Longtime subscriber and friend Choppy Cusachs wrote about his experiences with spam arriving on his domain…
A few years ago I got a site, [domain name removed, let’s use " example.com], to use for family
information sharing. I never got around to building the site,
but I set up three or four addresses there to be forwarded
to me at this one.
I put some silly addresses on cards and gave them to people
who wanted to be able to contact me, things like Flatulus
or Choppy@example.com, as well as the intentionally
forwarded ones. Since all mail not specifically to be sent
to someone else — my wife has an address, too — get sent
on to me, I started getting all manner of spam sent there.
Currently I get a few hundred spam messages a day, some
to or pretending to be from real addresses but many
pretending to come from some combination of letters at
example.com. I go to webmail and look for the occasional
genuine message there by mistake, then delete the rest.
Often there are 200 or more at a time, and I do this 3 times
a day. We have a router here and our computers are up to
date with AVG anti-virus and I run Spybot, etc. from time to
time looking for malware.
No legitimate message has ever been sent from my site,
though it is easy to change this mail program to put almost
any From: address on an outgoing message.
Is there any way you know to clear up this mess without
giving up my site? I suspect I’m not alone.
Incidentally the family in Spain has a site, example.com, that
is actively used for reunion information.
I’ve let my Clickers membership expire since it appears that
the e-mail conferences can’t get through. Don’t know if the
problem is with the club ISP or with Bellsouth, but I’m sure
I’m not the only member to give up. I get to Baton Rouge
very rarely these days, and at my age, 76, don’t like to have
to drive back to St. Tammany Parish late at night. But I
miss the club. I’m glad to get your newsletter.
Most web hosting companies offer one or more anti-spam programs. These should be smart enough to identify and block some of the arriving spam.
However, the danger in having the anti-spam filters automatically delete emails is that they will also have false-positives. That is, they will mis-classify legitimate emails as spam. If you let the anti-spam system automatically delete the spam it finds, you will lose good emails, too.
I prefer to have the anti-spam filters identify and mark the spam, but to retain it. That way, I can download my emails, filter it to a spam folder so I can check it later.
After all, Murphy’s Law of Email says that "The more important an email is, the more likely it is to be mis-identified as spam."
On my personal computer, I use the free email classification program PopFile to provide much more extensive anti-spam services.
You can download PopFile from http://getpopfile.org.