Can You Really Stop Spam?

Friday, February 29, 2008 by Mistlee

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Can You Really Stop Spam?

Dear Rich,

How do I stop emails for and the like? I'm getting dozens every day.

--Inundated in Islesboro

Dear Inundated,

Just a couple of dozen a day? You're getting off easy.

I've tried a number of third-party solutions over the years, including a personal favorite, SpamSieve (mac only.) Windows users have suggested some of their own favorites in another post here at the flyte blog.

Unfortunately, I've noticed that SpamSieve isn't what it used to be; it seems that more and more spam is getting through. More frustrating is that often it's the same messages over and over again:

Hello! I am tired today. I am nice girl that would like to chat with you. Email me at only, because I am using my friend's email to write this. Would you mind if I share some of my
pictures with you?

Recently while playing around with an autoresponder on our server I saw that I could enable SpamAssassin, a spam filter that works on the server level. I've always avoided these tools because I'm afraid of missing potential new business, and I've felt that wading through tons of spam is the price we pay. However, with over 200 pieces of spam a day I was willing to take a chance.

SpamAssassin has been amazing. Over the past week it has caught about 98% of my spam WITHOUT ONE FALSE POSITIVE! (A false positive is a good email that's tagged as spam.) It's almost like I have an assistant
who's vetting my emails. SpamSieve is then catching the remaining few that do get through.

You can set SpamAssassin to any level you like:

This version of SpamAssassin runs on Apache, but there are also versions for Windows and Mac...just Google it.

It is by far the best spam blocking tool I've ever used.

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