spam filter for outlook POP
April 29, 2005 4:43 AM   Subscribe

I'm using Outlook 2000 and the built-in"keyword" spam filtering is a joke. ("viagra" is on my list, and a search of my inbox finds 29 emails with that word, even after running the rule manually.) What are people using on the client side to filter spam with Outlook (using POP, not Exchange)? No challenge/response, please, as this is used for business. The free-er the better.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to Computers & Internet (16 answers total)
Nothing - I found that the built-in spam filters are next to useless. I do use Spam Assassin on the mail server and have a rule in Outlook to move anything that it marks as spam to the junk folder, but that is about the best I can suggest. It works, but perhaps not what you are looking for.
posted by dg at 4:49 AM on April 29, 2005

SpamBayes claims to integrate with Outlook. I've no experience with it, but anything based Bayesian methods will be a lot beter than keyword-based filtering.
posted by reynaert at 4:58 AM on April 29, 2005 spam filtering is excellent, but costs,
For a client solution, then I'd use the free popFile which is compatible with anything that uses Pop3.
posted by seanyboy at 5:12 AM on April 29, 2005

A vote for SpamBayes. I've been using their Outlook plugin for over a year now and it works very well at filtering out the spammy badness. Every once in a while a new Spam will get through, but once SpamBayes knows about it, it generally won't appear again.
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:23 AM on April 29, 2005

I use the integrated SpamBayes plugin with Outlook for my work mail, and POPFile to filter my personal mail accounts into Thunderbird.

They both work fine, in their own way--the big advantage of SpamBayes is that it integrates so well, and you can teach the Bayesian filter right from inside Outlook. POPFile runs as a local, but separate POP3 proxy on your machine, so you've got to reconfigure the mail accounts in your client to go through it, and you "teach" it through a browser interface, by categorizing past messages on a web page.

That's a bit more cumbersome, but on the other hand, POPFile is much more powerful and configurable than SpamBayes. The most important advantage over SpamBayes is that you can set up all the custom categories you want, and it'll learn how to distinguish your "Family" from your "Newsletters", or whatever. SpamBayes just learns "Spam/Not Spam".
posted by LairBob at 5:42 AM on April 29, 2005

Another vote for Spambayes. It isn't perfect, but it is good.
My only gripe is that it doesn't seem to scan my contacts to ensure that no matter what, email from my contacts doesn't get flagged as spam. To its credit, such messages never go to the actual "JUNK" folder, just the "SUSPECTED JUNK" folder. You still need to look at your suspects folder, just to be sure nothing good gets in there.
posted by ednopantz at 5:44 AM on April 29, 2005

Second SpamBayes. Integrates with Outlook, works with few false positives.
posted by orthogonality at 6:27 AM on April 29, 2005

Another SpamBayes vote. It's handled my spam beautifully, with only a few false positives for the first couple weeks. In the months since installation, I've rarely had a false positive or negative; lately I'm confident enough to empty the junk folder sight unseen. Do check the suspects folder as often as your inbox; any false flags will just go there.
posted by NickDouglas at 7:02 AM on April 29, 2005

SpamBayes here too.
posted by terrapin at 7:21 AM on April 29, 2005

I have an Outlook rule that filters Multi-Part messages into a potential Spam folder. I get several false positives which I can manually scan for, but that catches a lot of it.
posted by willnot at 7:22 AM on April 29, 2005

Inboxer is good but costs $29. It integrates well and you can set it to accept anything from your contacts. I tend to forget the program is there.
posted by words1 at 7:57 AM on April 29, 2005


after 1000 emails its 99% accurate
posted by Mach5 at 8:36 AM on April 29, 2005

a second hurrah for Popfile -- it's free, and when trained it works _very_ well.
posted by anadem at 8:51 AM on April 29, 2005

Yep, SpamBayes is pretty much the only viable choice with Outlook due to its toolbar integration.
posted by kindall at 8:56 AM on April 29, 2005

I miss the SpamBayes plugin since I've moved to Thunderbird. The continuous process method just pushes all the wrong buttons for me, and Thunderbird's built in filtering, though based on SpamBayes (or something) isn't as good.

By the way, it's possible that your keyword filtering isn't working because there are invisible characters between the letters in viagra, which you can't see, but the keyword filter can.
posted by ThePants at 10:34 AM on April 29, 2005

If you work somewhere where you can't install things onto your PC, you can get a lot of mileage out of this technique: find a name that is on the same spam-list as yours, and filter all mail that has this name in the To: field into the discard pile.

It doesn't catch everything, but it won't have any false positives.
posted by Sallyfur at 9:40 AM on May 2, 2005

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