Thursday, July 8, 2010

How to use Gmail as a SPAM filter for your corporate email account

As a consultant, I often work with physicians and other professionals who are looking for easy technology solutions that won't break the bank. This week, I configured a corporate email account to leverage Gmail's SPAM filter. Why? Because Google has a great SPAM filter built into Gmail and this ends up being a free way to add a SPAM filter to a corporate email account.

So, how did I do it? Here's the simple explanation for those who are tech-savvy: forward your corporate email to Gmail, then retrieve your emails using the Gmail incoming mail server. To send emails, use your corporate outgoing mail server. Got it?

Need detailed instructions? Here's how you can use Gmail as a SPAM filter for your corporate email account, and this should work whether you're using IMAP or POP:

1. Set up a Gmail account and make sure that POP or IMAP is enabled (depending on which you prefer).
2. Forward your corporate e-mail directly to your new Gmail account.
3. Assuming that you're using Microsoft Outlook (or a similar email client), configure the incoming mail server using the Gmail information. You'll need to use your Gmail username/password to retrieve your emails. Make sure to type your complete Gmail email address as your username.
4. You'll be using your corporate outgoing mail server to send e-mails. So, in your email client, configure the outgoing mail server with your corporate information and uncheck the box that says "Use the same settings as the incoming mail server." This is where you will enter your complete corporate email address as your username.

At the end, you're using Gmail's incoming mail server (plus SPAM filter) to retrieve emails and you're using your corporate outgoing mail server to send emails.

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