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AntiSpam Filters

By now most have learned that they need some way to control spam.  Estimates vary on how much of internet email traffic is spam, the estimates range from 40% up to 70% or even more.

What can an individual user do to stop spam?  Fortunately there are a variety of ways to reduce the avalanche of spam.  In many ways the best solution for stopping spam is don't buy anything from a spammer.  If they don't make money they will stop.  Sadly too many deal with spammers and the spamming continues.

There are very proactive ways to deal with spam, one can trace the spam back to the source and file notice of complaints with the netblock owner and ISP responsible for the IP address of the computer.  This method works but, it is a lot of time and effort as well as requires technical skills and knowledge and is frankly more work than it is worth.

Spam filters are probably the simplest way to quickly get a handle on spam.  Some spam filters are ones you install on your computer and others are ISP based.

Spam filters can be considered to work on 2 different principals.

  1. Recognize the content as spam
  2. White list or allow only email from known addresses.

After months of trying to "train" a spam filter to recognize spam I gave up. I constantly needed to update the information it looks for and on occasion a wanted email was flagged as spam.  Now I use a sender controlled antispam process.  Most of the time it requires little effort to maintain.

The way it works is to automatically add the email address of anyone I send and email to my "whitelist".  Email from addresses that are not in my email whitelist are held and a notification is sent to me that an email is being held.  I can then go to the site and either accept or reject the email after a quick review of the contents.  If I accept the email the sender is automatically added to my white list.  I also have the option of just deleting the email.  I can control my whitelist by adding addresses that I wish to add or deleting  the addresses of those that I no longer wish to receive mail from. 

I can even go one step further.  I can control a "blacklist"; if I wish I can add addresses or even add addresses of some domains and block email from these addresses.  I receive no notification that the person has been block but they receive an email advising them they have been blocked.  By using this method, all of which are blocked and only a notice of the spam and the opportunity to review it before deleting it are received./p>

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