Dealing with spam or junk email in your Inbox is a waste of time. If you run a small business, the time wasted identifying and deleting email can add up over weeks or months. This is true whether you are one person or a multi-person team. Here are a couple of ways to reduce the amount of spam that you receive in your email Inbox.
First, make sure that your email provider’s email filtering feature is turned on. Almost every email provider has such a feature so let’s take advantage of it if it’s offered. Many of them, however, are not very capable and thus I often recommend an additional layer of spam filtering such as SpamSieve or Big Mountain’s spam filtering service. Both of these services are described below.
For the general Mac user I recommend SpamSieve. SpamSieve is an application which gets installed on your Mac and it has plug-ins to let it work in conjunction with your email application. You can try SpamSieve for free and, if you find it effective, then buy it for $30. SpamSieve works with the most common email client applications including Mail, Entourage, Eudora and Thunderbird. This is a good solution for individuals. SpamSieve is a good option if you don’t have your own custom domain name. In other words, SpamSieve is a good choice if you have an email account provided by AOL, Comcast, Earthlink or other major email service providers.
If you own your own domain name then you have additional options to consider. You could sign up for a email filtering service such as Big Mountain Hosting’s SpamExperts spam filtering service. In late-2015 the cost is $10 per month for your domain. In order to set this up you need to modify the MX (mail exchange) record within your DNS (domain name system) records. Specifically, you set your MX record to deliver all incoming email to the email filtering server. The server then scans all email messages and delivers legitimate email messages to your Inbox. All email messages that were identified as spam or contain a virus are put into a quarantine. You then receive one email that lists all quarantined messages. If a legitimate email was quarantined then you can click a button to release the message from its quarantine and have it delivered to your Inbox. I use Big Mountain’s spam filerting server and find it highly effective.
If you own your own domain name, but only want to filter some of your email accounts then you could consider MaxFocus’ MaxMail service. This is also a robust spam and virus filtering tool. The set up and day-to-day operation is very similar to Big Moutain’s MailFoundry, but GFI MaxMail Protection offers a unique feature of allowing you to filter only some of your email accounts. MaxFocus doesn’t list pricing information on their web site but you can sign-up for a trial account and get pricing from their sales representatives.