Spamicide

Lots of bloggers are suffering from spam it seems. One of the ahem, benefits of having a visible web presence I suppose. I recommend SpamAssassin to anyone who’s:

  • Using a linux/BSD/etc. system
  • Can insert the aforementioned into their email path

There is also a windows outlook plugin version that costs money, plus several other methods of integrating it (perl scripts and the like – details on the site).

With regard to my second point, one option that occurs (and I haven’t tried this yet as I’ve just thought of it) is to have a ‘public/private’ email pair. Publish the public one freely on the web, subscribe to mailing lists etc, and have all the mail retrieved using a FreeBSD / Linux machine running fetchmail -> procmail -> spamassassin. Save the other one for sending messages to individuals. Procmail can be made to forward messages after they’ve been filtered, so you can still have all your email delivered to the same place. It does require that you have a reasonable degree of access to a connected unix box though.

I did start to write about a sort of interface-implementation separation for email, but I realised it would only be one-way: while it would be fine to have a public email you told everyone to use to contact you that was then bounced to your ‘real’ address, there is no easy way to make this work in reverse. Any mail you sent would have your private address in it. There are ways to work around this, using anonymous remailers or services like anonymizer.com or you could run your own mail server. None of which are entirely transparent unfortunately (you can’t just hit ‘reply’ from your favourite mail client).

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