Fighting spam with Spam Assassin

Started by Jason, May 16, 2005, 11:02:40 AM

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I receive questions from time to time on how to fight spam and unwanted email that arrives.

Here's a brief description of how you can combat that using Spam Assassin that's built into cpanel.

Spam Assassin is a program that you can turn on within your cpanel.  What it does is to analyze your incoming mail and give it a score based upon various rules.  In effect, it scans the email and looks for keywords, phrases, lack of names, etc. that are typical of spam messages.  Then it gives the email a score based upon those results.  You can then specify what you want to happen based upon what score an email receives.  This is all done on the backend and is transparent to you.

At that point, you can have Spam Assassin route the email to a spam box, or you can have it pre-pend the subject line of the email.  I prefer the latter option because it assures me that I don't have a mailbox that is taking up unneeded space on my account.  Personally, I have Spam Assassin rewrite the subject line to add:  ***SPAM*** to the beginning of the subject.

Then, in Outlook, I create a rule (TOOLS > Rules and Alerts) to have Outlook automatically grab any incoming email that starts with ***SPAM*** and trash it.  That way I never see the email -- it's automatically deleted upon download.  Some people prefer to have a special folder and have it go there so they can go through it later to verify what's there.  It's up to you.

If you get a lot of spam, you'll quickly grow to love this method once you get it setup.  It can cut down a huge amount of the junk that you may be presently getting.