Message Filtering FAQ

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Questions about the service

What equipment/systems do I need?
How does Google Apps work with Google Message Filtering?
In what countries is the service available?
In what languages is the service available?
How does the service work?
What is involved in activating my services?
How will my users' email experience change?
How secure is my mail going to and from Google?
What are your service level agreements?
What are my technical support options?
What rescources are available to introduce my users to the service?

Questions about spam and virus protection

How does the service detect viruses?
How does the service detect spam?
Can users make their own adjustments to spam settings and allowed senders?
Why is your real-time processing important?

 

What equipment/systems do I need?
Google Message Filtering works with all common email servers, including Microsoft Exchange Server, Lotus Domino, Postfix, Sendmail, Macintosh OS X Server, and Novell Groupwise. The Message Filtering service can be also be used with most service providers and ISPs.

Please review the Google Message Filtering system requirements for complete information.

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How does Google Apps Standard work with Google Message Filtering service?
Google Apps Standard already includes spam and virus protection, so adding Google Message Filtering is not recommended.

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In what countries is service available?
Currently, these services are available in North America, EMEA, and Asia.

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In what languages is the service available?
The Google Message Filtering, Security, and Discovery services provide an administrator interface in English. The end-user interface is available English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish.

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How does the service work?
You change your MX records to point your email traffic through our Postini-powered data centers. To fully protect your organization, Google recommends that all customers configure their gateway to accept email traffic (port 25) only for the Google IP range. After activation, you can add users through the Administration Console and configure your filtering policies.

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What is involved in activating my services?
After you place your order, we send you an email with an activation key to access our simple activation wizard. Then, you will need to work with your email administrator or ISP to switch your MX records (information that directs your mail flow). MX record changes usually take two to four days to propagate completely. We provide step-by-step instructions to help you through the activation process.

See Activation for Direct Purchases or Activation for Online Purchases for more information.

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How will my users' email experience change?
Your users will no longer have to spend hours sorting through spam. You will also see a tremendous reduction in your overall inbound email traffic (Google stops the bad traffic in the cloud). Also, most customers notice a dramatic drop in their mail server utilization on the first day the service is enabled. This gives you more scalability with your existing systems.

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How secure is my mail going to and from Google?
Since the services processes email in real-time (the RAM memory of our systems in our data centers) valid messages are not written to disk and cannot be lost.

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What are your service level agreements?
The agreement provides 99.999% service level assurance for email processing. To ensure that our customers are protected against new and evolving threats, we continually update our anti-spam and anti-virus filters and technology. Plus, your service is automatically updated with the latest protections, so you never have to download any upgrades or patches.

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What are my technical support options?
All Message Security services include comprehensive online technical support and help. If you are placing an order for over $1500 USD (or equivalent), you have additional options for activation and technical support. Please contact Sales for more information.

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What rescources are available to introduce my users to the service?
There are videos, an interactive FAQ, and other resources available to introduce your users to the Message Filtering service.

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Spam and Virus Protection

How does the service detect viruses?
Google provides multiple layers of protection against viruses. The service leverages its visibility to emerging threats by monitoring attacks against our customer base and -- in real-time -- blocks IP addresses that are issuing virus attacks. In addition, Google uses multiple anti-virus protections including zero-hour heuristics, coupled with multiple commercial anti-virus engines to detect existing and emerging threats.

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How does the service detect spam?
As with our virus protection, Google leverages visibility into billions of daily message connections to monitor spam attacks, and blocks the most obvious spam. Our heuristic engine then filters the incoming mail traffic and captures any suspicious messages. This is all performed in real-time (processed in RAM memory in our data centers) without delays to your email delivery. With these capabilities, Google combines an extremely effective capture rate with an exceptionally low false-positive rate.

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Can users make their own adjustments to spam settings and allowed senders?
With our flexible policy management, users can be permitted to make their own adjustments to their spam settings, release quarantined messages, etc. Or, those controls can be kept within your IT organization or limited to select users. The choice is up to you, depending on your current policies. If your policies change, you can make changes to who can adjust their spam settings instantly.

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Why is your real-time processing important?
First, real-time processing means that Google cannot lose a valid message. Secondly, your users will not notice any latency in their email delivery. Third, the "store-and-forward" techniques used by other providers means data is written to disk, potentially at multiple locations, creating a data security risk. In contrast, Google's real-time processing technology processes everything in memory, so there is low data security risk. Google's real-time capabilities gives the service the ability to instantly react to new threats or sudden spikes in mail volume, such as spam storms, without disrupting your email flow or protection.

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