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Once upon a time, Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server and Microsoft Forefront Security for SharePoint shipped with so-called “seed lists.” These were pre-populated filter lists for profanity, racial discrimination, sexual discrimination, and spam that laid the foundation for creating your own lists. Starting with release 10.0, those were removed from the products for a variety of reasons.
However, with the advent of Microsoft Forefront Security for Exchange Server with Service Pack 1 (and soon to be shipped in Microsoft Security for SharePoint with Service Pack 2), we now offer “example lists” for profanity.
Example lists are provided in eleven languages: English, German, Japanese, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Italian, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese. Choose any number of these languages to install, with the knowledge that you may update your selection at any time. Since the example lists are an optional component, they must be installed separately once the Forefront product is up and running.
To install one or more of these lists, follow these steps:
- Find the file called KeywordInstaller.msi in the Forefront installation folder and double-click it. You may also launch it from Start/Run. This file is only present on computers that have a full Forefront installation (that is, not one that’s defined as Administrator-only).
- Since many people will find portions of the lists offensive, be sure that you thoroughly read and understand the license agreement/disclaimer before accepting it.
- You are then presented with a list of available language files. You may select one, all, or any combination. The files you select are extracted and placed into a folder called Example Keywords in the database directory (which, by default is c:\Program Files(x86)\Microsoft Forefront Security\Exchange Server\Data).
- After the files have been extracted, import them into your filters. Here’s how:
a. Open the Forefront Server Security Administrator and click Filter Lists on the FILTERING section of the Shuttle Navigator.
b. Select the filter list into which you will be importing data. (Or create a new filter list.)
c. Click Edit. The Edit Filter List dialog box appears.
d. Click the Import button. A File Explorer window will open to allow you to navigate to the location to which you extracted the files.
e. Select a file to import, and then click Open.
f. The file will be imported into the middle pane of the Import List editor to allow you to select the entries you would like to include in your filter list. Use the <=== button to move all the items into the Include In Filter section or use the <— button to move single items. You can use the right-pointing arrows to move items into the Exclude From Import section.
g. When you have moved all the desired items, click OK to return to the Edit Filter List dialog box.
h. You can now import another file, if desired, by clicking Import and repeating the procedure.
i. When you are finished importing files, click OK to return to the Filter Lists pane.
j. Click Save to save your work.
- Apply the filters to the appropriate scan job.
Note that it is your responsibility to visually inspect all of the selected files to determine if there are words that are completely harmless in your environment. This is especially true if you are using multiple language files. For example, the word “blorp” might be the vilest curse in Wolof, but the highest praise you can give to a grocer in Tlingit.
Therefore, you should review the imported lists and decide if you are going to eliminate any word clashes. If a certain word is unacceptable in one language, but harmless in another, you must determine what is more important: leaving it in the list in order to catch everything at the risk of false positives (which could potentially embarrass employees for no reason) or risk not detecting something because you deleted words from the lists in order to avoid the false positives.
Having e-mail that is free of profanity makes the computing experience just a little bit friendlier for your employees. Use the example lists; they’ll help.