In a recent online newsletter, several subscribers had written about the anti-spam systems and spam filter programs that they used to keep their mailbox clean.
One of those comments was from reader Ron Spruell about his experience with Gmail’s spam filtering:
I don’t know what Google does, but the Spam on this account has been almost zero.
And I wrote:
He’s right — Google’s gmail.com does a great job of deleting spam. However, it’s such a good job that I wonder what its false-positive (mistakenly labelling an email as spam, when it really wasn’t) rate is.
I prefer spam-filtering systems that identify the email as suspected spam, but then still delive it to a folder so that I can confirm that the message isn’t a good one.
Well, long-time reader Ken Kennedy wrote to tell me that issue is covered;
GMail already has this! It’s called the Spam Folder!! GMail holds messages in the Spam folder for 30 days, then deletes them. I probably et 500 spams a month, and GMail only lets through 3 or 4 in that time. As for false positives, I gave up checking the Spam folder long ago, as I got tired of fishing for good emails and never finding any. In the unlikely event that there is a false positive, if its sender doesn’t get on my case within 30 days, then it probably wasn’t that important anyway. So far, so good.
Here is my anti-spam procedure that just plain works, and it’s FREE.
I have quite a few email accounts. I have configured GMail to pick each of them up. (settings > accounts > Get mail from other accounts:). As I use Thunderbird on my computer, I take advantage of GMail’s ability to have messages picked off its server.
(so far)No false positives
One "get mail" in Thunbderbird downloads mail from all accounts via GMail, and its excellent spam filtering.
That’s great to know, Ken. I haven’t experimented with using Gmail’s POP3 or SMTP functions, but I think it’s about time for me to try them.