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A "Bayesian filter" is a scientific form of spam content blocking


A Bayesian filter uses a branch of science, known as statistics, to help identify spam. This software filter creates two kinds of tables: one is for words that routinely appear in legitimate e-mail, and the other for words that appear in spam, and it assigns each word a "score."

As a "for instance," the word "Viagra" is given a score that indicates that it's more likely to appear in a junk e-mail spam message, as opposed to a good word like "meeting" which could easily appear in a good e-mail message. Then, after scanning the entire message, a "score," i.e., a "spam score" is assigned. Over time, as more and more e-mail is scanned, the Bayesian filter "learns" and can become a really good anti spam filter.

Now, keep in mind that spammers are smart, and they are well aware of Bayesian filters. Some spam messages may contain a paragraph or more of text that may sound quite legitimate. Spammers may include such text in an effort to defeat the Bayesian filter by reducing the overall spam score.

If you have anti spam software that uses a Bayesian filter you must take an active role in making it as effective as it can be. You must "teach" it about spam that "leaks" thru the filter. This may require you to "point and click" so as to add new words to the spam table.

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