3. Using SpamSpector
The setup is hard work, but after that using SpamSpector is remarkably easy. In fact, you can usually forget it's even there! On startup it installs itself in your system tray:
(By default SpamSpector installs itself in your StartUp folder and will always be present, but this isn't necessary so long as you remember to start SpamSpector before you check your email. If you're on a dial-up link then you may find a product like NetLaunch useful.)
Every time you check your email, your mail client will invisibly use SpamSpector, and your mail filters will filter any spam it finds into your spamtrap folder. SpamSpector won't find all your spam, but it should catch a fair proportion, dependant of course upon what filtering technologies your ISP is currently utilising, and how careful you are with your email address. Every so often - I advise you make it a weekly task - you should skim through your spamtrap folder to make sure that there's no mail you actually wanted to read in there (if there is, see the Troubleshooting section to find out how to prevent this), and then delete the rest. If SpamSpector has made a mistake, and an email from a friend or client has ended up in your spamtrap, you can use the "Add to Whitelist" option on SpamSpector's system tray menu to add their address to the "Whitelist", and mail from them will never be mistaken for spam again. For the rest of the week you can forget about SpamSpector and all the spam it catches, and enjoy being able to deal the emails you wanted to receive so much easier.
Initially, you will notice that using SpamSpector makes fetching your email a little slower. This is because SpamSpector has to check everything against the "DNSBL lists" to see what's from a spammer and what isn't. However, through it's Auto-Whitelist feature, SpamSpector quickly learns about the people and machines that send you lots of email, and adds them to a list of trusted senders who will probably never send you spam. And because they're trusted, SpamSpector doesn't have to waste time checking DNSBL lists for them. So the more you use SpamSpector, the quicker it will get.
You can tune SpamSpector to your own personal needs using the Options dialog.
SpamSpector will automatically update the list of DNSBL services every so often. Should one of the DNSBL service you are using have died, it will tell you about it and you can select an alternative from the Options dialog.
SpamSpector will also periodically check to see if a more recent version of the program itself has been released. It won't update itself, but it will tell you about it so you can download the new version if you want to. It will also tell you about any new plugins that have been released, and any updates to plugins that you have installed.