If you are trying to run a successful business these days, one thing will definitely annoy you beyond belief: eMail spam - all those countless mails that reach you unwanted and mistargeted, just clogging up your mailbox. In fact, spam can make the opening of your mailbox in the morning a bad experience, and it may ruin your day. No, I don’t want to read from Jenny who promises a “chick gets nasty stripping from her clothes” and then directs me towards some nasty Chinese porn site. Thanks for letting me know, Jenny, but I am not interested.
And so I populated my Outlook Express spam filter with hundreds of terms I do not want to read about: “replica”, “lottery”, “sickest”, “massive”, and so on and so on. You know what I mean – you have seen these mails probably as well. But still some spam mails got through, typically between three to five per day. Even worse, as I entered more and more generic terms, I increasingly blocked also valid mails.
And then I read about SPAMfighter.
It’s a software from a small Danish company that unleashes the power of community upon the spammers. The idea is as simple as it is brilliant: just allow people to identify spam in their mailbox and share this individual knowledge with the community, i.e. among all participants of the program so that everyone can block these messages as well. Now, if the number of users is large enough, spam could be identified in near real-time. Then automate the blocking process, and spam is extinguished for the overwhelming majority of community members. Spammers would have no chance of ever invading your mailbox again.
It is a tactic used by nature as well: These Red-Billed Quelea at a waterhole in Namibia behave exactly the same. They know that they need to take up water. They know that there might be crocodiles in the water, waiting for a nice lunch. So they come in thousands and expose themselves only briefly to the risk of drinking. If one gets caught the rest of the community is alarmed and escapes. The majority of the community will be saved from the crocodiles.
And guess what? The software works exactly as advertised! At the time of writing, there were 3,610,409 registered SPAMfighters who have checked 7.8 billion mails, of which 5.6 billion mails were identified as spam (a whopping 72% of all mails). Oh yes, occasionally a spam mail still gets through to me, like about two per week, but so what? After all, I am a SPAMfighter and just hit the “Block This!” button, and then it’s gone. And gone from all the other mailboxes around the world as well. Great, really!
Now, there is a free version of the software, and a more powerful version which is sold at € 25 a year. I signed up for the advanced version, because I came to the conclusion that not only the software and the idea behind it is very good, but also these guys should get the (financial) support they need to run this service.
A great program. If you are being plagued by spam – become a SPAMfighter! It’s great to be a SPAMfighter! :-)
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Please note that I am in no way affiliated with or sponsored by SPAMfighter. I have been paying the full price for the service received.