Spam Programs, Do They Work?

Something really does need to be done about SPAM. I don't know what the answer is, but I do know that some of the things that are being tried are NOT the answer.

Take for instance the response I received when I replied to an email requesting help. This is known as a 'Challenge/Response' method of combating spam.

This is an automatic reply to your email message to
This email address is protected by EarthLink spamBlocker. Your email message has been redirected to a "suspect email" folder for In order for your message to be moved to this recipient's Inbox, he or she must add your email address to a list of allowed senders.

Click the link below to request that add you to this list.

The sender needs help with her email, but she probably won't get help from me, because her ISP is using one of the Spam blocker programs that require me (or anyone) to click a link to get the message sent to her inbox. Folks, I don't click links in emails like this because I consider them suspect. Just too many evil emails want you to click on a link and I won't do it!

So called anti-spam programs that use the Challenge/Response system actually do a lot more harm than good. It doesn't stop spam, it only sends spam to folks or mail lists that the user doesn't have in his white list (white list meaning everyone on this list can send email to the user) And what does the program do with all of those email addresses on the user's white list? Maybe they sell them to spammers? Who knows! People are demanding help with SPAM and ISPs try to help, but is this really the best way?

Just to show how much SPAM is invading out lives, if you bring up Google and type in 'spam programs', you will get over 2 million results! There are so many programs out there to fight spam it is impossible to try them all. A few are free, but most are for sale.

(If you want to contact me, be sure you get my response!)

Mail Washer

Federal Trade Commission Information on SPAM