Maryland Bar Bulletin
Publications : Bar Bulletin

November, 2004

Zapping Spam
~MSBA helps members with new anti-spam e-mail service~
By Janet Stidman Eveleth

Today, we are buried in spam. Anyone with a computer is literally inundated with junk e-mail, which piles up on an hourly basis. Spam is frustrating to everyone, especially busy lawyers. Not only is it a nuisance, it is offensive and some of it is pornographic. It is also costly in the time it takes to comb through and delete it. Now, MSBA is offering members an attractive solution through its new anti-spam e-mail service. This new member benefit diverts spam before it reaches your inbox, virtually eliminating junk e-mails.

In recent months, a cacophony of MSBA member and staff complaints about spam reached the ears of MSBA Executive Director Paul V. Carlin, who, swamped with junk e-mail himself, searched for ways to zap spam. He has succeeded with MSBA’s new Postini® (Postini) e-mail and virus filtering service. As a new member benefit, this is now available to MSBA members at a discount rate.

“As everyone knows, e-mail spam has just exploded,” explains Carlin. “What began as a trickle a few years ago has developed into a flood which, if left unchecked, severely damages the efficiency and value of e-mail communication.” Indeed, at MSBA headquarters the staff was collectively flooded with 1,600+ e-mails a day, 80+ percent of which were spam. Through Postini, most of this spam has been successfully blocked, eliminating the problem.

Through a special spam-filtering tool, Postini blocks junk e-mail. It uses heuristic rules to evaluate each message’s characteristics to determine the likelihood of an e-mail being considered spam. Members may utilize easy-to-use settings to personally configure their filter categories and the desired aggressiveness to meet their individual needs. The quarantined messages are sent to a separate Message Center before reaching the inbox. Thus, through Postini, spam e-mail is zapped, and it virtually disappears.

MSBA is working with System Source, a company based in Hunt Valley, Maryland, to offer this discounted Postini anti-spam service to members. System Source has substantially lowered its standard prices, so that the monthly charges will be:

No. of
Mailboxes
MSBA member
discounted rate
Up to 30 $26
31-49 $40
50-100 $72
Set Up $60

“After installing the Postini spam filter, we know that approximately 80 percent of our e-mails were spam or virus-infected,” continues Carlin. “After identifying them with certainty as spam, Postini is able to delete the great majority of them. The installation of the Postini anti-spam filtering software has been a dramatically successful decision.”

MSBA’s e-mail and virus-filtering service is the latest in a long line of services and benefits available to MSBA members. A complete list of member benefits may be found on MSBA’s website, www.msba.org.

MSBA members interested in signing up for the Association’s new Postini anti-spam e-mail service should visit the MSBA website at www.msba.org and click on the System Source Postini link. For technical questions, members may contact Lawrence Hicks, MSBA’s Director of Information Technology, at lhicks@msba.org or (410) 685-7878, ext. 3010.

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Publications : Bar Bulletin: November, 2004

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