Microsoft is pretty good at spam management in Office 365 but some times you need to use the Advanced Spam management tools.
One of those spammy days
It was one of those spammy days for a client recently. Everyone in the office received the same spam email for hours on end. The client didn’t contact me when they first started coming in but finally they emailed me about it. Is there anything they can do besides marking it as spam?
Yes, using the Office 365 Advanced Spam management tools, you can stop the spam deluge from a sender from reaching the whole organization.
Rule the mailbox roost
Via the Exchange Admin settings, you can rule the mailbox roost for the whole organization. Think of it like writing a rule in Outlook but the rule manages every email account in your office.
For this client, I wrote a new spam filter rule. My rule blocked any email being received from the domain of that spammer. Example, spam emails come in from email@example.com. I wrote a rule that blocks any emails received from badspam.biz . I’m assuming that the hackers have control of all the inboxes associated with that badspam.biz domain.
What if the spammer has a generic account like firstname.lastname@example.org ? Recently I read that someone was using a gmail account to impersonate the new rector at Christ Church Cathedral (have to wonder in what circle Dante would have put the phishers of men). Using a fake gmail account to impersonate an organization’s leader/ceo/president is now a common phishing tactic.
You could use the rule to block only email@example.com not all emails received from gmail.com.
Once the rule is written and applied it can take some hours to take effect.
Other spam rule options
There are some other nifty options in the spam filter rules. You can block by language. If you are sure you won’t ever being receiving legitimate emails written in Hungarian, you can dump all emails received that were written in Hungarian. Vancouver is such a polyglot city I would have a long conversation with a client before putting a language block on. Just this evening walking around Lost Lagoon I must have heard at least 5 different languages besides English.
You can also block by region or country. I would be careful about using this feature as many people use third party bulk senders (like MailChimp) that may be in different countries.
Whitelist email accounts
You can also whitelist domains. Say you have one client whose emails to you always seem to end up in spam. You can whitelist their individual email account or their entire domain (example firstname.lastname@example.org or whitelist the domain mybiz.ca to make sure you receive emails from the bookkeeper too ).
Microsoft does a pretty good job at filtering out the spam with Exchange and Office 365. But sometimes you need Office 365 advanced spam management.