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Anti-Spam Products and Services

Mike Schatzki

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I asked for recommendations for anti-spam services.

Cloudmark -- Grant Corbett

Have a look at Cloudmark. I have been using it happily for two years. Any item that is reported as spam by any user of Cloudmark is automatically moved to a spam folder by Cloudmark. From there you can scan and delete.

Only My Email -- Barry Roberts

I've been using Only My Emailfor several years now and think it is really great. Lots of good features, compatible with Outlook or any ISP. The cost is $3 per month and well worth it.

SpamBayes -- Kristine Sexter

I use SpamBayes. It has a very short "learning" curve of a day or two. It puts emails into 1 of 3 locations:

  1. Good (go directly to your email box)
  2. Spam (Goes to "Junk" Folder)
  3. Junk Suspects (where you have to periodically check and make a decision as to whether it is, or is not spam).

I've used it a year and it is about 90% accurate and free.

Gmail -- Brandon Hull

I RARELY get spam in my inbox any more, and I'm getting approximately 75 emails per day. Here's how: My answer to filter out spam as best as possible was to get a Google mail account -- called Gmail. You can also send and receive your other email addresses from within Gmail and while the spam still comes, it's immediately sent over to a pre-established Spam folder and deleted within 30 days automatically, without ever downloading to my computer. I haven't found any system as complete as Gmail's anti-spam.

Katharion -- Mitch Krayton

Try Katharion

Qurb -- Joyce Gioia

For about $30, you can acquire a lifetime license for Qurb. This handy program scans your own address book for the acceptable senders (white list). It quarantines all other e-mail into a separate area. (It does NOT send e-mails to everyone who sends you one!) The niftiest aspect is that it allows you to see what is in the e-mail without opening it, by simply mousing over the checkbox when the list of quarantined e-mails is up. This program works with Outlook and other platforms. (Since we purchased the product, the company was acquired by Computer Associates.) We tried all kinds of other programs and this was head and shoulders above the rest.

Qurb -- Mel Kleiman

I'm not sure how your program worked but I am using a very inexpensive program called Qurb and love it. It not only blocks 98% or more of the spam I am getting but also has an index all of the emails that I have received since I installed it. It looks them up and presents them in less then a second in most case. This feature alone has saved me hours. It only works on Outlook and has 30-day free trial, and after that a one-time cost of $29.95. It took about 5 minutes to install, no tech knowledge required.

ChoiceMail -- Nancy Lininger

I have used ChoiceMail for years and am very happy with it.

It does not make decisions on its own, but sorts new senders into Unknown, those that I have identified as junk into Junk, and let's in my whitelist to my email box. I get to reject subjects, individual addresses and/or domain addresses, etc.

It's easy to sort through my junk file when I'm ready, just to make sure no one was sent to junk by mistake. All unknown senders are sent a challenge message -- and it can be a generic message from ChoiceMail -- or for an extra fee a customized page (which I have done). If you respond to the challenge message, I will get an alert -- and can accept you or reject you. Even if you don't respond, I can view my unknown file and manually accept someone. Once on the whitelist, you come straight through without new messages.

By sending you this email, you automatically get on my whitelist, so you won't get the challenge message when you respond. If you want to see what it all looks like, then send a new email to me from a different email address.

The drawback is that some potential customers may not respond to the challenge message -- but that is why it is important to view your unknown file and manually accept people. Also, people that really want to communicate with me will appreciate the extra step and will respond. I feel that I have a good enough reputation in my industry that most people do respond to the challenge message. (Also, my customized challenge message with my photo gets their attention.) I also recently added an e-mail response on my Web site that goes through my server and avoids the challenge message.

SpamCop -- Ray Strackbein

I have been using SpamCop for years. At a cost of only $30 per year, they filter spam by inspecting the IP address of the originator. This is a much better technique than by using kywrd filtrs whch kan be foooled by uniq spelingz.

All of your email is handled by SpamCop's own servers, which also virus-checks your email (combined with your own computer's virus-checker gives email viruses little chance of infecting your computer.) You can access your email by using your normal email program or by using their webmail service (I use both).

Here is what you have to do:

  1. Set up an account and pick a UserName@SpamCop.net (that no one will ever see except you).
  2. Either: (a) Forward your email (you might need technical help) to your UserName@SpamCop.net email address (this method sends your email to SpamCop immediately -- you might have to wait with the (b) method below) or (b) Tell Spamcop your username and password for your email account and Spamcop will go get it for you at regular intervals (like every 30 minutes or so).
  3. Either: (a) Use http://webmail.spamcop.net to read and send email using a browser and/or (b) adjust your regular email program to get email from pop.spamcop.net instead of from your real email system.

