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Understanding Antispam Accuracy and Effectiveness


Applies to: Office 365 for professionals and small businesses, Office 365 for enterprises, Live@edu, Forefront Online Protection for Exchange

Topic Last Modified: 2013-05-17

Ineffective spam filters frustrate users and expose companies to infection and risk of data loss. Forefront Online Protection for Exchange (FOPE) simultaneously delivers high accuracy and effectiveness by both identifying spam and keeping it from reaching customer mailboxes. By using FOPE, customers can preserve the integrity of their email environment and communications, boosting productivity and improving total cost of ownership for their corporate email systems.

False positives are legitimate messages incorrectly identified as spam. They can be either legitimate bulk messages such as newsletters, person-to-person business communication, or personal email. Through extensive monitoring, FOPE has found that the ratio of false-positive messages is smaller than approximately 1 in 250,000 (0.0004 percent).

Both end users and IT administrators can report false positives. Understanding Spam Submission and Evaluation in FOPE explains the process. The spam analysis team examines each message and tunes the spam filters accordingly to prevent future occurrences. As a result, the service is constantly updating and refining the spam prevention and protection processes at a global service level. Any submitted items are evaluated at the network-wide level.

The Microsoft Junk Email Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook is an optional tool that lets users easily report junk email to Microsoft for analysis to help reduce the number and impact of future junk email messages. This tool is compatible with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 SP2 and higher or Microsoft Office Outlook 2010. For more information about the Microsoft Junk Email Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook tool, see Junk E-mail Reporting Add-in for Microsoft Office Outlook.

Without tuning, the FOPE solution can block 98 percent of spam. However, adding the additional spam filtering (ASF) capability can allow your organization to further customize spam filtering according to your needs, which may increase effectiveness. To learn more about ASF, see Configuring Additional Spam Filtering Options.

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