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Spam Advice: Don't Panic!

The spam problem is getting so bad many IT shops are behaving irrationally, installing any antispam software they can find. It's time to step back and develop a lucid plan that includes carefully selected partnerships with vendors that are just as concerned about spam as you are and using the right mix of technologies and policies for your environment.

Recently Sprint introduced an outsourced antispam service that will compete with similar services from Postini and MessageLabs among others. At first glance, these services are tempting because, "for a small monthly fee," you can give your major headache to someone else.

But as with every other IT project, an effective approach to spam is to create a test environment that mimics your production environment and then devise an implementation strategy that rigidly adheres to your standards for rolling out new systems.

Any solution, whether outsourced or in-house, requires a test environment so you can see how filter changes and additions will affect your mail prior to going production. So when you're talking to Sprint or any other antispam vendor, make sure you ask about test and production services. When it comes to spam, an ounce of sanity helps.