Spam, POPFile, & SpamKiller
I’ve decided to stop with the spam count on the left side of the page I was keeping for a couple of reasons.
- It was taking too much time to put it all together – I was spending far more time on that then it deserved.
- I don’t use the same Spam software anymore. The new stuff makes it a little harder to keep track – at least the way I did it.
Due to the policy changes here at the office based on some other (ahem) incidents with some of my industry’s competitors, we’ve been forced to change the way things are done, and I decided to take a look at other spam solutions at the same time. I was looking at a program called POPFile. POPFile is actually a perl client that runs pretty much on anything that can run perl files (which I believe most OS’s have a perl interpreter for).
I was using McAfee’s SpamKiller – and I was using that for a few years up until very recently. SpamKiller is a great program, but I thought I’d look around for other options. POPFile is cool in that it seems far more accurate than SpamKiller is. Both can be “trained” with your own custom rules and whatnot, but I seemed to be spending a lot of time “training” Spamkiller, even months later, which is something that spam software should get better at. There is an update feature in SpamKiller, but even with that, I found I was spending way too much “post processing” time in dealing with my spam.
POPFile on the other hand had a far better “thought process” I think in dealing with spam. “Out of the Box”, you kind of expect any spam software to have problems, saying things are spam that aren’t, and vice versa. I’d expect that any time I started new with a piece of Spam software. However, POPFile got over that initial training period pretty damn fast. Basically POPFile sits as a proxy inbetween your mail client and your actual POP Mail server. It looks at the mail, and will add a few headers like “X-Text-Classification: spam”, or similar style things that you can use to filter your mail when it hits your mail program. Unlike SpamKiller which will actually remove spam from your server, POPFile merely alters the mail so you can filter it on your end. The filtering ratio is amazing – just this morning, the mail I’ve downloaded 4,050 pieces of email, 3,828 of which were spam. That’s a percentage ratio of 97.38% for “getting it right”. Yeah, there’s a few here and there, but of the 105 emails I have classified as incorrect, only ONE of them was a real piece of email that went through to spam. The other 104 were spams that got sent to my inbox, which I reclassified as spam, so next time around I won’t get them.
The program is free, and if you get a lot of spam, I urge you to look into it. SpamKiller is still a great program, but for someone who gets mail in the thousands, I don’t know if it’s the best client – it doesn’t seem to handle MASSIVE amounts of spam as well as POPFile does.
For the record, the last entry I made in my spam counter sidebar was this:
9/29 – 10/6 – 9,185
9/22 – 9/29 – 9,815
9/15 – 9/22 – 7,766
9/8 – 9/15 – 11,452
9/02 – 9/08 – 16,074
8/25 – 9/02 – 15,757
8/22 – 8/25 – 7,879