Spam Solutions II - WebReference Update - 020926 | WebReference

Spam Solutions II - WebReference Update - 020926

WebReference Update: September 26, 2002

This week, by popular demand, we continue our series on spam solutions with a more in-depth look at what software is available, and some tips that you can use to reduce the deluge. In other voices Digital Web thinks fluid design, Adaptive Path talks user- friendly URLs, and we welcome a new site into the fold. In Net news this day, Microsoft finds FrontPage flaw, Mozilla releases Phoenix, Ulead updates software, and Microsoft gives us a glimpse of their version of the future.

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New this week on WebReference.com and the Web:

1. FEATURE:  Spam Solutions II
2. OTHER VOICES: 
3. NET NEWS: 

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1. FEATURE: Spam Solutions II

The response from our first spam story was tremendous. Apparently I'm not the only one who has been inundated with spam. Many readers sent in other tips and tools that they use to reduce their spam load. As promised here's another installment of Spam Solutions. For those of you just tuning in, here's the first installment:

http://www.webreference.com/new/020916.html

Spam, or unsolicited email, has exploded on the Internet. With a marginal cost of zero email advertising and solicitations have a heady appeal to marketers hoping to sell their wares. Spammers use special spiders and software, and buy huge targeted email lists to email tens of thousand, and yes millions of users at a time. If only a small percentage of users respond, spammers can make money.

Email program makers like Qualcomm (Eudora) and Microsoft (Outlook) offer partial solutions. Eudora users are encourage to enable "Moodwatch" or create filters to redirect potential spam to other mailboxes.

http://www.mindspring.com/~aegreene/eudora/no-spam.htm

Outlook users have "Junk E-Mail" and "Adult Content" filters that work by searching keywords and can download filter updates, but these aren't 100% effective. That urgent business proposal from Uganda still seems to still slip through. As fast as users tweak their filters, spammers find another way in. What users need is a more robust approach.

* Steps to Stop Spam

First, avoid making your email address easy to harvest. Consider using Hotmail or a similar account when posting messages to the web. Use your primary or business account only for communicating with colleagues. Second, disguise your email by spelling it out, (andy at jupitermedia dot com) using JavaScript, or embedding words that users remove before sending you email.

Third, don't let the smammers know you are there. Don't reply to spam expecting to be removed, you've just confirmed your existence. Also, turn off automatic HTML image downloading in your email program, the default (at least in Eudora) of on, automatically registers that they've got a live one at the other end of that email. When I turned off "Automatically Download HTML Graphics" in Eudora, the amount of spam I received went down.

* Spam Software

There are two approaches to filtering unwanted spam: server-side and client-side. Server-side solutions nip the problem at the ISP level before they ever get to you. Here are some solutions:

Brightmail - Spam Wall, popular ISP option works with sendmail
http://www.brightmail.com/
http://www.sendmail.com

SpamShield - Perl based filtering for sendmail
http://www.spamshield.org/
http://www.onlamp.com/pub/a/onlamp/2002/09/12/spamshield.html

Sendmail anti-spam measures (be sure to get the latest version):
http://www.sendmail.org/m4/anti-spam.html

Spamcop.net lets the spam flow to the ISP, but you redirect your email to them, they filter it, and your retrieve it back from them.

http://www.spamcop.net

* Client-side Spam Solutions

Client-side solutions abound. Other than Spamfire and Spamassassin that we mentioned last time here are some other client-side spam solutions (all Windows):

http://www.digiportal.com - Choice mail, permission-based approach
http://www.mailfrontier.com/ - Matador, combines techniques
http://www.mailwasher.net/ - Mail Washer, freeware
http://www.mcafee.com/myapps/msk/ - Spam Killer from McAfee

For more information on spam and some solutions see:

http://www.business2.co.uk/articles/web/0,1653,43199,00.html
http://chronicle.com/free/v49/i05/05a04701.htm
http://www.clickz.com/em_mkt/em_mkt/article.php/1467431
http://www-106.ibm.com/developerworks/library/l-spamf.html
http://news.com.com/2100-1023-959694.html
http://slashdot.org/articles/02/09/17/1746248.shtml
[contents]


2. OTHER VOICES:  Fluid Thinking
User-Centered URL Design
New Site: DatabaseJournal.com

3. NET NEWS:  Microsoft finds 'critical' FrontPage security flaw
Mozilla flies over speed bumps
Ulead sharpens photo software
Microsoft Shows Off The Office Of The Future

That's it for this Thursday, see you next time.

Andrew King
Newsletter Editor, WebReference.com
aking at jupitermedia dot com



Created: September 26, 2002
Revised: September 26, 2002

URL: http://www.webreference.com/new/020926.html