February 11, 2003

Spam

Welcome Back, You Have 284 New Messages... Was your inbox out of control after the holidays? You take a few days, or maybe even (gasp) a week or two off, and you pay the penalty by inbox mayhem. For the first time ever, my own business email system received fewer messages than my email account for this site. Amazing.

Everyone's getting into the act, too. Senator Joe Lieberman, now a fully-declared Presidential candidate, recently employed the services of a mass mailing e-marketer and sent out spam mail about his platform. The ironic part is that the good senator actually helpled sponsor an anti-spam bill in 2002. Apparently, that doesn't apply to him.

One more thing regarding spam: it's not just a nuisance, sometimes it's actually harmful. Case in point, last night I checked my email one last time before powering down. In popped a *.pif virus wrapped in an email attachment. Thank God for antivirus progams.

Speaking of which, here's a few that you might find useful: CoffeCup makes what looks like a good one called Spam Blocker. There's a free version available as well as a paid version. You define trusted addresses and tell it to leave those alone, but then define rules for other messages to get automatically dumped, such as those that contain things like "Free", or "porn" or "refinance your house". You can also take an email message that's in yor inbox and tell the program that "this is spam" and not to let it in again.
Another great program and one that's known to lots of readers is Eudora Mail. This is one of the most secure systems around and lets you do many of the same things Spam Blocker does.

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