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Why can't parents simply use a spam filter for their children's email?

Many adult email users are receiving 50 to 100 unsolicited messages per day. Numerous spam filtering products exist, with very clever filtering techiques such as Bayesian analysis, "honey pots", pattern recognition, and so forth. However no existing spam filter has a computer algorithm that can perfectly distinguish between spam and non-spam messages. It is actually impossible without contextual understanding all media. This is way beyond the state of the art in artificial intelligence.

Therefore all automated anti-spam filters have some non-zero percentage of “false negatives” (spam that gets through) and “false positives” (true e-mail correspondence that gets incorrectly labeled as spam).

It is important to realize that a child’s anti-spam service and an adult’s anti-spam service differ markedly in their requirements with respect to false negatives. For example, a 99% detection rate for spam in an adult anti-spam product would be considered excellent. It would reduce the torrent of spam down to about 3 messages per week, satisfying most adult users. However, for a parent to allow a young child to have an unsupervised email account, no pornographic spam whatsoever is acceptable. utilizes spam filtering heuristics to sort out the email. It presents its analysis to parents. The parent supervises the final approval. This simple system design completely eliminates the risk that a child will receive spam from an unknown contact.

Listed concepts in this article: kids spam, children spam, child spam, spam heurisitic, spam filter, parental supervision, parental email approval, spam false positive, spam false negative

List of related concepts: honey pot, Bayesian filter, artificial intelligence for email, email analysis

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