• Published on | Jan 07, 2008 | by Chris Osborn

Retaking my mailbox

I've had the same email address for well over 12 years. It's probably on every single spammer's list that's out there. I've been getting over 500 spams a day for a long time and I've had to resort to sorting spam out into another folder because my inbox was constantly alerting me about new mail.

Of course, sorting spam into another mailbox doesn't work. All you end up with is a huge mailbox so clogged with junk you'll never find a message that was falsely identified, if you somehow find out it got in there by accident. Plus it still means that you're looking at every single spam, so what's the point? It has been my goal for a long time to get rid of this system and block spam before it even gets to my mailbox.

Over New Year's, I spent a lot of time tweaking and adding new spam blocking systems. I have to say, the new methods were very successful. I was able to go from 500 spams a day to only 40 spams. Over a 90% reduction! At this level I was finally able to get rid of sorting into a spam box. Now I don't have to worry about false positives. Spams that are blocked are also now being blocked at the SMTP level, so if something is falsely identified, the sender will get a bounce back and know that I never got their message.

It's been strange for the last week. I keep expecting a ton of spam, but my mailbox is just as quiet as it was when I was sorting. And yet, there's no sorting and I have no spam box! It's just unbelievable! At this point I'm thinking maybe the couple of clients that are using an anti-spam service should be switched to this setup.

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+1  Posted by Patrick Havens • Jun.30.2008 at 01.52 • Reply

Actually Dreamhosts spam filter works ok... Plus I use thunderbirds built in and knock my spam down to a handful a day. At work we use a Barracuda Spam appliance and it works... but not as well as my third option. My 3rd way I use for my P.Havens Creations is that I run my email through Google's Spam filters. And I get no crap in my inbox. Plus I get a fancy gmail box for when I'm on the road.

+1  Posted by Chris Osborn • Jun.30.2008 at 02.06 • Reply

Yes, but I know for sure with gmail, and I'll bet on the others too, you still have a Spam or Junk mailbox that you need to pick through from time to time to make sure you didn't lose a message.

I no longer have a Spam box. ALL of my mail comes into my Inbox. If it's not in my Inbox then I never got it. I don't ever have to wonder if someone sent something and I need to go check if it got stuffed somewhere else.

I made some more tweaks a month or so ago and I'm down to 5-10 spams a day.