SPAM! the war and my inbox

Posted on 26 May 2009

SPAM! We all hate it.

I was once told quite some time ago by a close colleague who happens to be a very knowledgeable and successful Internet marketing guru, that the truth behind SPAM, is that it works and works quite well.

If SPAM didn’t work, they would stop. It’s that simple.

But unfortunately for every unsolicited email that gets whacked by our SPAM filters or obliterated with a stroke of the delete key, someone, somewhere is reading, believing, clicking and ultimately confirming to SPAMMERS that the old adage about a sucker being born every minute is true.

I can assure all of you that I am not the sucker. However, if it happens to be you… knock it off. You are are really frustrating us non-suckers!

I have a few dozen email addresses that are in continuous use and of course SPAM is a constant issue with many of them. My combat strategy has always been a two-prong defense and includes both server and client side vectors.

On the server, I use SpamAssassin fully configured with appropriate thresholds and scoring for my tastes and a whole handful of black list services implemented.

On the client side, I use Mail (default Mail application in OS X) with SpamSieve which is primary a bayesian algorithm based implementation.

The combination of these two work rather well for me and on any given day, SpamAssassin is working overtime with an average of 3,000 to 4,000 emails cleaned and whatever slips by is picked up by SpamSieve, which averages just over 400 SPAM messages a day.

Unfortunately I didn’t capture a screenshot of my SpamSieve statistics before the recent reload of this machine earlier this month, it would have been very interesting to see SPAM statistics over an 18 month time period.

This is my current statistics from SpamSieve for the period from 05/12/09 to 05/26/09

SpamSieve Statistics 05-26-09

It has always been at 99% or better and makes an excellent backup to catch what sneaks through the server.


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