SPAMM -- Return to Sender

If you are a dialup internet user, you can benefit from the tool discussed below.

Spam is just being part of an internet user. It's somewhat like getting junk mail in the regular US Postal System. So, the question becomes, how do you deal with it?

Some Internet users are not aware of how the email system works. When an email is sent to an email address, it goes to a mailer server and resides there until it is either loaded and deleted from the server, or in the case of the product that is being described below, it is deleted directly from the server without ever loading the email to the user's computer.

It's like being able to see what is in the local post office and then determining whether you even want that mail delivered or not. Initially, you may believe that downloading all the mail from the server is not a big problem, but when someone send a large file, ala like pictures, if operating on a dialup telephone line, it can be a very long time completing the download.

The Mailwasher product brings a summary of the emails from your server into your computer, shows who sent it, the title line, time it was sent, and size of the email. You can also display the message header and the first part of the email without loading the entire email. After reviewing the sender and title line, you have the option of deleting the email without ever downloading it onto your system. The option that I like best is if the email is SPAM, you can bounce it, sending it back to the sender if it has a valid return email address. You also have the option of adding a sender to either a friends or blacklist so that if you receive another email from that same sender, mailwasher remembers which class it fits.

When an email is bounced, it appears to the sender that the email was sent to an invalid email address. If the SPAMMer is looking at the email, they will realize that the email address that they have sent to is not a valid email address, as far as they can tell. [In many cases, it is believed that the SPAMMers don't look or care about bounced emails.]

The developers of mailwasher have plans to remove the "bounce" capability from their product because they do not believe that it actually reduces the amount of spam that you may receive. For me, I prefer an older version with the bounce capability. By using the product for a long time, my spam has gone down.

You can include multiple email addresses in mailwasher and then sort the input by time of arrival or by the various email addresses.

I realize that this is not going to stop SPAM, but it feels great to return the SPAM to the sender. The downside of the program is that if a friend sends an email and either doesn't include something in the subject line that looks like it's a real email, you may well bounce email that you don't want to.

If this product interests you, then take a look at

Mailwasher from firetrust that I use.

Copyright 2010 G. Louis Murphy