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Tips and help for regular users

Check out the sections below for tips and tools. Each item is marked with keyletters - W for Windows Users; M for Mac; U for UNIX/Linux; A for Any; I for Information; P for Product; S for Service; and C for Commercial.

Please submit suggestsions, corrections, etc to me.

Spam reporting

  • [AI] How to complain to the spammer's provider is a write-up on the steps of generating a spam complaint.
  • [AI] How to effeciently complain about spam mail is another tutorial on complaining about spam.
  • [AI] Cookie Jar 101 is a tool for generating "fake" addresses traceable to the "spambot" that originally harvested them from your webpage.
  • [AC] SpamCop is perhaps the biggest and best-known spam-reporting tool there is.
  • [AS] Spam Identifier is a tool for looking up the owners of an IP address or domain name.
  • [AS] SpamAbuse.org has spam tracing and reporting tools.
  • [AS] Alert!Spam is a spam reporting service.
  • [ASC] Remove Spam is a spam-reporting service that offers manual tracking and reporting of your spam on a per-report or monthly fee basis.
  • [WP] Spam Control is a shareware reporting tool that works with Microsoft Outlook to forward spam to a reporting organization.
  • [WP] Spam-Abuse is an open source reporting tool for Windows.
  • [WPC] Spam Punisher is a program that assists with creating complaints about received spam.
  • [WPC] DrStopSpam RevengeWare is an automated reporting tool.
  • [UP] Doug Muth's forrep shell script for procmail can send COMPLETE headers of a spam message to some `responsible' person.
  • [UP] adcomplain makes it easy for perl or csh users to report spaMmers.

Tracing spams

  • [AI] Rahul Dhesi on tracing the real account behind a spammer.
  • [AI] Google Groups can be useful for discovering how widely a Usenet spam is distributed.
  • [AI] ed falk's Spam Tracking Page tracks Usenet spam.
  • [AI] Visualware has supplied an E-mail Tracking Tutorial with a considerable amount of information and a small amount of selling of their eMailTrackerPro tool.
  • [AI] AbuseButler lists "spamvertised" (advertised via spam) URLs.
  • [AS] Steve Atkins' Sam Spade web-based tools for tracing spam and Win95/NT freeware tools (dig, relay-check, smart whois, portscan etc.)
  • [AS] UXN Spam Combat web-based tools for tracing spam and decoding obfuscated URLs.
  • [AS] S.P.U.T.U.M.'s SpuTools provides background info on spam tracing, and some FRAMES based pages for novices and experts.
  • [UP] Chip Rosenthal's Ungoopspam is a UNIX command-line tool for de-obfuscating spammers' URLs.
  • [UP] Chip Rosenthal's Spamtrak is a UNIX tool for adding tracking headers to incoming e-mail.

Hiding addresses from spammers

  • [AIS] Tim Williams' E-mail Countermeasures page has a collection of hiding techniques at various levels of complexity and security.
  • [AI] James Thornton has information on doing a redirect to protect addresses and using a graphical '@' to prevent address harvesting,
  • [AS] Sneakemail is an address-hiding service.
  • [AS] The Spam Motel:Spam checks in, but it never checks out? This is an address-hiding service with some extra features.
  • [AS] NetMails.net is another address-hiding service.
  • [AS] TrashMail is a free disposable e-mail address service.
  • [ASC] MailMoat is another disposable e-mail address service.
  • [ASC] Morgle is another free disposable e-mail address service.
  • [ASC] MailSecret allows a secret subject which when entered as the subject will add the sender to your address book and then allow them to send mail to the specified address.
  • [ASC] Privacy Edge is policy-based disposeable e-mail address service.
  • [AS] Escrambler is a site for web page creators that creates a Javascript program that regenerates your mailto: address on the fly.
  • [AS] The Alicorna Obfuscator is a site for web page creators that creates an obfuscated e-mail address using HTML character entities.
  • [AS] Yet another Address obfuscator (auf Deutsch).
  • [AS] The Do Not Disturb Portal e-mail address encoder generates encrypted addresses for web pages.
  • [AS] The MungeMaster claims to be the "best" munge available.
  • [AS] The Enkoder is another online encoder. A Mac OS X 10.2 downloadable application is also available.
  • [AS] MailVeil hides addresses inside of Flash files.
  • [AS] SafeMailto is another address encoder.
  • [AS] SafeEmail.org is yet another address encoder.
  • [WMPC] Spam Vaccine is a tool that webmasters can run over their sites to encode and protect e-mail addresses against web scrapers.
  • [WP] mailto obfuscator.exe is a Windows program that produces obfuscated mailto URLs for inclusion in web pages.
  • [UP] NPH-Email is an NPH perl script that hides your e-mail address behind a redirect.
  • [UP] CGI::ContactForm is a perl module that generates contact forms for web sites.

