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Fighting Spam...

Written by on April 25, 2004

We all know "spam"; it has been around for the last 10 years and is currently weakening the most effective communication system ever created - emails.

I receive about 20 times as many spam emails, than regular ones - that is a lot of noise. But it has been months, since I notice a single one of them. "How", you ask? I will tell you.

In late 2003 I get fed-up with the amount of spam I received, my email address is available all over the web, and has been so for more than 7 years. Many people have asked: "why not just use another, and scrap the old one". Well, it is simple - firstname@lastname.com - I like it.

I set out to remove spam from my life. I tried:

  • several spam-filters - non of them worked (and most of them removed real-emails)
  • Setting up rules to delete emails with offensive phrases, loans, weight etc. It worked like a charm until the spammers started to write these words in any variation imaginable (and some unimaginable)
  • I even, at some point, set a rule with approved words, ruling out all emails that did not include these. That obviously did not work, but I was getting desperate.

Finally I decided to get tough with spam. I simply decided to delete any emails from any unknown source. Meaning that I have three "whitelists"

  1. A list of people I know (and their email addresses)
  2. A list of "safe" domains (like, amazon.com, typepad.com etc.)
  3. A list of "system" words, like "TB-VALID", which will make the email bypass the filter completely. These words are included automatically when people send emails from my websites.

I also setup a new email address, for general inquiries.

That solved it, no spam, nada!

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Thomas Baekdal

Thomas Baekdal

Founder of Baekdal, author, writer, strategic consultant, and new media advocate.

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