Even the mention of spam get the blood boiling in many of us. I probably get more than the average user and that is after multiple levels of filtering. I’m not talking about something that you may have requested to receive at some point in the past, this is stuff that is plain and simple spam. The worst is cranked out by criminal organizations in huge quantities.
There is also a downside to spam filtering. Innocent users can get caught in the crossfire. I just heard from someone I correspond with on a regular basis who had been blacklisted simply because someone else using the same Web host had done something wrong. Those who run the blacklists simply flip a switch without investigating the legitimate people who are harmed. Simply because I send e-mail to a large number of people, I have been blacklisted several times.
Admittedly, some users get lazy. When they get something they don’t want, they simply report it as spam. Never mind that it could have been something they requested at some point and that there was a fully functional option to unsubscribe from future e-mails. Reporting this type of mail can be very harmful to legitimate companies. If you don’t want to receive it in the future, just unsubscribe! And if you want to receive e-mail reliably from me, make sure to whitelist my address. My address is my first name at unleash.com. Sorry that I didn’t spell it out directly, it would just lead to more spam if I did.
Sorry about the rant, now let’s look at some software that can help you to filter the good from the bad. Mailwasher comes in two versions, free and paid. Like most people, I started with the free version. After a couple of weeks, I ordered the paid version and don’t regret it one bit. Mailwasher checks my mailbox and color codes the e-mail as to whether it thinks it is good or bad. I can easily select the bad stuff and delete it (or bounce it) before it lands in my mail reader. I’m also warned about why an e-mail might potentially be bad. For example, it shows me what e-mail comes from a blacklisted source. I also have filtering on my mail server, but it doesn’t stop everything. If I set the server to block more spam, it would mean that many legitimate e-mails would also be blocked. MailWasher simply gives me one more layer of filtering and helps me keep the amount of spam to a minimum.