Fighting the spam email battle

Most of us are not "computer people" so post your technical questions and comments here. If you have computer or Internet expertise, share it here.

Moderators: Keith B, carlson1

User avatar

Topic author
Charles L. Cotton
Site Admin
Posts: 16501
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Friendswood, TX
Contact:

Fighting the spam email battle

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Sat Mar 21, 2015 4:56 pm

I get around 1,500 spam emails every week at one of my email addresses. I use a server level spam filter that is set pretty tight now and I use a black list also at the server level. I have "rules" set up in Outlook. I cannot go to a white list-only, so that's not an option.

My other email addresses get a fraction of the spam emails that go to my "main" email address. Would it do any good for me to delete my main email address for 30 days or so? If spammers drop bad email addresses periodically I would think deleting it for a while would help. If spammers don't cull their lists, then it won't help.

Chas.
Image


jminn1
Member
Posts: 100
Joined: Tue Jan 07, 2014 9:32 pm
Location: Flower Mound, Texas

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby jminn1 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:15 pm

Chas,

I'm sorry to say it won't help.
Spammers broadcast to collections of email addresses numbering in the tens (or even hundreds) of millions, and are counting on very very small percentage in reply "hits" to be successful.
Some of them even embed 'web bug' URL bombs in their email which phone-home as soon as someone opens the email in html mode.

Our servers at work encounter 75-100 thousand junk emails per day.

I'm personally seeing 500 to 600 spams per week to my junk personal email address I use for sites I don't trust. It's obnoxious.

It sounds like you have a good strategy for dealing with the problem. Once your address is 'out there', it will continue to get spammed forever.

jminn1
The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it.
-Albert Einstein

User avatar

mojo84
Senior Member
Posts: 7812
Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2011 4:07 pm
Location: Boerne, TX (Kendall County)

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby mojo84 » Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:55 pm

I do not get near that many spam emails. However, I have seen a significant increase in the number over the last two or three weeks.

My problem is that spammers have started using my email address as their return/reply to address. I get 200-300 undeliverable bounce backs a day. It's driving me nuts.

Good luck Charles. Let us know if you figure anything out.

User avatar

Topic author
Charles L. Cotton
Site Admin
Posts: 16501
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 9:31 pm
Location: Friendswood, TX
Contact:

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby Charles L. Cotton » Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:56 pm

jminn1 wrote:Chas,

I'm sorry to say it won't help.
Spammers broadcast to collections of email addresses numbering in the tens (or even hundreds) of millions, and are counting on very very small percentage in reply "hits" to be successful.
Some of them even embed 'web bug' URL bombs in their email which phone-home as soon as someone opens the email in html mode.

Our servers at work encounter 75-100 thousand junk emails per day.

I'm personally seeing 500 to 600 spams per week to my junk personal email address I use for sites I don't trust. It's obnoxious.

It sounds like you have a good strategy for dealing with the problem. Once your address is 'out there', it will continue to get spammed forever.

jminn1


I was afraid of that. Thanks for the information.

Chas.
Image

User avatar

suthdj
Senior Member
Posts: 2249
Joined: Mon Apr 20, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: North Ft Worth(Alliance area)

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby suthdj » Sat Mar 21, 2015 6:23 pm

What I do is have 1 main email address and a bunch of alias address's that deliver to my main one, each alias has a purpose like 1 is nra@myserver.com so if I start getting a bunch of junk mail I know who I can blame and cut off. Doesn't stop the spam but does give you control to cut off the address forever without losing your main email address.
21-Apr-09 filed online
05-Sep-09 Plastic Arrived
09-Sep-13 Plastic Arrived

User avatar

Pawpaw
Senior Member
Posts: 5319
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 11:16 am
Location: Hunt County

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby Pawpaw » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:42 pm

I used to run the Outlook plugin SpamBayes with excellent results. It starts off pretty good and learns from what you mark as spam.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to work with Outlook 2013.

http://spambayes.sourceforge.net/
Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence. - John Adams

NRA Benefactor Life Member


katmandu
Member
Posts: 119
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 7:08 pm

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby katmandu » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:55 pm

Hi Charles,

Do you have a Gmail account, or would you be willing to get one?

Google's spam filtering, though not perfect, is close to brilliant on its own, and you can set up your own filters as well.

You can read email from your personal account into Gmail, and send from Gmail back out through your personal email account. No one will know you're using a Gmail account unless they look at the email headers ( very few will ).

Email read in from your personal account will run through Google's spam filters, unless you specifically exclude that account with a filter.

You can connect to Gmail with Outlook too, either POP or IMAP.

Jeff
Last edited by katmandu on Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.


uthornsfan
Senior Member
Posts: 381
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:13 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby uthornsfan » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:57 pm

I would recommend you use a Anti-Spam service such as http://reflexion.net this is what all of our clients (We do outsourced IT) and it SIGNIFICANTLY reduces the number of SPAM messages you will get. Its quite versatile.

Where is your email hosted?

User avatar

bmwrdr
Senior Member
Posts: 861
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:05 pm

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby bmwrdr » Sun Mar 22, 2015 12:44 pm

katmandu wrote:Hi Charles,

Do you have a Gmail account, or would you be willing to get one?

Google's spam filtering, though not perfect, is close to brilliant on its own, and you can set up your own filters as well.

You can read email from your personal account into Gmail, and send from Gmail back out through your personal email account. No one will know you're using a Gmail account unless they look at the email headers ( very few will ).

