Spam makes up between 90% to 95% of all email on the Internet. This huge number means that most Internet users have to deal with spam on a regular basis. Many email providers use spam filters to sort out most of the spam before it reaches the user's inbox. It is however often the case that some spam emails reach the inbox so that users have to deal with spam personally.
Desktop email clients and security software often comes with an anti spam component as well to tackle spam on the desktop. That's of no use to users who manage their email accounts on a website like Gmail or Hotmail, but those who prefer desktop software may use anti spam programs to deal with spam semi-automatically.
Note: Comodo discontinued its Anti Spam program. It is no longer available. Y0u may use a program like Spamfighter as an alternative. End
The anti spam software Comodo AntiSpam was such a software program. It was compatible with many popular desktop email clients such as Outlook, Windows Mail or Mozilla Thunderbird.
The anti spam software used Passcode authentication to protect email accounts from spam. This anti spam protection used a whitelist of senders allowed to communicate with the user.
Senders who are not on the list receive a verification email that they need to reply to before the original email is accepted by Comodo AntiSpam and redirected to the email program. It worked similar to how captchas work on websites.
The program walked you through a five step setup process that included the following configuration steps:
Comodo AntiSpam ran in the background after setup completed. It will automatically send out the passcode email verifications to senders who are not on the authenticated sender list.
It was possible to add new email accounts to the program at any time, and add senders or email addresses to a blacklist to block incoming emails right away.
How effective was Comodo AntiSpam? There was no clear answer to that questio. AntiSpam blocked a good chunk of emails, especially those sent in automated spam campaigns. If the sender did not take the time to check replies, sent emails would be blocked and would not land in a user's inbox.
Spammers who monitored replies, for instance to add emails with replies to a verified list, could bypass the protection by simply following the passcode authentication instructions. Emails with fake sender information could go through as well.
The method raised several concerns as well. First, because it revealed to spammers that an email address was in use, and second, because it required that legitimate senders go through the authentication process as well.
Legitimate senders who don't monitor replies, e.g. when automated emails are sent out during registration, and senders who don't want to be bothered, could ignore the request. Meant: the legitimate email never reached the user's inbox.
Comodo Antispam is nevertheless an interesting anti spam software that works best in addition to other anti spam techniques. The anti-spam software is available for free at the Comodo website.Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.