Question: When I get junk email and add the address to the “blocked sender” list, and create a rule to delete junk email when it comes in, why do I keep getting it?
If it were that simple to block spam, the spammers would have gone out of business long ago.
When you “block” a sender, the mail program takes your command literally and only blocks that sender. Spammers dont wait for you to block an address before they move on, they send their spams from dozens of different adresses all at once.
When you get spam, look at the sending address; are any two the same? Chances are, no.
When you create a rule to delete spam as it comes in, your rule has to be specific enough to catch the spam but general enough so that all of your email doesnt get auto-deleted.
This is hard.
Also, the email program will only delete mail that exactly fits the rule. Which means it catches maybe one in ten or less.
In order to get around all of the many creative ways to block spam, spam mailers have to be even more creative. This is why you keep getting spam. It makes people money.
Oh, that and stupid people. Those are the two reasons…
So now that you know that spam is a never ending flood of junk email that threatens to overwhelm the carrying capacity of the Internet, and that setting up logical rules to block the spam wont work against an illogical and highly creative enemy, what can be done?
Bayesian Filtering. If you are using any sort of Webmail (gmail, msn, aol, hotmail) this wont work for you unless you install a mail program on your computer.
Mail programs, called ‘clients’, are Thunderbird, Outlook, Pine, Eudora, etc. T-bird and Outlook have the most advanced spam filters. Thunderbird actively uses Bayesian filtering and will tell you how to make it work.
Outlook is very passive about spam filtering. There are downloadable add-ons that will give it Bayesian filtering, such as SpamAssassin, and SpamBayes.
I suggest Thunderbird; its the mail program I use, and once the filter gets going, I hardly see any spam.
The reason Bayesian filtering is so effective is that you teach it what you consider spam. As you go along, the filter will learn what to look for and will delete those emails that match the general idea of spam instead of the exact match.
In practical use, it will take about a month for the filter to be running at maximum efficiency.
In the never-ending battle against spam, isnt it worth the time?