I have written a number of articles now about Spam, what it is, where it comes from and how you can combat it. These have generated a fair bit of interest and a good number of questions, and the most commonly asked questions focus around what I personally use to protect myself from spam. To be fair there are two ways I can answer this question.
My old answer was ‘knowledge’. I have made it my personal business to find out where this plague is coming from, and how we can stop spam. I even developed a website with the intention to help people fight spam.
But the result of my knowledge is that there are programs set up which automatically do many of the things I recommend, and the most successful one I have found is the one I advertise on my website - The SPAMWASHER. I control several domain names and on each it is critical that any email sent to me legitimately gets to me. If it's not critical there is a great option in cpanel which allows you to direct all incoming mail to a blackhole - or delete it immediately. I use this option on my stopspamnow.info site and it saves me many hours of deleting the spam attacks sites like this generate. It also saves on server load as that spam is dealt with quickly and brutally instead of redirected/bounced etc.
For my other domains it is important I get mail, and I need to protect myself from junk. Spamwasher was the third commercial program I tried. Maybe I had learned more by the time I got to it, or maybe it really is just as good as I think it is.
You have to train spamwasher - and this process takes a little while. Invest that time - because it is worth it to log into your mail and see only legitimate messages popping up. Spamwasher is aggressive, but whitelisting names speeds up the process a lot! I would say overall I spent about a week checking the messages spamwasher caught for false positives. The first two days there were quite a few, by the end of the week spamwasher had leant what I like to read and what I like to avoid.
Can you stop spam without a program like spamwasher? I have no doubt. Does spamwasher save me hours of time doing so and was it worth every cent I spent on it? Absolutely.
So there it is. How I deal with spam in a nutshell. You should still do all the sensible things I recommend in my other articles. Don't splash your email address around the internet, delete spam messages without opening them and NEVER buy anything from a spammer. This will help, alot. But a program like spamwasher will provide the knockout blow, and you will once again be able to open your mail box in the morning and smile as you see only messages you want to read.
With an estimated 70-90 billion spam messages sent every day, the problem is not going away. Don't wait for someone to solve the problem for you, visit The Stop Spam Now Site and review the very best methods of stopping spam.