Effectively Manage Useless Email
Mailwasher Pro stats indicate that since I started using it to control my spam problem years and years ago, I’ve received almost 40,000 email messages and 31,000 of them have been spam. Before Mailwasher, I would have to delete a hundred or so spam messages daily. What a pain in the arse. Now the only spam messages I see are the few Mailwasher Pro isn’t certain about, and I can batch delete worthless mails all at once with a single click. All the rest of the spam, 78% of the emails I receive, I never see. Mailwasher deals with them quietly and efficiently.
Why do I get so much spam? Because I learned the hard way that you should never put an email address on a website. At one time I did exactly that on sites I was involved with creating, and on interactive website forums and such. It doesn’t take long for harvesting software to creep through html source code and collect the ‘mailto’ or email address data. Before long your email address is on every spammer’s mailing list. Never place your email address on a website where it can be seen by the world.
Another good idea is to never use the email address given to you by your internet service provider. That email address is not easily disposable. Get yourself a free address from someplace that allows POP access so you can add it to your email client (the email program you use like Outlook or Thunderbird). Google’s gmail is a good one. Yahoo charges for POP access.
I foolishly gave my Verizon email address to close friends and family thinking it was a safe thing to do, but over time somebody’s address book got compromised, and now I even get spam at my verizon.net address. Mailwasher deals with that too.
Mailwasher positions itself between your email server and your email client, quckly eliminating all mail it deems spam and only allowing you to see the mail from folks you’ve tagged as friends, or mail that appears legit to Mailwasher. If Mailwasher isn’t absolutely certain about a mail it displays, it pre-marks the mail for deletion, leaving the final decision up to you. By right-clicking on the mail header, you can make the sender a ‘friend’ or ‘blacklist’ the sender’s address. Mailwasher learns from these decisions.
Initially, Mailwasher only downloads the mail’s subject header and sender info, not the message itself. It never downloads attachments or graphics. There is an option to safely download and read the first few lines of a text message if you’re curious about its contents. Twenty lines is the default setting, which can be changed. Then, if you then want to read the whole text message, you can do that too. This is handy if the message isn’t a keeper, and you can delete it in Mailwasher after reading. If you want to quickly reply, Mailwasher will reopen it in your email client’s reply window. The remaining option is to utilize the ‘Process Mail’ function which deletes the ‘marked’ mails from your server, and then let Mailwasher open your email client so you can download the remaining ‘important’ emails as you would normally do. Or you can close Mailwasher and leave the good messages on your email server to be dealt with at a later time.
Perhaps this sounds like just an additional bother while checking your email, but if spam has become a significant annoyance, I’m certain you will grow to love this program in no time at all. I have webmail accounts with Yahoo and Google, and they both have good spam filters that I choose not to enable. I prefer to let Mailwasher handle all spam filtering because it does it so well, and I never have to go to Google or Yahoo to check my ‘bulk mail’ folders for messages that were actually important for me to receive.
It’s been years since I initially installed Mailwasher Pro, but I believe getting it set up was a no-brainer. It pretty much works right ‘out-of-the-box’ so to speak. You need only enter the basic POP mail access info for your accounts, much like setting up an email client, only simpler. If you want the ability to recover the first twenty lines of those occasional mails you might delete accidentally, you’ll also have to add the SMTP info for your ISP. There are many additional settings available with the program, most of them easy to learn filtering capabilities, but most would probably not need to take advantage of them.
If you only have a single email account, Mailwasher has a free version that has enough features to be very handy. Mailwasher Pro handles multiple email accounts and has more features. I recommend the reasonably priced Pro version.
Retail Price: $37 with FREE lifetime upgrades.
Download a trial, or get the free edition for single email POP accounts.
Works in POP3, AOL, MSN, IMAP, and is Vista compatible.
— Bill Flanagan
Bill maintains the Club’s website, and has been using computers since the birth of desktop publishing.