Reduce spam using free software

Ian richards
By Ian “Gizmo” Richards

Today I’m going to show you a way to reduce to almost nothing the quantity of spam e-mail you receive using free products and services.

The technique I’ll outline will not only zap your spam but will let your real mail pass unhindered while imposing a minimal processing load on your PC.

The free and easy way to stop spam cold

Does this sound too good to be true? Well, it’s not. I have long used the very same technique to filter my public e-mail box, which attracts up to 1000 spam e-mails a day. Of these, only three or four manage to creep through to my inbox. Additionally, so few of my real e-mails get falsely classified as spam that I don’t even bother checking my spam box for misplaced mail.

That’s the good news. The bad news is the technique works best for users of Outlook Express, Outlook, and Windows Mail, though it could possibly be adapted to other clients. Webmail users are, unfortunately, out of luck.

The key to the technique is the use of two spam filters rather than one — the filter built into Google’s Gmail service and SPAMfighter. Neither of these filters has the best performance available for detecting spam. However, by chaining them together, their overall spam-detection rate is outstanding.

That’s because each of the two detects spam using a different technique, so the effectiveness is additive rather than overlapping.

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