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Open thread: Favorite spam blocker service?

I've been relatively fortunate with filtering spam over the past couple years (knock on wood). But despite a kickass three-tiered system that includes the world-beating server-side Sieve, plus Mail.app's pretty good client filtering, it's inevitable that even my best-loved private email addresses would find their way into the wrong hands (it's why I recently created "ThanksNo.com" -- an experiment in social re-engineering that you are free to use as well).

So, now that the spelling-impaired Lords of The Dark Side have such renewed interest in my investment options and genital proportions, I'm considering joining a service like Spam Arrest or the apparently deceased Knowspam. I mostly plan to run this on the addresses I use for strictly personal stuff, so I'm satisfied I can start with a "whitelist" to ensure I don't generate loops or dead ends for the "good" senders. But, you tell me...

Apart from running smart filters on your server and in your mail client, what's the best way to protect a mydomain.com-type email address from becoming compromised and punked-out? What are the dangers and cons of using a challenge/response service like Spam Arrest? Apart from abandoning it wholesale, what's the most effective and non-annoying way to rehabilitate a compromised address?

TOPICS: Email, Vox Populi
Michael Kohne's picture

I have to say that...

I have to say that I have general, total, almost unreasoning hatred for challenge reponse systems. I try to send someone an e-mail, and I'm supposed to jump through hoops to do it? I don't have time for that, and I sure don't appreciate other folks (who I'm usually trying to help) forcing me to jump through hoops to get hold of them. I generally will NOT jump through challenge-response hoops to talk to people unless I REALLY need that person and I can't just call them.

Think of it this way: How do you deal with folks who try to shove extra work onto you?

When evaluating a challenge/response solution, you might also want to investigate what happens if two people (using different challenge/response providers) try to e-mail one another. I bet it works if they are on the same service, but I suspect problems with competing services.

One other thing: Poke around the RBLs before committing to one. I've had trouble with SpamCop on more than one occasion because they like to block sizable chunks of address space, and I've ended up as collateral damage. I can't tell you how infuriating it is to have some bunch of people who you don't control tell you that you can't send e-mail and that they just don't care.

Good luck on finding a solution that fits you!




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