I Give Up on SPAM

I Give Up. You cannot win. I have known this, I just chose to deal with SPAM. No longer. There is no ideal solution for an email client on Mac OS X. There is also no ideal solution for blocking SPAM. There is Entourage, This is a great application, but its also big, and slow, and a memory monger. I used to use Entourage when I first moved to OS X. There is Eudora. I was a long time Eudora user. The only email client I had used before I used Eudora was Pine, and it took me a long time to step away from pine, let me tell you. Eudora is OK. It has decent filtering, better then Entourage IMO. There is Mailsmith, from those good folks who bring up BBEdit. Mailsmith shares a lot from BBEdit, the text engine, grep, and has very nice filtering. Then there is the built in Mail. The junk mail filtering introduced in 10.2 are nice, but not wonderful. Only Mailsmith and Mail use the OS X Address Book. I thought about switching to Mailsmith from Mail, but not with the new features in 10.3 Mail. The best SPAM filtering for OS X is SpamSieve, but alas, it does not work for POP accounts in Mail. The developer's site states Mail as the problem. Even with SpamSieve installed you need to use AppleScripts to teach it if it is a good or bad email. Not elegant by any means. I would go as far as saying it is annoying. So I give up. I am going to a white list. A solid 80% of my email is SPAM. Yea, I know. Getting POPFile running on OS X is a lot of work, unfortunately. I do not feel like doing all that. For those who do not know, POPFile is by far the best filtering system to use on Windows, no matter what email client you use. Starting today I am using my Address Book as my whitelist. I can live with a false positive once in a while more then I can live with SPAM showing up in my Inbox all to often because Mail's Junk Mail Filter did not catch it. This is very easy to do. Create a new rule in Mail with "Sender is not in my Address Book" and set the action to "Move Message" to the trash. NOTE: Although it would make sense to include "Sender is not in my Previous Recipients" in this rule, that let SPAM through from people who have never ever been recipients of mine. I also do not think the "Message is addressed using my full name" is a very good option to use either. Now I do not see SPAM in my inbox, imagine that! This just means I have to add some addresses into my Address Book. There is always something, isn't there. I am more then happy to add email addresses then see SPAM in my Inbox. The only real down side to this is that people who have never emailed me before get flagged as SPAM (I use a bright yellow background). But I would much rather drag one or two emails from the Trash to my Inbox then delete 5 or more messages from my Inbox.

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Comments (5)

Have you tried Mozilla Thunderbird? There's an OS X build and it certainly works fine on Windows. It has built-in bayesian junk mail controls. Get 0.3 RC2 (the latest Mac OSX version).

I really like the features im Mail, and like what I see is in store for 10.3 Mail. I have to have Address Book integration, as that also sync's to my Palm.

But I have checked Thunderbird email, and it is nice, its worth a look if you have not seen it in action. It is also very young, so it is worth keeping an eye on.

I might take the time to complle POPFile, but since we are so close to 10.3 shipping (I pre-ordered the first day it was available) I will wait untill I have 10.3 installed before I make POPFile for OS X.

MB:

i miss pine. :(

ahh, i miss pine too. those were the days :=D .

Dave:

Your solution is what I have been doing for spam for quite some time now. It's really the only true way to deal with spam. Just assume that everything you get is spam. However, before moving it to the trash, just check to see if it's someone you know, or something you are expecting.

The Bat! e-mail client for Windows does this very nicely. The Bat! also blocks images stored on servers so you don't have to see those nasty porn spam messages.

Before this trick, I was using SpamAssassin from my webhost. It was doing a fine job up until spammers decided that HTML e-mail wasn't working and started using regular text messages again.

Whitelisting seems to be the only true way to fight spam. It's a bit of a pain to have to check the trash to make sure there isn't anything in there that shouldn't be. However, as you said, it sure beats seeing all that junk in the inbox folder. :)

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