From the September 2007 issue of Investment Advisor • Subscribe!

September 1, 2007

A Matter of Definition: Common E-Mail Terms

Microsoft Gold Certified: Microsoft offers a Gold level of certification in many different applications, including Exchange, .Net, Windows, and more. The Gold Certification process is based on a complex formula that combines many metrics that apply to the provider. These include the provider's number of Microsoft Certified Professionals and customer references, confirmation of the provider's technical expertise, and the volume of Microsoft licenses it has sold.

Phishing: This is the act of attempting to fraudulently acquire sensitive information, such as passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy person or business with a real need for such information. Generally, "phishers" use seemingly official electronic notifications or messages (most often an e-mail or an instant message).

SaaS (Software as a Service): This is any software application delivery model where a provider hosts and operates the application for use by its customers over the Internet. Customers pay not for owning the software but for using it in a "subscription model." Hosted e-mail /e-messaging is an example of SaaS.

SAS 70, or Statement on Auditing Standard No. 70: This is an internationally recognized auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) in 1992. It is used to report on the "processing of transactions by service organizations," which can be done by completing either a SAS 70 Type I or Type II audit. SAS 70 Type II is third-party verification that services promised and provided by a hosting provider are undertaken in a controlled manner

Spam: Most of us have first-hand experience with unwanted e-mail, or spam, but few realize how pervasive it is, or how troublesome it can be to an e-mail operation. According to Osterman Research, approximately 80% of e-mail messages sent today are spam, meaning that a total of 80 of the 101 messages received by the typical user each day are spam. Image-based spam, proliferating in recent months, is more difficult than character-based spam to detect and filter.

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