Email read in from your personal account will run through Google's spam filters, unless you specifically exclude that account with a filter.

You can connect to Gmail with Outlook too, either POP or IMAP.

Jeff


:iagree: That's what I did years ago. I usedd a verizon.net e-mail account and address for years and the spam filters at the provider side were insufficient. I signed up for a gmail account and started using it as my main private e-mail address. Within my google account I set up a retrieval feature for my old e-mail account at the Verizon POP3 server to doenload my e-mail from there to my google inbox. I stopped sending via the Verizon account and it cleared the number of spam e-mail while I still could receive all inbound messages from my old account. Three years later I have hardly ever received e-mail over the Verizon servers and turned the retrieval feature off. All my contacts know my new e-mail address by now and the issue is cleared. The provider side spam filter on the Google account works and does not cost a penny.
I also quit using e-mail clients because of the security flaws within are a risk and require regular software updates and service packs.
The Google web interface has all features I need and Google voice integrates nicely as well.
I scarified political correctness to preserve honesty ︻╦̵̵͇̿̿̿̿══╤─

User avatar

G.A. Heath
Senior Member
Posts: 2637
Joined: Sat Mar 31, 2007 9:39 pm
Location: Western Texas
Contact:

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby G.A. Heath » Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:59 pm

I have spamassassin running on my pc that handles email, my primary account has around 100-300 or so spam messages get through to me a day depending on how active the spammers are. The problem is that while it filters the other 2000 or so spam messages it takes hours if I do not keep that machine up so that it can check the email every 10 minutes. Recently I recreated an account I used only for one specific "Gun Rights" group that swears they do not share your address with anyone, and I had deleted that email account years ago. Within 24 hours that account had 400 messages waiting, none of the email providers I access via pop3 and smtp have server side filtering in place for my accounts because I am afraid of their filters getting too aggressive.
I am a Podcaster who talks about Firearms, especially in Texas. I am also a Gun guy, Car Guy, and Computer Guy.

User avatar

Jim Beaux
Senior Member
Posts: 1323
Joined: Mon Feb 20, 2012 11:55 pm

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby Jim Beaux » Sun Mar 22, 2015 2:54 pm

I really like the utility of Outlook- but security and spam control is more important to me so I use Thunderbird. I set up my own spam filters to work in conjunction with Tbirds adaptive filters.

I use my main email account & hardly ever use a throw-away account. It may be hard for some to believe, but I dont have a spam problem.

Tbird can handle several different (pop) email accounts.

Spam that gets through goes to my junk folder. I then verify and forward to my isp provider & [url]spam@uce.gov[/url] (I set up a mail list and forward the spam as attachments, whole process literally takes less than 5 seconds). My isp provider blocks the spammer and Im not sure what the dickens the government site does. :roll:

Thunderbird and Junk / Spam Messages

To deal with the large amount of unsolicited email ("spam" or "junk mail") that most people have to cope with, Thunderbird uses an adaptive filter that learns from your actions which messages are legitimate and which are junk.
https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/thunderbird-and-junk-spam-messages

Ive recently notice more spam coming through...about 2 per day vs 1-2 every 4-5 days.

My initial filters are:

Filter for Contacts

1. Match any of the following-

2. From is in my "Personal Address Book"
3. From is in my "Collected Address Book"
4. From is in my "Business Address Book"

5. Set status to - as not junk
6. Move message to local in-box


Filter for Unknown Sender-

1. Match any of the following-
2. From isnt in my "Personal Address Book"
3. From isnt in my "Collected Address Book"
4. From isnt in my "Business Address Book"
5. If "Subject" contains - porn, XXX, viagra, free, sex, insurance, diploma....

5. Perform These Actions-
6. Set status to - junk
7. Move message to junk folder. (I check the folder before reporting and deleting)

I also have other filters for specific items such as forwarding copies of statements or social events to my wife.

If you try Tbird you will have a learning curve and it will take a short time for its heuristics to adapt. Any mail that comes in you have to specify if it's "not junk" or is "junk". I would collect and specify weekly in batches - simple as a right click.
“In the world of lies, truth-telling is a hanging offense"
~Unknown


BigGuy
Senior Member
Posts: 632
Joined: Fri Aug 10, 2012 11:36 am

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby BigGuy » Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:17 pm

You said a server level spam filter. Can I assume it's something similar to Barracuda? If so, just ignore the rest of this post. Otherwise, you might want to look at that solution.
We use the Spam Firewall 400. It blocks close to 1.5 million spam attempts per day. We recently had to upgrade from the 200. Our mail server will bog down to 8+ hour queue times if the Barracuda goes offline.
Depending on you requirements, the Spam Firewall 100 starts at just under $700, and the annual subscription for updates (An essential element) runs about $400. This is obviously an enterprise product, not a consumer one.
I have no stock or financial interest in this company, but I am a very satisfied customer.


uthornsfan
Senior Member
Posts: 381
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:13 pm
Location: Austin, TX

Re: Fighting the spam email battle

Postby uthornsfan » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:45 pm

BigGuy, not knocking your product but anything that you have to purchase, then let it run on your network side is a waste of money. You are bogging down your bandwidth and systems for no reason. Get a hosted solution that will run you the same cost per year, but it will save you the bandwidth and hassle of renewal.


Return to “Technical Tips, Questions & Discussions (Computers & Internet)”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest