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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old December 18th, 2003, 03:42 PM   #1
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Decent spam programs

Hi again. It's me with another question. Surprised? I didn't think so. Well I would like to know if anyone as tips on a very good no spam program that can detect spam e-mails and send them right to the bin without asking? You just don't believe the amount of useless junk mail I have. Pretty annoying. Thanks.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 03:50 PM   #2
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Are you sure we don't believe? I'm getting 200 to 500 a DAY. I'm sure others are getting more than that! And, yes, it's extremely annoying. Especially when you miss a GOOD e-mail because you deleted it from the middle of all the spams.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 04:25 PM   #3
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You may elect to just whitelist your inbox--that is, reject all incoming e-mail messages except those whose senders appear on a list of known friendly e-mail addresses. The rest could get a bounce e-mail saying, "Sorry, your mail didn't get through to me. This is probably because your address isn't on my whitelist. To contact me, please use this contact form on my web page."

A link would then direct them to a server-side contact form that e-mails you without giving away your address to the sender, as I have on my web site. This is very easy to do in PHP--it's just one command. (For the paranoid, this web mail form might be protected by a reverse Turing test--like a simple image recognition task--to assure it is being submitted by a person and not a machine mailer. As of this writing in 2003 this is wholly unnecessary, but who knows how smart spambots will have gotten by the year 2010?)

I haven't implemented this system yet, but I may soon. I see no reason why it wouldn't be 100% effective in blocking UCE (unsolicited commercial e-mail--the academic name for spam), unlike the impotent controls available in commercial services like AOL and Hotmail, or the pointless CAN-SPAM bill signed into law this week in Washington.

If none of the above helps, check out Spam Inspector. I haven't tried it, but a demo is available.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 04:56 PM   #4
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Thanks.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 05:48 PM   #5
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The rest could get a bounce e-mail saying, "Sorry, your mail didn't get through to me. This is probably because your address isn't on my whitelist. To contact me, please use this contact form on my web page."

A link would then direct them to a server-side contact form that e-mails you without giving away your address to the sender, as I have on my web site.

This has happened to me a couple of times as well. It made me stop to think if sending the e-mail was actually worthwhile. It also won't work well when signing up for lists which normally WON'T do the extra bit of work to send the e-mail. I consider this a hassle to the SENDER but it WOULD eliminate a LOT of spams.
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Old December 18th, 2003, 06:07 PM   #6
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"It also won't work well when signing up for lists which normally WON'T do the extra bit of work to send the e-mail."

LOL, right, you'd have to temporarily disable it for to let confirmation e-mails get through.

EDIT: A better solution is to have a "public" address, e.g., Hotmail, to distribute for such purposes.
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Old December 21st, 2003, 10:28 PM   #7
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check out cloudmark, a plugin that works for outlook and outlook express. it is shareware.

it works by comparing emails to your inbox against their known spam database to determine which of your emails is legit. if any slip by and make it to your inbox, you can mark them as spam, which deletes them and sends the info back to the database so that others can benefit. pretty cool idea if you ask me.

i have a spam folder set up so that cloudmark moves them and marks them as read. i then periodically delete the contents of the spam folder. this plugin has never messed up and put real email in the spam folder.

i've been using it for 8 months or so and i highly recommend it. the url is www.cloudmark.com.

cheers,
harry
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 02:45 AM   #8
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Thanks Harry. Will give it a try.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 07:56 AM   #9
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Spam filtering

I'm not about where you are, but in the UK there are services, like www.emailfiltering.co.uk, that perform spam blocking at their site, rather than downloading it all to your PC before throwing it away.

These seem to do a very good job, and avoid clogging up your computer. I've converted because I don't want my children receiving the c**p...

Regards,

Julian
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 08:21 AM   #10
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Harry,

I have one question: When you mark them as spam, are they marked via IP or domain name?

In my case, some spammer is spoofing their return e-mail address as a fake name at MY domain. Does this mean you would no longer receive a legitimate e-mail from me?

Remember, I can put my "from" address as anything I like and it may or may not be ME. In another instance, a company's domain is one character off of ours. When the vice president of that company entered their "from" address, they left out that character and we started receiving all of her replies. In my opinion, blocking the "from" address is useless.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 08:35 AM   #11
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Selective blacklisting sender addresses is useless, but selective whitelisting senders is practical because a spammer is unlikely to be spoofing your friends.

Actually the "rules" system in Outlook is very powerful. It's not adaptive, nor a bayesian filtering system, nor is it some database of spammer IPs, but it can be used to implement the whitelisting system I describe in an earlier post.
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Old December 22nd, 2003, 08:39 AM   #12
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Thanks Julian, but I guess it wouldn't work because I live in Sweden.
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Old December 25th, 2003, 02:22 PM   #13
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hi edward,
there is a pretty involved faq at http://cloudmark.com/support/spamnet/faq/list.php?id=4#id54

in part:

Should I Block messages with my own email address in the From field?

Absolutely, Block spam regardless of the name in the To or From fields. This action will not block your legitimate email in the future. SpamNet does not use these email fields to identify spam. If the email is spam, SpamNet wants you to Block it. Clever spammers sometimes include your name and email address in the From field of your email messages to trick you into reading the message. This clever tactic may also be used to fool some less-sophisticated spam filters. Cloudmark SpamNet does not use the email From or To field in the evaluation of a message. SpamNet compares the message body of Blocked spam to the message body of new email. If the message bodies are the same, the message is then moved to the spam folder. This method ensures proper identification of spam and defeats common spammer tricks.

hope this helps!
harry
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Old December 25th, 2003, 03:24 PM   #14
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That's good to hear. However, in my case, the spammer is using my domain name to spam OTHER people. I'm getting the bounces indicating either the name does not exist or their mailbox is full. I'm just hoping these servers don't start rejecting legitimate e-mail from my domain.
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Old January 6th, 2004, 08:06 AM   #15
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i've come across a new spam filter i find works even better. it's called spambayes and you can get it at http://spambayes.sourceforge.net. it works with outlook and eudora, and you can also get it to work with outlook express with some effort. it is also freeware.

this one works by looking at messages in your spam folder and inbox, and it trains itself to determine what is spam and what isn't.

programmers.. who knows what they'll think of next :)

harry
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