Spam e-mail blocking and filtering

  • [AP] Mozilla, the open-source browser, has a 'Bayesian' (learning) anti-spam filter built in.
  • [AP] POPFile is a multi- platform learning filter.
  • [AP] SpamBayes is a free Bayesian (learning) filter application.
  • [AP] BlackMamba is a semi-automatic spam filter and email previewer. It lets you connect to your POP3 mail server and peek into your mailbox. BlackMamba automatically categorizes the messages as "friendly", "possible spam", and "spam" based on a few simple configuration steps. It allows you to delete the messages, and it maintains an address book, a list of spammers, and a mail size filter. It should be useful if you've gone on a holiday and haven't checked your email for weeks and know that your mailbox will be full of junk. BlackMamba sorts your email messages without downloading the messages in their entirety.
  • [APC] SpamX is a Java-based blocking and reporting tool for any POP3 e-mail.
  • [AS] despammed.com's filter service removes UCE from email you receive.
  • [AS] spamgourmet.com's limited use addresses expires addresses after a certain number of messages.
  • [AS] N-Dream is a service that logs into your e-mail account and deletes spam out of it.
  • [AS] Tmicha.net is a free e-mail forwarder (with a cute girlfriend) that filters using ORDB and Spamcop.
  • [AS] 0spam is a free mail filtering service for multiple types of e-mail accounts.
  • [AS] Spam Interceptor is a pop3 proxy that adds ease of use and challenge-response to SpamAssassin for the end user.
  • [AS] Cashette is a free service that stops spam for your multiple email accounts. You can name your own price for spam. An advertiser will have to pay you the price you set, or the email will not reach your inbox.
  • [ASC] Mailshell [trial service is free, permanent service available for pay] offers a personalized e-mail domain and filtering and forwarding to a real address.
  • [ASC] eioMAIL.com's Target Revocable E-Mail lets you give out new addresses on the fly and revoke them whenever you like.
  • [ASC] Emailias allows users to generate a unique per-use address which can be used to track contacts by source and easily stop unwanted communication from that source.
  • [ASC] Spamex protects your real email address by letting you create disposable email addresses to use instead.
  • [ASC] Spamfree.net provides a variety of filters (content, relay, attachment, hyperlink and image) and works with your existing e-mail address.
  • [ASC] Broadband Antispam is a service designed to do spam filtering for broadband (cable/DSL) users.
  • [ASC] Atqui Spam Filter is a service that prefilters e-mail and lets you use your current e-mail address and mail server.
  • [ASC] Clean MyMailbox is an anti-spam ASP that requires no software to install, no DEAs, no MX record changes. Users simply sign-up and enjoy clean POP mailboxes.
  • [ASC] CruelMail is an email service provider that lets its users charge senders a delivery fee for all email sent to their accounts. Users may list addresses who won't be subject to the delivery fee. Email for which the delivery fee was not paid won't be delivered to the user. CruelMail collects the fee and transfers it to the user (minus a modest commission).
  • [ASC] Bluebottle Systems operates an asp service to help individuals to protect their mail accounts (including Hotmail) from spam.
  • [ASC] Email Filtering is an e-mail scanning service for single (POP) email accounts and domain filtering. This hosted service means no software to install and updates are managed on hosted servers. 90-95% of spam removed without over blocking. Free 1 month trial available.
  • [ASC] Apexmail Professional is a spam and virus filtered e-mail account service.
  • [ASC] Herbivore prevents spam by automatically utilizing all email messages sent to the users on the Herbivore network. The messages are hash coded to ensure privacy and given a unique ID that identifies sender, title and body content. If more than 2 messages are received and find matches in the database the message is sent to the bulk file allowing the user to make a final determination of validity.
  • [ASC] NoSpam is a consumer-centric tool that provides a simple web interface to manage POP account spam filtering. Users are given a new POP account which will filter incoming email and apply user specified whitelist and blacklist settings.
  • [ASC] GoodbyeSpam.com is anti-spam protection for consumers and small businesses that works with all e-mail accounts including POP3, AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN, IMAP and Juno. Offers three levels of security to defeat even the most persistent spammers and allows users to import addresses from e-mail programs to an "approved" list with a single click.
  • [ASC] Cleanster is a $3/month filtering service for any sort of POP3 mail account.
  • [ASC] The Spam Eater is a server- side challenge-based whitelist service that works with any existing POP address. It also happens to have collided with the boilerplate we use to tell people who have new products how to fill out our form...
