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Home > My first 100% spam-free day!

My first 100% spam-free day!

Manage spam by doing it at the DNS, like EasyDNS does…..

This morning was a revelation — I retrieved my e-mail at 5:30am, as I do most mornings.

Of the 95 messages waiting (all of which came in overnight), 4 were real, and the rest were spam.

And the fact it, every single spam message was filed in the trash can, where I could give it a cursory review before tossing it. That’s a first, and it tells me that I finally have spam under control here.

There are two tools that have finally given me such a wonderful spam solution.

First, the company (easyDNS) that provides me domain name management services has implemented a beta test of a new feature that intercepts and tags spam as soon as it arrives. (easyDNS is a Toronto based company that provides domain management services — I’ve been using them for years for the 100 or so domains I operate — highly recommended.)

The beta uses the open-source MessageWall code to examine the sender domain of each and every incoming message. In essence, the name of the domain is checked against a variety of sources — is it on a blacklist of known spam providers? Does it fail a “reverse domain lookup,” which makes it suspicious? Is it coming from an e-mail program that is designed to send spam? Does it fail a number of other tests that indicate it is likely spam? If so, EasyDNS tags the message header with a warning, so that my e-mail software (Pegasus) can automatically throw it in the trash.

easyDNS is using a variety of well-known domain black list services such as the Open Relay Database, the Relay Stop List (RSL) and the Spamhaus Block List (SBL). But they are also a founding member of the DNS Provider’s Blacklist Blocklist, a group of similar companies that has banded together to come up with solutions to the spam problem.

The result of the beta? I’ve found that this new feature is getting 75%-80% of the spam arriving here.

Why does 20% still get through? Spam artists, being the low-life scumballs that they are, hijack valid domains that aren’t caught by domain level tests. There is an obvious time lag between the establishment of a new domain name, and when it is first globally identified as a spam-haus.

To deal with that, I’ve got a 2nd line of defense — SpamPal.

SpamPal watches e-mail as it comes in from my Pop3 server, and examines each and every message for likely spam patterns. It does a wonderful job in getting rid of the rest of the stuff that easyDNS didn’t target.

Result? Today, my first spam-free day!

Links:
[ easyDNS ] [ MessageWall ] [ DNS Providers Blacklist ] [ SpamPal ]

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