If you’re a Smart Dolphins’ client, you may have already been setup with Smart Dolphins Email Security (SDES) or perhaps you have at least heard about it. If you haven’t, SDES is a tool that offers an additional layer of security to your inbox.

Think of email like you would a rack of mailboxes on the street. Let’s suppose that they are all connected through implied trust; all communication with your mailbox is happening under the assumption that senders are fully trustworthy.

Take, for example, someone who is wearing a Canada Post uniform. They are assumed to be a letter carrier and have full access to your postbox. They are permitted to drop things off, and in this supposed situation may even communicate with your neighbours, asking questions about you and area residents.

You can see why this would be a problem in today’s world.

So, what does SDES do? Well, first, it installs a “post office security team” between your email software and the rest of the world.

Any messages that are sent to you get checked against stringent criteria.

For example, the program automatically asks the system a fundamental question, “does this recipient actually exist?”

Once this question is answered, it seeks to match the sender, from where the message came from, to a server that is tied to the address. Does that server have information verifying that the source is legitimate? Is its declared information stamped on the front of the envelope (headers)?

If the above two questions are both “yes” then the system takes the next step and analyzes the sender’s server to see if they are listed with any known block lists, then it begins the process of scanning the email message, analyzing it for SPAM characteristics, viruses, malicious content or attachments as well as links to malicious websites.

As it goes through each of these steps it rates the message with a score: “0” indicates that the email message is 100% perfect, whereas a “999” rating, tells you that the message is really bad and is outright rejected.

Messages under 200 are good and anything between 200 to 600 is held in quarantine.

The sender has no idea what just transpired, as the sender only sees the instruction: “send message to [email protected]” just as if the supposed letter carrier was instructed to drop the mail off at the post office and nothing more.

Anything quarantined just floats in the ether until you release it, or it ages out on its own after 14 days. Everything else (those 600-plus-rated messages) that receive no response at all, are “Gone with the Wind.”

Simply opening an email is enough to cause devastating consequences. SDES requires you to release a message which prevents potential random misclicks or a brain-cramp moment when one thinks, “I’ll just take a peak.”