  • [ASC] InboxProtection is a filtering service for e-mail that can be used by individuals or ISPs.
  • [ASC] Spam Janitor is a pre- filtering service for non-mission-critical e-mail whose goal is to minimize false positives (real mail deleted as being spam).
  • [ASC] FilterMy.Com believes that they have the easiest spam and virus filtering in the world.
  • [ASC] SafemaiL provides spam and virus filtering with whitelist support.
  • [ASC] ApproveMail.com is a whitelist/challenge-response service.
  • [ASC] Sentinare is a secure spam-free e-mail filtering solution.
  • [ASC] SpamGate! is a challange-response/whitelisting service.
  • [WSC] Cloudmark SpamNet is an Outlook add-in that saves you time and frustration by stopping spam automatically.
  • [WSC] spamXpress is an Outlook Express subscription-based filter system.
  • [AI] George Eby has some instructions on how to delete junk e-mail before you see it under netscape.
  • [MPC] Email Magician is an e-mail management product for Eudora that includes highly flexible filtering capabilities.
  • [MPC] Spamfire is a POP filtering program for Mac OS 9 and OS X.
  • [WMP] Pegasus Mail, an alternative to Outlook, is known for good security and spam filtering capabilities.
  • [WP] SCSMFILTER.EXE is a freeware NT service that filters both incoming and outgoing mail based on all sorts of criteria. It also supports a plugin interface so you can add your own..:-)
  • [WP] SpamGuard is a Windows POP pre- filter that works with most Windows POP-based mailers. It uses a filtering list maintained by the developers on a centralized server, easing the user of the burden of maintaining their own filters.
  • [WP] Spam filter is a program that you run on your PC; it logs into your POP account periodically and deletes e-mail messages containing words or phrases that you choose.
  • [WP] MailWasher allows preview of messages and deletion of spam prior to download.
  • [WP] Spammunition is a freeware filtering system for MS Outlook.
  • [WP] SpamPal is a free blocklist client for Windows systems.
  • [WP] SPAMfighter is a free Outlook client plugin that checks a server for blocking information.
  • [WPC] ChoiceMail is a challenge- response system, software that intercepts e-mail from unknown correspondents and makes them prove that they're humans and not spammers.
  • [WPC] MailSifter is a filtering program for Windows POP clients. It allows a mix of developer-supplied and custom filters.
  • [WPC] MailShield Desktop and Workgroup are filters for Windows POP clients. It features a grading and scoring system for messages to allow fine-tuning of the filtering setup.
  • [WPC] Spam Agent Spam Agent has a comprehensive set of filters that block spam and unwanted emails. It has the ability to create custom filters. It also has the ability to report spammers with a mouse-click.
  • [WPC] SpamAssassin Pro brings the power of SpamAssassin to Outlook and Exchange users.
  • [WPC] Email Express! is an anti-spam email proxy. It uses realtime blackhole lists, word proximity filtering, bug filtering, and active content filtering.
  • [WPC] Anti Spam Software Provides anti-spam email software for Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express and America Online.
  • [WPC] InBox Filter deletes spam messages at your e-mail server before you download them to your e-mail client. Flexible and online updatable filters will help you to catch all spam messages sent to your mailbox.
  • [WPC] Spam Outpost will eliminate the spam in your inbox before you download it. It will detect any possible spam using a comprehensive list of inappropiate words and strings that are common in junk mails. The list is totally editable to suit your needs. You can also add emailaddresses, domains and names that you want no more email from.
  • [WPC] SpamBurner is a combination of filter and restricted e-mail client that can use Outlook or Outlook Express as a viewer.
  • [WPC] No Damn Spam eliminates spam email essentially 100% for most net users (all POP3 and IMAP4 accounts), and is especially easy for Outlook Express users.
  • [WPC] SpamButcher is an anti-spam filter for Windows users. It uses Fuzzy Logic to eliminate up to 98% of Spam.
  • [WPC] SpamBully combines a number of techniques (filtering, blocking spamhauses, challenge-response, whitelists) in a single system.
  • [WPC] Spam Alarm blocks 99% of unwanted junk messages by combining our innovative multilevel filtering, statistical analysis of individual words and heuristic scanning.
  • [WPC] Spam Inspector works with Outlook, Outlook Express and AOL.
  • [WPC] PocoMail is an alternative Windows e-mail client with built-in spam filtering.
  • [WPC] spamPepper is 100% spam blocking for POP accounts without using filters. Valid senders register through a secure protocol to allow their m ail through.
