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False Positive

What does False Positive

The English term“False Positive” is used to describe supposedly positive test results. In concrete terms, this means that negative characteristics are evaluated as positive in a test, even though they do not correspond to the facts. For local and Internet-based applications, false positives can have undesirable and possibly catastrophic effects. One such undesirable effect can be seen in e-mail advertisements. If these e-mails are classified as False Positives, desired newsletters end up as SPAM folders or are automatically blocked as SPAM and not even displayed to the user.

False positives in e-mail and newsletter marketing

It is of course annoying for the operators of e-mail campaigns when newsletters do not reach customers and are instead flagged as JUNK-Mail and end up in the SPAM folder. However, there are some effective measures that can be taken to minimize skewed delivery rates and preserve an organization’s reputation. For example, operators of newsletters and promotional emails can ask their customers, suppliers and business partners to add the sender’s email account to their contact list and, just to be on the safe side, check the SPAM folder from time to time to see if a desired email may have been inadvertently flagged as SPAM.

It is particularly important that the addressees switch off the declaration as JUNK mail in the case of desired e-mail advertising and newsletters. The use of special newsletter software can also help to ensure that no false positives come into effect and that e-mails are not mistakenly returned to the sender as so-called bounce e-mails “. If a newsletter is repeatedly identified as SPAM, emails and newsletters that customers are waiting for may not be delivered at all, which can cause numerous problems.

False positives due to malware and virus scanners

Especially when it comes to computer and IT security, the use of malware and virus scanners often results in false positives, which can have disastrous consequences. False positives in the IT environment can lead to system-critical data being classified as dangerous and deleted, which can have various consequences, such as:

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  • Crash of the operating system
  • Loss of important data

For this reason, the user should always act with caution in the case of any virus messages displayed by a Malware- or virus scanner, the user should always act with caution and first move the reported malware to quarantine. Potential malware that has been moved to quarantine cannot cause any further damage and the user then has the opportunity to calmly assess whether the virus message is actually malicious software or a false positive message.


There are security tools that automatically quarantine potential malware and SPAM messages for up to 10 days, where they cannot cause any damage and where the data is carefully analyzed. If the detection is confirmed as a false positive, the file in question is automatically removed from quarantine and can be opened by the user without risk.


False positives are a serious problem that can be particularly dangerous for newsletter providers and providers of e-mail advertising. But also in the area of IT security, false positives can contribute to harmless files being detected as viruses and possibly removed from the system without the user noticing.

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