WaltBren Computing LLC web design and hosting

Tools For Fighting Spam

By Walt Dimmock

Fighting Spam is not an easy task; it takes perseverance and the right tools. I have been able to reduce to  Spam that reaches my inbox from over 150 emails per day to about 10 or less a day. In a recent article, I discussed the use of McAfee’s SpamKiller and it virtues. It is a worthwhile tool but sometimes its filters out non-Spam. You have to be careful and observant when using SpamKiller. Therefore I have incorporated many other tools to help ward off the Spam epidemic in my in-box.

I cannot count the times that I have sent a complaint to one of the originators of the Spam only to get it back as an invalid email. Of course it is not surprising since many Spammers use fake emails and domains to cover their tracks. But occasionally I will find in the headers a valid email or domain using the VisualRoute software. VisualRoute is easy to use and gives you more information than McAfee’s SpamKiller. Using the Whois incorporated with the software you can identify the owner and administrator of the domains in question. After enough complaints, they will want to stop the Spam going through their domains.

Another tool that I use is www.spamcop.net/. They have a no frills free service for reporting Spam and a very inexpensive service for a fee for reporting Spam and using their Spam filtering service. SpamCop is one of the main services on the Internet used by many for reporting Spam. I use the fee-paying service for reporting Spam, as it is more efficient than the free service. I can detect and report about 5 emails for about a penny. Using SpamCop in conjunction with the other tools makes fighting Spam very productive. SpamCop keep lists of the banned ISPs and domains. If you know you have been reported to SpamCop with detected Sp^m, you will be blacklisted and possibly removed form your ISP service. So if someone is using your domain as a gateway to send Spam you will be highly motivated to put a quick end to it.

Anti-Spam laws are on the books and in many states and other countries. For more information on the Anti-Spam laws, please go to www.spamlaws.com

Another good source of general information is www.telebyte.com/spamlaw. Like many ISPs and hosting services, Spam is greatly despised and not welcome. The Telebyte Northwest Internet Services has many pages of information how to identify spam and how to get back at Spammers by filing a lawsuit once you identify a Spammer.

A website that is very similar to SpamCop is www.spammingbureau.com/.
This site also is a wealth of information on Spam and how to fight it. And http://spam.abuse.net/ is another valuable source of information for both the network administrator and regular user.

One final website worth mentioning is http://spamivore.com. If you cannot afford the SpamKiller or VisualRoute software, you can get the same results for free on Spamivore. It has a Whois. You can enter an IP address to view everyone who owns it (In the case of sub-leased blocks, you'll get all owners of the IP), their contact information, and any other information available Also, you can trace a hostname or IP address by just entering the name/address and it will be traced from the spanivore.com server to the destination. The MAPS [Mail Abuse Prevention System] tool provides information regarding any IP Address, simply by entering the IP Address. You'll then see if the address is listed as being a 'Spam Friendly' [blackholed] address, a Dial-up [not a true mailserver] address, or an 'Open Relay' [anyone can send mail from it] address. You can resolve a hostname or IP address, by just entering the name/address and it will be converted for you, using DNS/RDNS lookups. On the home page there are other useful links for more information on fighting Spam.

So you can see, with a little ingenuity and you too can fight Spam with positive results.


Walt Dimmock is President/Owner of WaltBren Computing, LLC, and editor of the bi-weekly WaltBren Computing Ezine http://www.waltbren.com/ezine/. The bi-monthly ezine features articles dealing with many current issues. Articles include: Internet Marketing, Web Development, fighting Sp@m, viruses and other issues. Also, he is Webmaster and Consultant, and you are invited to visit his website: http://www.waltbren.com.



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This Page Last Updated:
 October 07, 2004