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I'm attending a web security course whose slides, concerning techniques for protecting ourselves from spam, sometimes report the expressions "local anti-spam" (or "personal anti-spam") and "central anti-spam".

I suppose the "central anti-spam" is the e-mail provider's one, but I cannot figure out what can be a local (or personal) anti-spam and which can be the differences about them.

I tried to google such expressions but I didn't find anything.

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Many mail programs like for example Thunderbird have a built-in spam filter. The main difference from this to most central spam filters is that it gets trained by the user and thus is adjusted to what the users typically receives as spam and ham and what the users considers spam in the first place - e.g. some like news letters, others hate these.

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  • An example on the other side: SpamAssassin is server-side ("central anti-spam") and is designed for more dedicated use. It'll have cached entries for a lot of its online lookups (e.g. SpamAssassin makes heavy use of DNSBLs) and you don't have to worry about doing all of that stuff from your personal system.
    – Adam Katz
    Commented Jul 15, 2019 at 19:23

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