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1.3   Integration

Separate from the issue of identifying spam messages is the issue of how to prevent you from having to deal with them. There are basically four kinds of anti-spam software for doing this:

Challenge-Response Systems
This software requires people who send you mail to prove that they are human, and not an automated spam-sending program. After sending you a message, they get a reply asking them to complete a task that is easy for humans but hard for computers. Only then is the message passed on to you. This system is a nuisance for senders, delays your reception of the mail, and becomes impractical when sending messages to a group of people. Also, challenge response systems cannot deal with spoofed senders or legitimate messages that are sent by programs.
Server-Side Filters
This software runs on mail servers and often filters out spam before you ever see it. This means that you do not have to download the spam messages that it catches. However, some spam messages may still get through, and, unless the filter is perfect, a few legitimate messages will not. These could be important messages, and you will never know that you lost them.
Server-Side Taggers
This variant of server-side filters does not delete possible spam messages before you download them. Instead, it moves them to a separate IMAP or Exchange mailbox. This eliminates the major disadvantage of server-side filters—lost messages—however this type of filter is generally not as accurate as the ones below, because it generally does not adapt to your own mail.
Client-Side Integrated
This category includes SpamSieve and Apple Mail’s built-in spam filter. Suspected spam messages are moved to a separate mailbox, which you can quickly scan at your leisure to make sure there are no false positives. The e-mail program downloads messages directly from the mail server, thus avoiding the problems of client-side filters and proxies. You can train the anti-spam software to improve its accuracy from inside your e-mail program, and accuracy is higher than with server-side filters because the anti-spam software can learn from the messages that you receive.
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