Reducing Email Spam – Finally!
Posted on 29/05/2007 in Stories

Why did this take me so long to do? I have been getting upwards of 400 spam messages per day – around 250-300 of these get automatically identified as spam and put straight into my spam folder (which I used to check every day to make sure that I wasn’t missing anything important – like a Viagra special offer!) and the other 100-150 went straight into my In Box! This take ages each morning to work through and was a distraction throughout the day.

Why was I getting so much spam? Because I have so many old websites that have email addresses on them and, more importantly, because I had the “catch all” option selected for most of these old domains. What that meant was that any email that is sent to “[email protected]” will get re-routed to my standard email address. I didn’t bother setting up email accounts for most of these old domains – with catchall on, I didn’t need them. So, all spammers need to know is that my domain name exists and they can send an email to “[email protected]” and it would arrive in my mail box. Stupid!

Anyhow, this morning that all changed! I logged in to the control panel (“cpanel’) of every domain hosting account I had and changed the “Default Email” setting to ” :fail no such address here” – this will now bounce back all those spammy emails to the address they came from! Since I did this about three hours ago, three spam messages have arrived (all to legitimate email addresses) – compare that with the 40 odd I would usually receive during that same time span.

If I wanted to get rid of all spam completely, I could enable BoxTrapper (installed as part of Cpanel hosting accounts). BoxTrapper protects your inbox from spam by forcing all people not on your white list to reply to a verification email before they can send mail to you. This means that if you haven’t approved someone (ie they are not on your whitelist), then they will be sent back an email to verify who they are, before you receive their email. If they do not reply, then you will never see their original email. So, this can be a little dangerous as you might miss out on legitimate emails. But, it will solve your spam problem!

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