Published October 30, 2004spam cop spam window

#169: SpamCop Full Circle

by Fred Showker

This is what my email box used to look like. (At right) Not a pretty sight. And this would be only the first screen of 100 spams. In reality, there would be several of these depending on how long it had been since the last time I cleaned it out.

Here is my email box this morning, overnight since yesterday evening's email retrieval. Four emails. All of which are important. I ask myself why did I ever leave the SpamCop. But that's the rest of the story...

Inundated with SPAM

As you know, since the mid-90s I've been an avid spam fighter and anti-spam advocate. But when my spam load hit 1,000 spams a day, I began to reevaluate all the hours of work put into spam fighting. At some point I realized it was taking me three hours a day to filter my spam and find the important email. I would spend precious time locating the worst of the spammers, report them, and retrieve my email. Most of the time, the spam box would fill back up even before I was finished filtering.

So I stopped reporting.

Too many magazine articles, user group newsletters, friends and associates urged me to get spam filtering. "It's just not worth it..." they would chide. Too many OS X Mail users were wetting themselves daily because they "... never get any spam." I knew I had to do something to keep from drowning in the sea of spam.

A few weeks ago I returned to to re-read all the information about the SpamCop email account service. It had been some years since I let my account drop -- thinking it was unnecessary. But I had to do something about all this spam, so I paid my $30. Now, after using the account for several weeks, I am convinced that everyone should do the same. That means YOU.

What's important?

SpamCop's email service does the same thing all good email services do.

Most importantly however, the SpamCop does the best job of identifying and blocking spam. But there's one feature that no other service matches, nor even comes close...

SpamCop Reports then Blacklists the spammer

There's one very important distinction from the others: SpamCop reports the spam, and then adds the spammer's profile to its server-side real-time black hole list. To me this is the best of both worlds. While people using other spam blocking methods stick their heads in the sand, not caring about the loss in bandwidth or the perpetuation of online crime, SpamCop is actually doing something about it. Their black-hole list is used not just by SpamCop, but by many other ISPs and email providers who care to get the best and most up to date list of spammers. So yes, it's helping me -- but by reporting my spam, I'm helping millions of other internet users avoid the same spam! And all SpamCop subscribers are helping ME the moment they click to report.

Yes, I have control. I can look at my SPAM if I want to. And when I'm sure there are no good emails, accidentally caught in the "Held" folder, I click to report and delete them.

I've actually caught myself welcoming spam. I fill out online permissions to read content at sites I know will spam me! But I smile as I enter my address. My InBox shows me the few 'good' emails where I can read them free of spam, or opt to let them flow through to my local email client. But then I can click on the "held Mail" icon and see the hundreds of filthy, low-life, rip-off, sleaze-balls who were attempting to defraud me. I can simply click "Select All" and then " Report as Spam." It's wonderful. In a moment or two the SpamCop reports back how many spams were reported and deleted. I can smile again about getting email.

You see, I haven't run away nor hidden my face from the internet's most evil and threatening denizen. I can once again feel a little pride that I am helping my fellow computer users. Each time I click that report button, I'm adding to the ever increasing real black hole lists that ISPs and email providers use to block spam. I no longer need to feel bad because I was too lazy or busy to help a fellow traveller out there along the electronic highway.

Your civic duty

For a professional-grade email account, complete with spam reporting, customizable spam and virus filtering and simultaneous Webmail, POP and IMAP access, log in to You'll experience the unique rush of pleasure each time you click "Report As Spam." -- and you'll feel good about helping the cause.

It's your civic duty to click:

Oh yes, and if there are any spammers reading this, just send me an email ...
      make my day:

Thanks for reading...

Fred Showker



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