There’s too much email floating along the inter webs these days. If it’s not a few hundred cc’d company messages, it’s the daily bout with spam. The Junk Mail filter that Apple gives Mac users in Mail is decent, but if it doesn’t work for you there is a better alternative.
How To Control Spam
My first encounter with spam occurred back in the 20th century. Once our company switched from Microsoft Mail to email using the internet and company’s domain name, there was no longer any peace or joy in email.
Through the years various Mac apps have attempted to corral the onslaught of spam which seems to materialize out of thin air. Every day.
Apple’s built-in Junk Mail filter works, but seems to become more stupid over time, especially as spammers become more sophisticated.
Back when Microsoft’s Entourage was my email app of choice, I switched to SpamSieve (partly because Microsoft’s Junk Mail filter was worse than Apple’s).
SpamSieve was the only solution that worked with Mail and Entourage, but it also integrates with other Mac email apps (MailForge, MailMate, Mailsmith, Outlook, Postbox, PowerMail but not Thunderbird or recent versions of Eudora).
There’s not even much to setup and configure in SpamSieve. Download and install. Double-click to open. Click a couple of boxes and a setting and you’re done.
SpamSieve opens automatically when Mail is opened. Incoming email to Mail is routed through SpamSieve first, and it learns and adjusts itself to your email. It can create a whitelist of good email addresses, and maintains a growing blocklist which catches most spam.
SpamSieve also has visual cues– colors which show whether a message is spam or not. It’s smart enough to know that email addresses in your Address Book or Contacts list should always be delivered.
I like the option to turn off Mail’s new mail notification and have SpamSieve notify me only when non-spam email messages arrive in my Inbox. The app also decodes encoded spam, and checks inside attached images, documents, and folders to determine spam content.
Statistics are captured in real time so you’ll know how many good messages have arrived, how many spam messages have been filtered, how accurate SpamSieve is, and how many good and bad messages are stored in the corpus database.
Once you setup SpamSieve about the only action required is to help train the app by selecting a spam message that isn’t filtered and tell SpamSieve to Train As Good from the Message menu.
Your mileage may vary, of course, but my success rate is right around 99-percent and false positives for the past year can be counted on my fingers.