Spam Filters

Question:  What tool do you use for filterng spam email messages?    Date:  3/09

Here are all the responses I received (from three discussion groups).

  • My 2007 version of Outlook does what you want…as I understand it.
  • I use a gmail account to read most of my mail–I have mail from my other accounts forwarded, which is very handy for me.The gmail spam filter is good, and the gmail program lets you look at message addresses and see the first line of content without opening the message (unless the from address is “me”).

    But I haven’t seen any way to set it up to read a message with text, unless you set your program to plain text instead of the enhanced version. So that might not address your concerns about letting someone know that your address is legit.

  • My employer uses Postini and I love it. It does allow you to preview plain text, but when I went to their Web site to look into it a little further, I discovered that it has a 100 minimum user policy. But, perhaps you could search for a program like Postini that doesn’t have that requirement?
  • I’m using It’s pretty simple-minded – any unauthorized mail is held in the “unauthorized” folder on their website until you authorize or for a week. You can authorize or block domains and specific emails. It allows individuals to authorize themselves.Some people don’t like it because it doesn’t really automate anything (which might be nice; I really don’t need to see all the Viagra ads), but since I get a fair amount of unauthorized email, I would rather check it and make sure something I want doesn’t get deleted by an overzealous app.

    It costs about $45/year.

  • Qurb is lovely. I think you can get it fairly cheaply. It doesn’t do anything else, though.I use AVG virus checking, which can be obtained free, and it has a nice spam capability.

    My personal bias is to avoid Norton. It eats RAM and never gives it up. I’m not much happier with McAfee and I’ve used them both. Right now, my favorite is AVG.

  • The hosting company I use have installed SpamAssassin. It ‘scores’ emails, and a score of 5 or more is regarded as spam. I had spam emails transferred to a spam account for some time with SpamBox, but now any email with this score is discarded.I then use Apple’s Mail to further filter emails, and it filters what SpamAssassin lets through.
  • Several people recommended Mailwasher Pro from like it because it looks at all my mailboxes and I can choose to accept, delete and bounce messages before I download them to my computer. I can set up blacklists and friend lists.

    It deals with your email while it still is on the server. The only email you download to your email program is email that you’ve already approved. It learns as you teach it. It also taps into the FirstAlert spam database to mark email from known spammers. It has the usual Friends List, Blacklist, and tremendous custom filters. I deal with about 200 spam messages every day and it takes me 2 minutes to quickly scan the subjects of messages that Mailwasher flags as suspicious. And yes, I can preview the message in plain text. Because the message is still on the server, I’m relatively confident that the sender has no way of knowing that I previewed it. I couldn’t live without it.

  • I’ve completely disabled all spam filtering on all of my email accounts. It just seemed to consume far more time and effort to look at the suspected spam in a different location than to just manage it in one of my multiple inboxes.I’ve found the best spam filter for me is my eyes. In most cases, I can look at the subject and/or sender and instantly determine if a message is spam. In those few cases where I’m not sure, I can view the message source in plain text in my email client (Thunderbird). I don’t think you can do that in Outlook but it can be done in Outlook Express.
  • If you’re using the older model of downloading all your email to your PC… I’d consider adopting a web-based model such as Gmail, Yahoo, or one of the others to keep all the stuff on the server and your PC free of all downloaded email files and the problems associated with ’em. If you were going to keep on downloading them, I’d look at Thunderbird…Assuming you are using an ISP, you can pretty easily set up a free Google ap service to handle your email for you, without changing your email address(es).

    And either Gmail or Google Aps allow you to look at the message in plain text.

  • I use Outlook 2003, and I’ve viewed the message headers before, but on checking realized that the normal method (View > Options) is applicable only to messages that are already open, so no help there.So I googled “outlook view message headers,” and found the answer: right-click on the message and select Options, just as if you were doing the View > Options from within an open message.

    I also eventually found this: It’s pretty old shareware, but Outlook 2003 is obviously pretty old, too. Looks promising, and I might try it out when I have some spare minutes.

    And finally, this looks promising: