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How to Protect Your Email from Spam

Keeping email safe from being bombarded by unsolicited junk messages is a priority a lot of people share. No matter how careful you are, there is always the risk of an address being shared with the wrong person or app. Luckily, it’s not that difficult to greatly reduce the amount of spam that comes to your inbox.

As soon as you create a new email account, there is a risk that someone will abuse sending you messages. One of the best ways to avoid most spam is to be very selective about who or what you hand your address out to. However, don’t expect the address to remain spam-free.

If you use email apps like Mozilla Thunderbird, you have built-in spam filtering available. However, these systems often have problems filtering out certain messages. I’m not saying that these applications are useless against junk mail, but you may need something with a bit more bite to it.

In this tutorial, I’m going to show you how to protect email addresses from spam using SpamAssassin. Although it’s difficult to eliminate 100 percent of junk mail, setting up your filters today will greatly reduce the impact of these messages.

Using Apache SpamAssassin

In cPanel, go to the Email section and click “Apache SpamAssassin.”

Apache SpamAssassin

Click the button to “Enable Apache SpamAssassin.”

Enable Apache SpamAssassin

Once SpamAssassin is enabled, click the “go back” link.

Go Back

Let’s take a look at some of the configuration options that are available.

Configuring Apache SpamAssassin

With SpamAssassin enabled, you can now select how you want it to behave. For example, you can turn on Auto-Delete for spam. If you choose to set this, you can alter the score that is determined for email before it’s deleted. This score ranges from one to ten. The higher the number is, the more conservative the filter will become.

Just keep in mind that too high of a rating may accidentally delete messages that were perceived to be junk which may be legitimate.

Configuring details of how the spam filter behaves may help reduce the risk of losing important information. You can control these elements by using the configuration options.

Click the “Configure Apache SpamAssassin” button.

Configure SpamAssassin

In this screen, you’re able to set white and black listed addresses. This gives you control over email that is still getting through which you believe to be spam. It’s also a great way to deny a message from someone you particularly do not want to communicate with.

Whitelisting addresses also helps in the event you sign up for a newsletter on purpose and the SpamAssassin filter keeps flagging the domain.

Another feature of the config screen is setting custom numerical scores regarding email. It may take a bit of trial and error to find the best hierarchy of how scoring works for spam, but it’s often worth the effort as it can quickly empty the inbox of junk mail.

In this example, I am setting “*@greengeeks.com” in my whitelist. This means that no matter what, any email address from GreenGeeks.com will make it through the filter and into my inbox.

Once your settings are complete, click the “Save” button.

Save Config

Keeping Your Inbox Clear

SpamAssassin is a good filter to remove a lot of the junk mail that tries to find its way to your inbox. Think of it as a first line of defense especially if you use applications like Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird to download your email.

Author: Alex G.

Updated on July 14, 2017

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