So maybe on their gateway to the internet backbone. What about Inbound? Like your desktop if the mail has reached your mail provider it has already wasted the bandwidth on the internet. It saves the bandwidth of downloading it to your computer. OK so that is a plus. The real issue is developing gateway antispam that can knock it down before it gets to the backbone. I have yet to see such a device or router with such software. I would recomend that it be cloud based. I know many ISP's have locked down outbound SMTP, but it is easy to circumvent right now.
OK that leaves ISP/Mail provider filtering. There is some really good stuff out there right now to do it. In Linux/UNIX spamassasin is hard to beat. on the Microsoft side there is only one tool we trust and that is Vamsoft's ORF. Especially now that 4.3 is in Beta. It provides DNSBL, HELO, SPF, Reverse DNS, DHA, Honeypot, Greylisting and a slew of other tools. The best peice is the HELO, SPF, Revese DNS and Directory Harvesting with User Checking. Ninty Percent of the spam we block fails these simple tests. Unfortunately all but SPF and Reverse DNS can not be done on a gateway (yet). Vamsoft continues to enhance ORF to be a really effective tool in combating spam at the MAIL Provider level and nothing we have tested has even come close. Spamassasin likewise has very sophisticated tools to catch the junk before it gets to you, but most of those I have talked to are unwilling to implement the full scope of what it can do. So talk to your Mail Provider if you are getting tons of spam a get them off the dime. It is time SPAM and UCE just dies a horrible death and give us back our internet spead.