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Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail
May 06, 2010

Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail

Keep unwanted email messages out of your Inbox with Apple Mail!

Covers Mail in Mac OS X 10.3 Panther through 10.6 Snow Leopard.

Stamp out spam in Apple Mail by following email expert Joe Kissell’s meticulously researched steps! Gain insight into the types of spam, why you get so much of it, and how to handle fraudulent or malicious messages. This book explains how Apple Mail filters out spam, and it discusses eight ways to optimize the Junk Mail filter, as well as how rules interact with the Junk Mail filter. Is spam still sneaking through? Joe introduces you to third-party options that catch even more spam.

Bonus! Includes a $5-off coupon for SpamSieve, Joe’s favorite spam-fighting utility! (The coupon is on the last page of the book.)

More Info

Questions answered in this book include:

  • How does Mail’s Junk Mail filtering really work?
  • How does the spam filter use my Previous Recipients list?
  • How could a spammer’s email addresses get on my Previous Recipients list?
  • What can I do to not get so much spam in the first place?
  • What’s the deal with email that pretends to come from my bank?
  • What features should I look for in a spam-fighting utility or service?
  • Should I try server-based filtering?
What's New

What's New in Version 1.5

This version updates the book with changes to third-party spam filters and Joe’s latest spam-fighting advice. The book still covers older versions of Mac OS X back through 10.3 Panther, but it’s also updated for 10.6 Snow Leopard. The most significant changes are these:

  • Revised the advice on antivirus software.
  • Added a discussion of using an email provider that offers excellent server-side spam filtering.
  • Updated the description of MobileMe settings to reflect the current Web interface.
  • Improved the instructions on keeping a junk mail archive.
  • Removed details about two Mac spam filters (JunkMatcher and Spamfire) that are no longer under development and revised the description of Intego’s Personal Antispam (now part of Internet Security Barrier).
Update Plans

August 20, 2013 – We have no particular plans to update this ebook.

Posted by Tonya Engst

  1. Running a Mail Spam Filter on an iPad or iPhone

    Take Control reader Genevieve S. wrote in with an interesting question a few days ago:

    Genevieve: Do you know any third-party app that can filter mail on iPad and iPhone—i.e., apply rules?
    Tonya’s reply: I don’t know of any apps that can filter mail locally on the iPad, but I’ve cc’d Adam and Joe here to see if either of them has a suggestion. Personally, I use my gmail account on the iPad, and Google handles the filtering on the server.
    Joe’s reply: There is an app called ibisMail, which comes in both iPad and iPhone versions, that does filtering on the device. However, I do what Tonya does—let a server-based filter do all the work before messages appear on any of my devices.
    Genevieve: Thank you for responding. I use the Gmail filter too, but the AT&T/Yahoo filter is lousy. This is not a problem when receiving mail on the Mac—the rules in Mail handle the leakage—but if I read the mail on the iPhone, a local filter would help.
    Adam jumps in: You could forward the other account to Gmail to get the benefit of its filter. Lots of people do that. smile
    Genevieve: Great idea!!

    In the third edition of Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch, Joe touches on email forwarding in “Decide Which Account(s) to Use,” and he references a Macworld article that he wrote—Streamline e-mail with Gmail. The Macworld article discusses how to forward a non-Gmail email account through Gmail.

    Posted by Michael Cohen (Permalink)

  2. Mail Tips and Musings from Joe Kissell

    Find out what Joe thinks about changes in the Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard version of Apple Mail and with the topic of email generally. In MacVoices #1076, Joe joins host Chuck Joiner to chat about what’s new in the world of handling spam, how to use Google Apps to manage multiple email addresses within a single Gmail account, compromises and changes that Apple made to Mail in order to turn it into an app for an iDevice, and more.

    Joe also talks about what’s new in his Mail-related ebooks that were released in May of 2010—Take Control of Apple Mail in Snow Leopard, Take Control of Spam with Apple Mail, and Take Control of Mail on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  3. Read Your Email on Multiple Computers

    In MacVoices #1065, Joe Kissell talks with host Chuck Joiner about two core email concepts—the POP and IMAP protocols. In particular, he explains how IMAP makes it possible to work with your email messages from more than one computer in a fluid, sensible manner. He also gives tips for switching from POP to IMAP and for using IMAP in popular email systems, including Gmail and MobileMe accounts, the Mail program on a Macintosh, the Mail app on an iPhone or iPod touch, and he discusses how the Gmail approach to storing, searching, and labeling email messages can sometimes be “hyper-weird.” Joe also talks about how spam filtering can work with IMAP accounts.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  4. Facebook Phishing Alert

    If you get a Facebook message from a friend suggesting that you visit or, delete it, since it’s a phishing attack that’s trying to capture your login credentials. For more details, see Adam’s TidBITS article, Beware Facebook Phishing Attack!

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

  5. Mixing Gmail with Apple Mail

    If you’ve ever thought that a great way to reduce spam would be to redirect email that you receive from your primary email address (or all your email addresses) through a Gmail account, you’re not alone. And, if you’ve struggled with sometimes wanting to use Gmail, but sometimes wanting to use Apple Mail, you’re in good company, particularly the company of Joe Kissell. To learn much more, check out Joe’s exceptionally detailed TidBITS article, Achieving Email Bliss with IMAP, Gmail, and Apple Mail. The first part of this article has background information about the IMAP method of retrieving email from a mail server, while the second details how to make your email work like Joe’s does.

    Posted by Tonya Engst (Permalink)

The Author

Take Control publisher Joe Kissell has written more than 60 books about technology, including many popular Take Control books. He also runs Interesting Thing of the Day and is a contributing editor of TidBITS and a senior contributor to Macworld.