Thread: Spam protection
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Old 17 Jul 2019, 10:36 AM   #2
Mr David
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Melbourne, Aus
Posts: 96
The Rules section of your account is tailor made for the job you want to do.

In a web browser session of your account, open up the Settings screen. You can access it from the drop down box in the top left corner of the screen.

When at the Settings screen, the link to your Rules page is under the Customise heading. When in your Rules page, hit the New Rule button, and away you go. The parameters for making rules are more or less self explanatory.

Once made, rules can stay there permanently if you wish. Or they can be deactivated or deleted. My account has about twenty that have been there for yonks. Very occasionally I have to make a new one if spam sneaks through.

Regarding spam defence within one's account, your FM account has to learn what is and is not spam. When spam arrives at, say, your inbox, don't just delete it. It has to be reported using the Report Spam button located at the top bar of the Inbox screen. Reporting messages as spam will move them to your Spam folder. You have to open your Spam folder, select messages to delete, and permanently delete them. This action teaches the spam filter for your account what you regard as spam.

Returning to the Settings screen, you may need to modify the Spam Protection settings of your account. In my account, Protection Level is set to Custom, options as follows:
[checked] Reject messages from insecure servers
[checked] Move messages with a score of 5.0 or more to Spam
[unchecked] Permanently delete messages with a score of 10.0 or higher
[checked] Add score {SPAM XX.X} to subject when score is 5.0 or more

Option to 'Mark Spam as read' is [unchecked].

I leave the 'Permanently Delete' option unchecked just in case non-spam messages are incorrectly filtered to my Spam folder. These can be marked as not-spam and retrieved to your inbox.

With this setup spam rarely gets through to my inbox. However, I am very careful about giving out my email address to strangers online. You have to be careful with whom you give your preferred address out to, and you need to be diligent and consistent in your habits.

Fastmail users are blessed with other powerful tools in their accounts to defend against spam. Apart from options in the Settings screen mentioned above, my favourites are subdomain addressing and aliases.

Subdomain addressing provides a way to leverage the power of folders made in one's account.

Let's say your preferred FM address is: [email protected]

And let's say you've created a folder called 'shop', and that this parent folder has a child folder within it called 'ebay'.

With these folders made, all correspondence sent to you by eBay will be automatically filed to the 'ebay' subfolder of your 'shop' folder if the email address you give to ebay is:
[email protected]

Since I regularly make purchases from eBay, I made a separate top level folder for it, with a special child folder, and provided eBay with an address like this:
[email protected]
For related reasons, my 'ebay' folder has one other subfolder, 'paypal', to receive emails sent to:
[email protected]

Use of my 'shop' folder is much looser. It has no subfolders. But whenever I provide email credentials to an online business I make a unique email address for that business. For example:
-- [email protected]
-- [email protected]

Messages to these addresses are automatically filed to my 'shop' folder.

If I gave all online retailers the subdomain address [email protected], messages would also be filed to the 'shop' folder. But if a retailer website is compromised, I can't tell which site has gone bad. It is better to use a unique subdomain address.

To keep your inbox tidy you might do a similar thing for bills you regularly receive. Eg:
-- [email protected]
-- [email protected]

You get the drift.

Should a website you've supplied with a subdomain address be compromised, and its database of customer email addresses leaks into the hands of spammers, the subdomain address that has gone bad can be blocked in via your Rules screen. Pests begone, just like that.

Another defence FM provides for your spam armoury is alias addresses. Recently when making a FM support ticket, a message below the online ticket form said FM accounts are permitted to make 500 aliases. Some years ago, users at my account level were permitted only 3 aliases. With 500 permitted, unique email addresses can be made for every retailer, bill provider, questionable website sign-up, or what have you, that you care to make. If a unique address goes spammy, you can kill the alias address that is being abused.

In your FM account aliases are handled the same as your preferred FM email address. Mail addressed to aliases will arrive in your inbox. Aliases with subdomain addresses will be filed automatically to appropriate account folders. It's very neat.

FM's documentation for aliases is quite easy to follow. Ditto that for subdomain addresses.

Hope this helps.

Last edited by Mr David : 17 Jul 2019 at 02:46 PM.
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