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Spam: Bozo Filters

A bozo filter is a feature of email and ... clients toallow you to ... delete messages which you do not wantto receive. This is ... used to ... flame ... so you d

A bozo filter is a feature of email and newsgroups clients to
allow you to automatically delete messages which you do not want
to receive. This is typically used to eliminate flame spam
messages so you don't have to see them.

For example, I am subscribed to a number of topics on Yahoo
Egroups. In general these groups have pleasant conversations
among people who stay on topic and don't flame. There are two
individuals, however, who are abusive and make no substantial
contributions and see the need to post flames and sarcastic
remarks regularly. I could just ignore (and delete) these
messages myself, or I could (and have) set up a bozo filter in
Outlook which automatically deletes all messages from their email
address. This ensures that I don't need to read the messages from
these people except as part of a reply to another message (rare).

Using the filters supplied with virtually all modern email and
newsgroup clients, you can seriously cut down on spam and other
unwanted messages. However, to be effective, you have to maintain
your filters on a regular basis. Here's what I do: whenever I
receive an email which is undesirable, I scan it quickly to
identify something which would identify it. This might be the
FROM address, the SUBJECT (some or all of it) or various phrases
within the message body. If the FROM address is strange (which it
often is in spam messages), then it's better to key off the
subject or text body. These identifiers are then added to my
filters. In other words, I tell the email client "if you see this
phrase in the message body, then please automatically delete the

Note that you must be careful that the phrases are specific to
the type of message you want to delete. Otherwise, you will wind
up deleting messages which you actually want to receive. For
example, let's say a common phrase is "sex movies for sale". You
should add the whole phrase to your filter, not a short word like
"sale" which could unintentionally delete messages about other

Note that your filter should move the messages to the trash, and
you should always take a quick scan of the messages in your email
trash can before deleting. This will help prevent you from
accidentally deleting a valid message. Filters are not perfect.

Some good phrases to add to your bozo filters are:

Click here to be removed.
bulk e-mail
bulk e mail
I just found your address by searching through
adults only
If you are under 21
This is a one-time mailing
This is not a spam
million dollars
Section 301, Paragraph (a)(2)(C) of S. 1618
Bill 1618 Title III
Since your email address was listed on a related Web site…
Claim your prize

Once you've spent some time creating a few bozo filters, you
will begin to realize the power at your fingertips. Using the
filtering components of products such as Outlook and Outlook
express, you can automatically file emails in specific foldersFind Article,
forward them without your intervention and of course delete spam.
Have fun and use these to help improve your productivity.

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