More Inbox Spam Woes

Shortly after I wrote my complaint about Thunderbird’s junk filter last October, I decided to try to train SpamAssassin’s Bayes filter. Using procmail, PHP, and MySQL, I built a crude interface to keep copies of my incoming email and let me classify them as OK or spam. After training SpamAssassin with over 7000 messages, I have to say I’m really disappointed. SpamAssassin still regularly misses spam, and Thunderbird frequently misses the spam that SpamAssassin misses.

(I added a similar (but prettier) interface to a web-mailbox that my client uses, and unfortunately the SpamAssassin Bayes feature has been ineffective for them too.)

POPFile is the only reliable blocker I’ve used, but it runs on the client and therefore you have to download all your mail, spam included, before POPFile processes it. I think the method I will try next is to turn off SpamAssassin’s Bayes filter and just let it find the really obvious spam, then pass the rest onto the client for POPFile to sort out. Might as well turn off Thunderbird’s junk filter at the same time.

In the meantime I keep pondering allowing only whitelisted addresses send me mail. Everyone else could use my web contact form. I’d just have to be really careful that I whitelist all the websites I use.