My quest to find the perfect spam solution continues. As I reported last week, I decided to try Spamex to solve my spam woes. I've since moved on to Mailblocks, and think that this may be the one for me.
The concept of disposable email addresses (DEAs) used by both Spamex and Mailblocks is a good one. On Spamex I set up several different DEAs, including one for all my mailing list email such as law-lib. I received messages without a problem, but even after following all the instructions carefully, and sending email via the Spamex interface, I was unable to post to the mailing lists. So back to the drawing board.
Mailblocks, rated highly by both PC Magazine and PC World, is a different kind of animal. It provides a web-based email interface which includes spam-fighting capabilities, unlike Spamex which concentrates solely on DEAs.
The Mailblocks DEAs are called trackers. All messages addressed to trackers arrive in your inbox just like any other email. But should you start receiving spam addressed to a tracker, you can delete the address, stopping the spam in its tracks without effecting any of your other email addresses.
But Mailblocks offers much more in their "challenge/response" system.
The Mailblocks challenge-response system works as follows.
1. An email arrives addressed to you.
2. If the sender was previously approved by you, or included in your address book, the email is delivered to your inbox.
3. If the sender is new to you, it goes to a pending folder.
4. A "challenge" email is sent to the sender, asking the sender to type a confirmation number into a box.
5. Upon completion of the confirmation by the sender, the email is moved from your pending folder to your inbox.
That should stop spam in it's tracks!
So as of today, all of my mailing list email being sent to a Mailblocks tracker address. By the way, mail coming in to trackers is not subject to the challenge-response system, which is important for automated mail. After all, there's no one on the other end to respond to the challenge! I have no problems posting to the lists I'm subscribed to. I simply choose the correct address from the drop-down box in the compose window.
Ultimately I can filter ALL of my email, including my Yahoo account, and my main email account through Mailblocks. I'm on my way to a spam-free, or almost spam-free existence. How's that for optimism!