How Do You Fight Spam?

from the how-good-are-your-filters? dept

While Congress wrestles with the latest plan for anti-spam legislation, plenty of people are doing their best to get around the spam problem themselves, by using various filtering technologies. Here’s an article detailing the methods that many people use – suggesting that spam filtering is pretty effective. I know it’s done wonders for me, though, it is still a pain. I use three levels of spam filtering at this point. SpamCop and SpamAssassin on the server side catches the vast majority of spam – so that I don’t even need to download it. On the client side, I use PopFile, which does a good job of sorting out the few spam messages that do go through. So, these days, I get about 200 to 250 spam messages a day, with about 10 to 15 getting through the server, and one or two making it into my inbox. On the whole, that’s pretty manageable. Of course, the amount of spam has increased tremendously in the past few months (it had held steady at 100 messages/day for a while) – and I do wonder how well the filters will hold up under greater loads. Still, it’s interesting to see what other solutions people have put together to push away the spam.

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Comments on “How Do You Fight Spam?”

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LittleW0lf says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

None of those solutions trashes the email completely, but by setting it all aside, I can scan them all pretty quickly and (hopefully) spot any false positives.

And how many false positives do you see? I may get one a week, or even one a month. Seems like a system to forward the headers to the user may be better than having the administrator review them…I haven’t seen any system that does this (and is open source.) May have to build one…

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: No Subject Given

Not too many… I’d say maybe one or two a month. However, last night, I went through a week’s worth of spam (nearly 2,000) and *luckily* caught two messages (the only two false positives) from a friend who is coming to visit this weekend, and was probably getting annoyed that I hadn’t responded to any of her emails arranging plans.

LittleW0lf says:

Re: Re: Re:2 No Subject Given

However, last night, I went through a week’s worth of spam (nearly 2,000) and *luckily* caught two messages (the only two false positives) from a friend who is coming to visit this weekend

Good catch…

I have noticed that SPAM Assassin tends to not like Hotmail and some of the other “Freemail” services. Manditory capital punishment of career SPAMmers should eleviate this problem…if only I could dream for a moment.

Anyone know of an open source SPAM program which sends summaries of SPAM to users instead of the whole email? I am looking for a program like SPAM Assassin which captures SPAM and holds it, sending a summary of the suspected SPAM to the user and asks them to reply if they think it is a real email that should be sent through. Right now, I sort all SPAM into an email account, and then look through the SPAM occasionally to see if it may have been misidentified. If I see any, I forward it on to the intended recipient, but I’d much rather not have to subject myself to violating my user’s privacy, and would like to give them the opportunity to review their own SPAM instead. My users would do it, but only if the headers/summaries were sent.

Beck says:

Check Them All Anyway

It seems that even with spam filtering you still end up scanning through all of the spam to make sure that there are no false positives.

I purchased a domain a couple of years ago to use for personal email but I haven’t started using it because I’m afraid my personal address will become known by spammers, and once they have it you’re done.

I try to use disposable addresses and keep a good address for personal correspondence, but all it takes is one friend to do the “email to a friend” feature on the wrong web site and you’re done.

Beck says:

Fighting Spam

I have read that there are a relatively small number of spammers who are responsible for the majority of all spam. Maybe the fight against spam needs to become more literal. if the CIA or some branch of the Special Forces went after these spammers I think the problem could “go away” pretty quickly. I think maybe three or four well publicized “operations” would convince the surviving spam merchants to find a new vocation.

Any objections? …Didn’t think so.

Father Dan (user link) says:

Cloudmark is the Undisputed Champion if Spam Fight

check out – read this techdirt post this morning and am just getting around to replying right now, funny – but Cloudmark is being interviewed on TechTV as I write this and TechTV said (sic) “You have the best and most unique way of working . . . .” — Try Cloudmark, you’ll love it.

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