How to Really Eliminate SPAM: Page 2

Posted January 20, 2009
By

Eric Geier

Eric Geier


(Page 2 of 2)

Tips on using email verification services

Keep the following in mind when using a challenge-response solution:

  • Import email addresses to your approved sender list: If this feature is available and you have a list of people whom you communicate with, such as from an address book, importing can save a lot of time for you and them.
  • Consider adding an organization's domain to your approved senders list:As mentioned earlier, though the address you send messages to is added to the approved list, the message might be forwarded to a another person at the organization. Therefore, to prevent the person from having to go through the verification process, you might want to add the domain to your approved domain list. Just remember you shouldn't add shared domains, belonging to ISPs or email providers — you don't want emails from any AOL or Hotmail user, for example.
  • Consider adding the domain when initiating communication from a contact form on a site: Adding an organization's domain to the approved list is especially helpful when initiating communication using a contact form on their site, since no address for the organization will be automatically added to your approved list.
  • Don't add your own address to your approved senders list: SPAM messages can arrive looking as if they were sent from your account, so approving your address will probably let unwanted messages through.
  • Add email lists to the special approved to list: If you belong to an email discussion or newsletter list where the messages show a different address for the To field (instead of your email it shows the list's), see if your service lets you specify approved email list addresses.
  • Check unverified email periodically: Again, this service isn't always going to work like we want it to. Be sure you check messages that haven't been verified. If you find messages that you want to let through, select and verify them. You might find legitimate automated emails, or even messages from people that haven't yet completed the process.

The Anti-SPAM Battle

We discussed how verification solutions usually work better for you than filtering. We also discussed tips on using this challenge-based service. Of course, neither solution will be 100% effective in blocking unwanted — and only unwanted — emails. You'll probably have gripes about both types.

Eric Geier is an author of many computing and networking books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Microsoft Windows Vista (Que 2007).


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Tags: email, services, spam, server, IT


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