  • [WPC] SpamWeed is a personal POP3 proxy that filters spam using a combination of Bayesian filter, auto-whitelist, black list and other technologies. It blocks most of the spam (usually over 95%) with almost no false-positives. Very effective and time-saving for users.
  • [WPC] McAfee SpamKiller is rule and filter based spam blocker for Windows.
  • [WPC] Spam Manager uses multiple techniques to block spam.
  • [WPC] Inboxer can block over 99% of spam and junk email. Unlike most anti-spam products, InBoxer builds unique filters for each user based on his or her mail folders. Uses Bayesian analysis and other advanced techniques to filter for good and junk email.
  • [WPC] Saavor is a challenge-response system (a program that attempts to verify that an e-mail sender is a human instead of a program).
  • [WPC] Eureka is a full e-mail client with intelligent junk filtering, powerful searches and advanced customization.
  • [WPC] Veriat is a certificate system combined with some other (undefined) technologies that claims a 1 in one million false positive rate.
  • [WPC] Ella for Spam Control is a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook. It uses adaptive learning and bayesian filtering to eliminate spam. Ella also automatically sorts incoming mail into user-defined folders for easy prioritization of messages.
  • [WPC] MailMate is a simple, yet powerful Anti-Spam software to keep you away from the pain of junk email without changing how you receive e-mail.
  • [WPC] Xtrawise Spam Filter for Windows supports all standard POP3 email clients without any configuration including Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape Mail, Opera, Eudora and Pegasus Mail. Also blocks Windows Messenger Service Spam.
  • [WPC] Qurb Qurb anti-spam software received PC Magazine's Editor's Choice for anti-spam software. The Qurb plug-in to Microsoft Outlook and Outlook Express completely blocks spam from your Inbox by automatically compiling and managing a white list of approved senders. Qurb's spoof-proof white list make it impossible for spammers to reach you by pretending to be someone you know.
  • [WPC] Lockspam is free but safe anti-spam software for Outlook users.
  • [WPC] Email Sentinel Pro converts your incoming messages to harmless plain text messages. It also intercepts and handles email attachments on the fly and creates White Lists, to decide which senders can safely send you HTML emails and/or attachments.
  • [WPC] Mailbox Filter is yet another filtering service.
  • [WPC] Spam Blocker is a spam filter for MS Outlook.
  • [WMI] Sprocket Labs has a write-up on filtering spam in Eudora. Go about 3/4 of the way down the page.
  • [WMI] Eudora users can follow instructions for spam filtering for Eudora 3.0
  • [WMI] Here is another Eudora filter tutorial.
  • [WI] A free tutorial on mail filtering for Outlook and Outlook Express.
  • [WI] Free Spam Filtering Tactics Using Eudora is pretty much what it sounds like.
  • [UP] rblcheck includes sendmail and qmail examples of how it can be used by procmail to check if the sending site is in the RBL
  • [UP] despam is a procmail + perl + BBDB package to filter spam.
  • [UP] junkfilter, a comprehensive procmail-based junk e-mail filtering system by Gregory Sutter and Matthew Hunt.
  • [UP] The SpamBouncer is a procmail package for filtering spam, as well as stopping some of the common viruses.
  • [UP] SpamAssassin is a perl script which detects incoming spam to a user's mailbox, using text patterns, header analysis, Vipul's Razor and the set of DNSBL services. It can run from procmail, from .forward, or from a Mail::Audit filter.
  • [UP] maildrop is a procmail like program, although larger (C++) and more efficient, with built in filtering capabilities.
  • [UP] Jason Rennie's program ifile (intelligent mail filter) may be usable to spot `duplicate' messages.
  • [UP] mapSoN can be used like procmail to reject certain domains, or require users to send a reply before allowing email to be delivered. It relies on properties of the remote system to work, so certain users may not be able to get email through.
  • [UP] Bogofilter is a learning filter that can run from procmail or maildrop.
  • [UP] Spamprobe is another learning filter that can run from procmail or maildrop.
  • [UP] Quick Spam Filter is another learning filter.
  • [UP] CRM114 is another learning filter.
  • [UI] Tutorial on filtering with procmail
  • [UI] acme procmail filtering instructions

Resources for parents

This section is new, please send submissions to the address below.

Stopping popup spams on Windows

It's somewhat arguable whether Messenger popups are "real" spam, but we get enough questions about them that we're supplying the following reference.
  • [WI] The authors of the book _Internet Privacy for Dummies_ have a tutorial on turning off Windows Messenger. They're a couple of nice guys as well as being principals of CAUCE and friends of mine.

Stopping blog spams

  • [AI] BlogSpam.ORG is a resource site for stopping spam to blogs (weblogs).

Scott Hazen Mueller / E-mail me