What do I use for spam prevention?

December 2, 2008 / Updated: April 23, 2017 / Lena Shore
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I was curious about what you use for your spam filters – mine is getting out of control with the viagra offers!


I use two types of spam filters.

First, I use SpamAssassin on my servers. So, anyone that I’m hosting (including myself!) that gets email through it has that installed on their account when it is set up. SpamAssassin is really nice because it has a way for each user to adjust his or her own filter level.

Every email gets a negative or positive score through a battery of checks when it lands on the server. The higher the score, the more likely it is spam. The idea is to catch all the “spam” and leave you with only “ham” (good email). Customizable spam filtering makes this possible for each person.

For instance, if you wrote an email that had the word “Viagra” in it, that might be a -1. Blind carboning or carboning a lot of recipients might be -2. Writing a long paragraph about something might give you a +1. There are plenty of other checks SpamAssassin does on the hidden information in your email too. So, when it is all said and done, a particular email might get a score of 5. If Spam Assassin is set for 4, you won’t ever see it. If you have Spam Assassin set for 6, it will show up in your inbox.

I have had clients go from 100s of spams a day to practically none. They were scared their email wasn’t working until they realized they were only getting emails they wanted.

It’s a great product. They also are used “behind the scenes” in applications you can use on your computer:

The other spam filter I use is on my Macintosh. I use the Mail.app to read my email. It has built in junk mail filters you can train. I only get about 10 emails a day that are spam and 9 of them will land in the junk mail. So, that’s pretty good. I can deal with one junk mail a day.

Another great Macintosh product I’ve used that is really good is SpamSieve. You can get this and install it as an addon to your email program.

And, lastly, you can always try VersionTracker to search for spam programs and view ratings by users like yourself.