Google Spam Filter

An interesting byproduct of a workaround I recently did to temporarily patch a buggy issue with downloading my email has resulted in a dramatic decrease in volume for spam coming in to my email account, and I like it.

I’ve been a big fan of SpamSieve to filter out 99% of the crap that gets thrown at my inbox, and it works beautifully. However, as time has marched on, a recent trend in spam headers has caused my default email reader Microsoft Entourage 2004 to get stuck on occasion. Those occasions have increased from sporadic to daily to now hourly in the past couple of days. Aggrivating. I have to go into the server and unstick it by finding potential spam messages with the bad headers and deleting them.

I’m not really sure what the header in question is, or why Entourage throws up it’s hands every time it encounters this thing, but as of today I officially don’t care. Because to get around the problem for a few hours and to save my sanity, I decided to activate POP3 access for my Gmail account, and to just have my email get forwarded to there.

Since I hadn’t really used my Gmail account much since setting it up, I wasn’t really familiar with how well it worked or how much I’d like the features. Truth is now, I love it for one thing: The spam filtration rocks.

Finally, some server-side relief that I can depend on. I was wondering why I was getting so little email all of a sudden. It seemed to work if I sent test messages, but where was all the spam going?

Aye, to the heap it went.

Goodbye, you whores of the spam netherworld! No longer do I have to waste my bandwidth on downloading another “Warmest Greeetings and Salutations!!!” letter from His Royal Highness the Captain Cornholio of Lagos, Nigeria. Gone are the ridiculous and misspelled offers for mortgages, Viagra, and pr0n.

Privacy Concerns

If you don’t like the idea of all your email getting passed through Google’s servers and getting sniffed because Google might one day arbitrarily hand over records about you to the authorities, you could always encrypt using PGP or S/MIME. Granted they have a marginally better track record going than other ISPs and Yahoo, but better to be safe than sorry.

Update: There’s even an S/MIME extension for Gmail. Also, my PGP key is listed in the PGP Global Directory.