Beat Spam

… or How I Learned to Love Email

I actively use  a dozen different domains for various businesses and have several different email accounts and domain management tools.  I used to get a few thousands emails a day, yep, most of that spam.  I took a few steps to reduce that that all business and web site owners should follow.

  • Encrypt web-based addresses
  • Turn off domain catch-all addresses, i.e. if email isn’t to a known address reject it.
  • Use domain/server-based spamcatchers where available.
  • Use opt-in/out services for group business mail.
  • Pray to the god Charity

That reduced total email by 70-80% to several hundred messages a day … still a whole lotta spam going on.

I use spam software to reduce that further.  But that still left me with a few hundred spam messages a day plus checking the ones that did get caught.

The last step was the easiest – use Google Gmail, which has reduced spam and false positives to about 1-2 a day.

Now I’m a gotta-own need-to-customize kinda guy.  So I use client email software (open source Thunderbird).  No problem.  Not only is Gmail the best spam fighter, it also has other features, all still free, that no one else fully offers:

  • Pick up mail from other POP/IMAP accounts
  • Be accessed via POP/IMAP
  • Forward mail to another address
  • Store several gigabytes, sufficient for all the email 99.99% of people will ever have.

So here is what I do and recommend:

  • Be responsible.  Don’t report as spam real commercial mail, such as stores and services that you patrinize, mailing lists and groups that you signed up for, and contacts that you’ve communicated with (including LinkedIn connections).  Filter such email into folders for later review, change your email settings for those sites and services, unsubscribe from lists, and disconnect with people if deleting email is too much bother.  But don’t report them as spam.  That hurts not just legitimate businesses like them … and yours … but other users who want to receive that email.
  • Get a Gmail account. Set it up:
    • Set all read email to be archived (put in All Mail).  This keeps it an email backup and lets you review report individual messages as spam that Gmail missed.
    • Every few days check the Gmail spam folder.  If you see legitimate mail, mark it as Not Spam.  If you don’t want that mail, delete it from the Inbox. After you review the spam mail, select and delete it all to clear the folder.
  • Develop and implement an email process that allows Gmail to process all your mail.
    • For POP email accounts, set up Gmail to read account mail.   the and forwarding addresses that come to you that puts Gmail in the loop.
  • Set it up to receive mail from your POP/IMAP accounts and forw

Marc Freedman

PS.  Because of aggressive spam flters, DallasBlue and MyLinkDaddy email often go into bulk mail.  Please remember to add marc@dallasblue.com and marc@mylinkdaddy.com to your Address Book and permitted senders list!

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