A hidden advantage is that you can forward several email accounts to one SpamCop account (all for the same $30 per year) and read all of your email at one time/logon. Spamcop also allows you to create several outgoing identities on their WebMail program so if you send email from their WebMail system, you can send it using whatever real email address you want people to reply to.

Spamcop diverts all suspected spam to its own "Held Mail" box on its server. You can "Whitelist" or "Blacklist" any email address or domain you wish -- I had to whitelist SpeakerNetNews a long time ago because the broadcast service they use apparently had a spammer as a another client at one time.

A couple of times each week (every few hours when you are first setting it up) I login to Webmail.SpamCop.net to look at the HeldMail box. It is easy to click on "Release and Whitelist" any client email that came from a dubious server. Once I whitelist them, they always come through.

The SpamCop approach is MUCH better than the "Challenge/Response" that requires a sender to receive and reply to a "Are you for real?" message when they send you an email for the first time.

Yes, you will continue to get spam through SpamCop, but SpamCop does divert between 80%-95% of the spam to the HeldMail folder. They have a very good engineering department that keeps track of the spam that is getting through. The spammers continually have to devise new ways past their filter. When SpamCop identifies a new pattern, they implement another filter. So you might find spam increase for a few weeks and then sharply reduce on its own.

Important Suggestion -- do NOT use their "Spam Reporting Service" because you will invariably accidentally report a client or trusted friend. SpamCop's reporting service is so good that the ISP of the reported offender will often disable all Internet service of whoever you report. Not pretty.

Spam Arrest -- Maura Raffensperger

I have been using Spam Arrest and am very happy with it. Yes, it does send a challenge email to unverified (new) senders, but I check my unverified folder daily and can quickly authorize a sender (even if they don't respond to the challenge email). Since 99% of messages in the unverified folder are spam, it's a breeze to scan and delete. I just uncheck the one in a hundred message I need to read and/or authorize. Anyone to whom you send a message is automatically verified. They offer a free 30-day trial.

Spam Arrest -- Steve Lishansky

I have had excellent results for over 1.5 years with SpamArrest. There is a nominal charge ($39.99 per year).

Spam Arrest -- Robyn Pearce

I've found SpamArrest works very well. The respondent needs to authorize themselves before they get through to your box, but most people don't mind. You can also check at the back end to authorize those who are reluctant or don't understand, and if you remember, you can put a new recipient onto your authorized whitelist and save them the hassle. I get about 2,000 spam mails per day blocked by them - wouldn't be without it.

Spam Arrest -- Mari Smith

I use Spam Arrest and absolutely love it! It took me just a bit to fully understand it and configure the settings. But now I'm blown away by how quiet my Outlook Inbox is with *NO* spam coming in! You can protect several email accounts and it fully synchs with your existing email program (e.g., Outlook, Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo etc.). They offer a full 30 day trial and also have an affiliate program.

Spam Arrest -- Ric Giardina

I've been using SpamArrest for several years. I LOVE it. It's inexpensive, works as a "webmail" system when I'm on the road, and stops literally 100% of spam! Fantastic.

Also, for a little extra -- which I haven't bothered to do -- you can eliminate the SpamArrest logo and information on the confirmation email that goes out to "new" senders to you and replace it with your own company logo and language, so it can be more professional. As I said, though, I haven't had this need.

Another Point of View -- Debbie Elicksen

I would caution you on any anti-spam programs. None of them could ever work as well as the delete button. I've never used them outside of Norton and firewall settings, because I hear from others that continuously, important emails are lost because a spam program will deem it as spam. I receive over the course of a day, 300 or so emails in and out, so deleting spam has become a habit. The other thing about spam is it launches all sorts of spyware on your computer. You can download Ad-Aware SE Personal for free and it will zap this off your computer. I probably use the Ad-Aware scanner two to three times a day.

The spam is a nuisance, but I'd rather have that than miss an important email that means business in my pocket. Also, those anti-spam programs that ask every sender to resend their emails or fill out an e-business card are such a pain, most people don't respond, and again, you're missing important business. The president of XYZ is not going to bother.

SpeakerNet News is produced by Rebecca Morgan and Ken Braly. It is not affiliated with the National Speakers Association. Send comments or suggestions