Email spam is a blight on society, an unwarranted intrusion into our lives by unscrupulous marketers at best, by unsavory criminals at worst. If you have more than one email address, and have had that address for a long time, you likely feel the effects of spam.
Effects? Delete, delete, delete. There was a time when I received hundreds and hundreds of email spam messages daily on a couple of email accounts I’d had for almost 15 years, since the dawning of public internet.
Simply changing those email addresses reduced the incoming spam by 75-percent. For awhile. The problem, so it seems to me, is Windows.
The Windows Scourge
This is a somewhat simplistic view of where spammers get their email addresses, but probably covers 90-percent of their efforts. Spammers get email addresses from Windows PCs.
For years Windows has been a Swiss cheese operating system with viruses and spyware and worms—offensive malware on a 24/7 crusade, scouring millions of PCs, collecting email addresses, and sending them off to Spammer Headquarters™, probably somewhere deep inside Elbonia, far from the reach of civilized authorities.
Email being what it is, sooner or later an email address will show up on an infected Windows PC, and the address goes over to the dark side.
For a few years I used the Junk Mail filter in Apple’s Mail. Hey, it’s there. It’s free. It works. It learns. It improves. Then, it becomes senile and worthless.
A few years ago I tried out SpamSieve and have used it since. This handy utility doesn’t eliminate spam. It segregates spam by filtering your incoming email, matching the good which you see, and dispatching the bad to wherever you want it to go.
In other words, SpamSieve is a high class email filtering system. Here’s the money quote from the SpamSieve site:
SpamSieve gives you back your inbox by bringing powerful Bayesian spam filtering to Mac e-mail clients. It’s quick and easy to control SpamSieve from within your mail client, and you can customize how it interacts with the rest of your message sorting rules. Other spam filters get worse over time as spammers adapt to their rules; SpamSieve actually gets better over time as it adapts to your mail.
That’s been my experience with Apple’s Junk Mail; fine at first, worse over time. That’s the opposite of SpamSieve which learns your incoming email, then improves the filtering over time.
Yes, SpamSieve works with Mac OS X’s Mail, as well as Microsoft’s Entourage, and it integrates with your Address Book (and Entourage) to ensure your friend’s email gets through even if it looks like spam.
I have a lot of email addresses and accounts. I need to be extra careful about all incoming email to ensure that I receive what is legitimate mail, so I segregate spam from approved email.
SpamSieve routes all suspected spam to a Spam folder, which I check from time to time. It is seldom wrong, but occasionally a promotional email may get flagged as spam when it is acceptable.
That’s it. There are plenty of bells and whistles, extra features which can enhance the filtering process. You can train SpamSieve by telling it which incoming email is good and which is bad. It takes a click.
I still get a hundred spam messages a day, but over 99-percent of them get filtered and stored in the Spam folder. That saves me time, effort, and reduces my daily electronic grief levels. I bought SpamSieve years ago and upgrades have remained free. Highly recommended.