I can't believe it! I've got so many spam filters I needed to organize them!

I was adding another spam filter the other day because a piece of spam had made its way past the filters into my inbox. Opened up Eudora’s filters and started looking to see if it made more sense to edit an existing filter and realized that I could spend half the morning looking around to see what filters were already geared towards that general type of spam and what I might have left out.

I love my spam filters. They are very effective little custodians and I never have to see 99.97% of the garbage and sewage that is aimed at my email address, and they also do an excellent job of sorting my mail into the correct mailboxes and alerting or not alerting me according to the rules I set. Despite the rise of dedicated software and email screening services, my custom-made spam filters do a job that no one-size-fits-all spam-killing service can touch. I probably get 100-200 pieces of spam a day (8-25 every 30 minutes during the day) and seldom see so much as the subject titles of any of it.

So I bit the proverbial bullet and did screen shot after screen shot and sat down with the printouts and created categories. And then went back and created empty filters to use as headers, and proceeded to drag and drop filters until I had then all neatly organized into clearly labeled categories! (Also got rid of some redundant filters and combined a few to make more economical & efficient ones).

I ended up with… [hey, this is mundane and pointless!]…

36 filters for catching mail that I do want and sorting it into appropriate mailboxes; a tiny handful of these precede –

1 central filter that tosses anything in which my email address is not a presence in the From or CC header; which is followed by the thest of the “keep” filters; and then–

7 filters for catching “very sneaky” email with unusual and misleading titles;

30 filters for snagging “make money” / “financial success” types of spam;

16 filters for killing credit card, mortgage, bankruptcy, and taxes types of spam;

14 filters for health and diet related spam;

17 filters for computer-geek (“Boost your Windows Reliability”) type spam;

4 filters for spam concerned with cell phones and cellular services;

31 filters for porn spam;

9 filters for travel & vacation spam;

6 filters for catching scams and glurge;

4 filters for picking off meta-spam (trying to sell me spamming software or 10 zillion email addresses);

16 filters for noncommercial junk mail like joke-a-day;

68 domain-specific or company-specific URLS & strings that have been banned to the trash can;

78 “duh” filters that trap for strings and characteristics that are a dead-giveaway for mass email ("$user@");

and 3-4 cleanup filters for handling what mailbox to place any email in if not otherwise handled by a prior filter.
All in all, I’m glad it works as well as it does, but I can’t believe it has come to this!

Who else manages their own filters? Anyone else got a battalion of them like this cleaning up their POP mail?

Yikes! You mean you nearly had to look at the subject of a piece of mail you didn’t ask for?

I just delete the spam. :wally

Lego and Bosda:

Every time Eudora checks for new mail, I get a dozen and a half to two dozen pieces of spam.

Were it not for my filters, any legitimate mail would be buried in that mess, and I’d have to painstakingly select and delete the spam and throw the rest out. And I’d be interrupted with a “new mail” sound and alert box even if the new mail was nothing but spam.

I stopped watching TV a couple decades ago because of all the commercials, but I refuse to give up email.

I like Eudora’s labelling feature. Each spam filter color-codes the message as it goes through, so if I want I can go back and see exactly which filter got it. Useful especially if a legitimate message gets picked up by a spam filter.

OS X geeks might be interested in this article on using UNIX tricks to delete unwanted email before it gets downloaded:

Wow, I can’t think of the last time I got unsolicited spam (except on my temporary AOL account). No filters. What the hell am I doing right, here?

Well, I’ll tell you what I did WRONG: I was very careful when I opened my email account with my current ISP, not to use it for message board posts, online forms, online ordering, newsgroup posts, or anything except for emailing friends and family. And yet two years later I get about 10-15 pieces of spam per day on that account, most of it non-ASCII stuff that isn’t even legible. So what happened? I very stupidly chose a common English word (“bookworm”) as my alias. There are a lot of spammers out there who target a domain and then just send out bazillions of emails to every possible alias (roberta, robertb, robertc, etc.). Anything that doesn’t bounce back is a valid address and can therefore be sold.

Next time I open an account, I’m picking “fjkleiele” as my address, or something equally improbable. The spam is killing me here.