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I won't say I don't receive pitches for the occasional mortgage discount or Vegas vacation, the latest performance-enhancing elixir or anatomical wonder pills. Somehow those untidy and still slightly amusing offenders still wriggle past my defenses. In general, though, I've had good results with a built-in spam stopper in Apple Computer's Mail program, which I've used daily since it was released with the Jaguar update of OS X last year.
Please don't recommend people bounce Spam - I received 3,000 emails and death threats one weekend because some Russian spammer faked a From address from my domain. The emails were all apparently bounced bad addresses, I cringe to think how many people received the spam!
The link from this article to my site doesn't show the follow-up: I was actualy misusing the filter by not deleting my marked spam. Since resetting the filter and following the instructions, it has caught about 90% of my spam.
Thanks for your feedback -- I'm the writer. I'll take up your correction with the editors.
I think it is possible to "bounce" emails back to sender. It's just not done automatically by Mail. Highlight an email you want to "bounce" and use the command under the Message Pull down menu. Maybe future versions of Mail will let you set this as a preference.
You can bounce mails automatically already! It's damn easy!
Just go to "preferences", click the "Rules" icon, select the "Junk" filter and click the "Edit" button. You can modify the rule and ask the Mail application to redirect, forward, delete, or reply to the e-mail (you can specify the reply-to text). Neat.
The "Rules" preferences in Mail are not very well-known, but they're real easy and quite powerful...
This is TR, the writer. Thanks for your post. In fact, the Mail.app rules, while quite good, do not allow you to bounce to the sender. The options for mail in the "junk" rule are to
Mark as read
Mark as flagged
(and Stop Evaluating rules)
But "bounce to sender" is a separate function, and it is not on the list. I asked Apple about this and they said, "Huh, okay, good point, we'll take that up."
If you think Apple's Mail Spam Filter is good, you should see Mozilla's Junk Filter! It catches over 99% of all spam/junk and rarely has the "false positives" or misses that Apple's Mail Spam Filter has so many problems with.
I use Mozilla at the office and Apple's Mail program at home. The Mac program is vastly superior. I receive all sorts of the "trickier" spam through Mozilla, while my Mac catches most of what Mozilla misses in addition to virtually EVERYTHING that Mozilla catches. So, from personal experience, I can say that Mozilla is good but Apple's Mail is better at SPAM filtering.