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
- 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).