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Dealing with Spam

Support: Email: Spam-Fighting Overview

Related Files:

Overview of Email Filters
Email Options
Viewing Email Headers

Overview

More Tips

We give our customers an extensive collection of customizable spam fighting tools on the premise that our customers are the best judge of what they consider spam.

We do not automatically block any mail to your account. We only block email that your rules instruct us to block.

If you are unfamiliar with the wide range of spam-fighting approaches or in a hurry to start using your account, simply enabling SpamAssassin (Options --> SpamAssassin) should significantly reduce your spam, but we strongly recommend that you do not use your main user address (yourname@cotse.net) for your mail and that you first create one or two other "identities" that you will use for your mail.

As you explore our email options, you can pick and choose many additional approaches, depending on how much you want to restrict incoming email, whether you want to filter mail from unknown senders completely, or filter based on the email address in the "To" line, filter based on particular words contained in the email, etc.

Our current spam-fighting tools and options include, but are not limited to:

  • SpamAssassin
  • DNSBL
  • Bayesian Filtering
  • Blacklists
  • IP Blacklists
  • Goldlist Sender
  • Goldlist Aliases
  • Password-Protected Subject Lines
  • Banned Vocabulary
  • Blocking Inline Html
  • Blocking Attachments
  • Handling Potentially Unsafe Images

Your email, your rules. Use any or all of the above customizable options to create a system that keeps spam out of your mailbox.

In addition to setting rules to filter spam before it ever reaches your mailbox, prevention is an important part of the process. To that end, we give you the option to create unlimited aliases that you can easily "kill" if they start receiving spam.

Automatically Expiring Aliases:

We also give you the option to create email addresses or aliases that will automatically expire after a date you set, so that after that date, any email to that address will be automatically rejected. Lets say you download some software from a site and you need to receive a confirmation code or key from them, but you don't want them emailing you again after that. For such situations, you can use an expiring alias. By using an alias in the form of yyyymmdd@{youraccount}.cotse.net you have given them a mail address that will only accept mail up to that date (ex. 20040531@{youraccount}.cotse.net will only accept mail up till May 31, 2004). This way you have a temporary address to get what you need, then it is automatically shut down, so that even if it is sold or spammed after, it doesn't matter, it's no longer valid.

When you encounter a web site that requires your e-mail address, give them a custom or "throwaway" alias that you create "on the fly" (as you need one). You can use an alias with the site name in it. For example, if you need to register with E-Bay, use ebay@{youraccount}.cotse.net as your email address for signup. This way you can sort all email sent to ebay@(youraccount).cotse.net into custom folders based upon the address it was sent to and you'll be able to tell if E-Bay sold your address to spammers. If you ever tire of receiving e-mail at the address ebay@{youraccount}.cotse.net, just add it to the list of dead aliases under "Options - Kill Aliases" and it will no longer be a valid address for you.

You may also wish to reserve one or more of our available domain names to use for contacts that you don't fully trust or may want to "kill" later on. We currently offer you the ability to choose from a variety of domain names for your email. You could decide to use one of those domains for contacts that may be short-lived, and then "kill" off that domain later on.

Here's another tip you might find helpful:

Enable SpamAssassin and check the headers to see how Spam Assassin scores something and then add strings or phrases to your Banned Vocabulary filter. Header information that SpamAssassin evaluates can become part of your own filters this way.

Do note that Cotse.Net filters apply to the header and body of an email message, but do not get applied to attachments. And since recent news stories have noted how more email may start arriving with web bugs that can track whether you open your email and your geographic area, your settings for blocking attachments, blocking html, and the handling of potentially unsafe images may become even more important parts of your privacy protection.


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