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Anti-spam software


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Are you getting e-mail spam you mean?


I use Eudora which I find works fairly well as far as basic options, and it's a damn sight more secure for an e-mail browser than Outlook Express. One of the things I really like about Eudora is that you can actually view the contents of your mail without "opening" it and thus avoid any nasty attachments and such. It also synchs up with AVG, a free virus program, to scan all your incoming e-mail if you want to install it.


The filters for Eudora are pretty robust, allowing you to filter e-mail into your trash by e-mail address, parts of e-mail addres, sender names, and subject headings etc. It doesn't block everything, but that's because spammers have those e-mails with gibberish characters inserted, but I get a helluva lot less spam than I could be. It's nice and free too.


And if you're talking about pop-ups then there is a thread already ongoing in the PC section about it and the general consensus is that the Google Toolbar is a great choice. I use it myself and it's a brilliant little piece of work.

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I'm using a combination of methods. My ISP, clara.net, has some fairly good filtering options, as well as letting you add your own, which blocks around 85%, and then for the rest I've added 'block sender' rules in Outlook Express (alt-m, s, enter, enter for those in a hurry). You can also edit your block sender list and remove everything from the @ left to block the whole domain, which is handy too. Add in some message rules so most of my regularly received addresses get filtered into folders, and its mostly done.


For those who don't want to give up Outlook Express, but don't like being hit by script kiddies, turn off the preview pane and right-click on a suspect email then choose properties. You can see the headers and also bring up the message source, which doesn't render html, so you're safe.

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It may be a bit drastic, but the best thing you can do to alleviate spam is to move to an ISP that uses Spam Assassin, which resides on the mail server and uses several methods to detect spam.


My provider has SA, and it's been a huge relief. Among the detection methods it uses is text analysis, it 'reads' your mail looking for phrases that are common in spam. Each phrase has a point value and if a given message reaches a certain point value, it gets labeled as spam by SA, so you can use your email program to detect the label. You still receive the mail, but you can filter it right into the trash if you want.


It also does header analysis, checking for forged reply-to addresses, among other things.


Here's an example of it's point system from an actual spam I got this morning:


Content analysis details:  (27.7 points, 5.0 required)

pts rule name       description
---- ---------------------- --------------------------------------------------
4.2 DATE_SPAMWARE_Y2K   Date header uses unusual Y2K formatting
1.5 RCVD_NUMERIC_HELO   Received: contains a numeric HELO
4.1 SUBJ_VIAGRA      Subject includes "viagra"
5.4 BAYES_99        BODY: Bayesian spam probability is 99 to 100%
             [score: 1.0000]
0.1 HTML_FONTCOLOR_UNKNOWN BODY: HTML font color is unknown to us
0.1 HTML_50_60       BODY: Message is 50% to 60% HTML
0.3 MIME_HTML_ONLY     BODY: Message only has text/html MIME parts
0.1 HTML_MESSAGE      BODY: HTML included in message
0.3 HTML_FONT_BIG     BODY: HTML has a big font
0.1 HTML_LINK_CLICK_HERE  BODY: HTML link text says "click here"
0.9 MAILTO_SUBJ_REMOVE   BODY: mailto URI includes removal text
0.6 MIME_HTML_NO_CHARSET  RAW: Message text in HTML without charset
4.1 FORGED_RCVD_NET_HELO  Host HELO'd using the wrong IP network
1.9 DATE_IN_FUTURE_03_06  Date: is 3 to 6 hours after Received: date
1.6 MISSING_MIMEOLE    Message has X-MSMail-Priority, but no X-MimeOLE
0.1 CLICK_BELOW      Asks you to click below
1.2 PRIORITY_NO_NAME    Message has priority setting, but no X-Mailer
1.1 MIME_HTML_ONLY_MULTI  Multipart message only has text/html MIME parts


This is only one of the 4 methods it uses, but Spam Assassin alone catches over 90% of my spam. And it does all this before you get the messages, so it doesn't slow down your email.

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I use the Google Toolbar. Works great for me.


I use it too and it is great. However it has nothing to do with email. Great a pop-up blocking though.


Are you getting e-mail spam you mean?


Yea, that's what spam is. I certainly am not speaking of the meat substitute. :)


Thanks for the link to MailWasher, Adam. I'll give that a try.


Spam Assassin sounds pretty powerful...but I'm not in a position to switch ISPs right now. Perhaps I'll mail my ISP a suggestion...

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Perhaps I'll mail my ISP a suggestion...


That's a good idea, tell them you know other ISPs use it and you might switch to get it.


Jaguar's and Panther's Mail.app has really good built in spam detection.


The great thing about Mail in Panther is that it automatically reads Spam Assassin flags, so there's no configuration needed. That combined with it's built-in Spam filters means I rarely see any of the ~50-75 spams I get a day.

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