Getting Rid of Unwanted E-mail Clutter
by Jim Bray
Dont you just love spam, that endless supply of unwanted and unwelcome
e-mail that constantly inflicts itself on your inbox?
I must get 300 or more spams a day and it drives me nuts. And you thought
it was the water where I live!
Anyway, theres plenty you can do to fight spam; my Internet Service
Provider offers a filter that stops quite a bit - but it also bounced back
some of the e-mail I wanted to receive. Then McAfee sent me Spamkiller
and I had a new defender of my inbox.
Spamkiller, now in version 4, looks over your incoming e-mail before
it gets to your actual e-mail program, matching certain parameters of an
incoming message and tossing it into the virtual big round file if it recognizes
it as spam. It comes with a bunch of spam filters built in, and you can
train it to recognize new spam by characters in the return address, subject
line, or even the body of the message.
When I installed Spamkiller, it looked over my e-mail address book and
created filters to let through messages from my existing circle of virtual
friends - and that part has worked very well. Its by no means perfect,
and since these spammers seem far smarter than they have any right to be,
too much offending material still gets through. And because Spamkiller
looks over every e-mail before your e-mail program receives it, it tends
to mark some new messages as read - which makes them hard to find in your
That, to me, is the biggest drawback to Spamkiller - but I'd still rather
be with it than without it. I've been using it for a couple of months now
and about twice a day have collected enough spam to warrant deleting them
from the software.
Spamkiller gathers most spam into one place where you can either rescue
it (if youre some kind of nut), delete spams individually or all
at once - and you can even send a message of complaint back to the source
- as if they really care.
You can also set up filters for each new spam, so Spamkiller will recognize
it subsequently. This sounds good but, Ive found it a lot quicker
to just let the stuff pile up inside Spamkiller, as mentioned above, and
then delete the whole shebang at once. Its less hassle because, with
the amount of spam I receive, Id spend the whole day setting up filters
that, since spammers use a lot of tricks to get around filters, may or
may not work.
Spamkiller isnt perfect, but its pretty good and it beats
the alternative of unlimited spam.
Jim Bray's technology columns are distributed by the TechnoFILE and Mochila Syndicates. Copyright Jim Bray.
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