[OT] Goodbye to spam – Maybe


I’m sure you have the same problem. I’ve used the same email address for the last 9+ years and in that time, I’ve probably subscribed to every programming related newsletters out there. I’ve also posted in Usenet and several mailing list with my email address and I now get about 500+ email messages a day. 99% of them are spam message. My email provider offers spam and virus protection services and I use them for my mailbox. The ISP’s spam solution blocks about 50% of the spam and most of the viruses that come my way. I then use Cloudmark’s SpamNet outlook plugin to attack the rest of my spam and it catches anywhere from 50-60% of the spam. This still leaves me with about 100+ messages that I have to go through by hand and pick and choose the email messages I care about.

While surfing around, I discovered Mailblocks. Their claim-to-fame is the spam blocking and address authorization technology called Challenge/Response. If someone sends an email to you and they are not in your personal Addresses list, they will be asked to prove that they are human and not a computer sending you spam. Senders will click on the link in an email and be taken to a web site, where they can quickly confirm themselves as a human. If they click the link and accept, the email they send will be delivered to your inbox. If not, the messages is marked as spam and deleted. Pretty interesting idea.

They also offer a pretty cool option called Tracker, which is an alias to your existing Mailblocks account. Trackers provide disposable email addresses that allow you to receive messages from listservs and mailbox that will not be able to respond back to the Challenge/Response mechanism. Subscribe to some listserv and newsletter using Trackers and then just delete them when they start getting spam.

OK, I’ll stop now before I get accused of shilling for Mailblocks. 🙂 I’ve signed up for an account and will see how it goes. I hope it works as I’m tired of dealing with spam. I’ll keep posting my experience with Mailblocks here on my blog.

PS: Phil Goldman, the CEO of Mailblocks also has a blog.

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