If you have your own domain and website along with some email accounts, you’re bound to start receiving those lovely spam emails. While there are a number of tools on the market to try and provide relief from spam, if you have cPanel web hosting, you already have access to SpamAssassin—which you can use at no additional cost.
In the last few months, I’ve been receiving more and more spam email at a couple of email accounts from my other websites. So, I decided to see how effective SpamAssassin is in dealing with unwanted email messages.
Enabling SpamAssassin is very easy. Just go to your cPanel, and click on the SpamAssassin icon under the Mail section. Then, click the Enable SpamAssassin button in the top section. There are also options for auto-deleting and configuring the tool which I’ll get to. But for starters, I’d recommend just trying it out this way for a while.
By default, SpamAssassin puts all email it detects as spam into a Spam Folder in your email. Depending on your email client, you may have to enable or specify that this folder be visible. For example, in Thunderbird, you have to subscribe to your Spam Folder or you won’t automatically see it.
As I mentioned before, you can have SpamAssassin actually delete email marked as spam once a certain number of hits have occurred. You specify that number from 1 to 10. The default value is 5 (e.g. after five messages, the emails from that address are considered spam and deleted).
Because it can be difficult for any software tool to correctly determine if an email is spam or not, SpamAssassin lets you configure the program so you can specifically list addresses from spammers that are not being detected and labeled as spam. Conversely, you can also specify email addresses that should not be marked as spam.
My own results using SpamAssassin have been somewhat mixed. Initially, I just enabled it with the default settings. That didn’t seem to work too well. Only one email was flagged as spam and the others were still getting through. So, I adjusted the configuration settings and specifically added a couple of email addresses to be classified as spam. So far, that has worked out much better—with most spam emails being sent to the spam folder. A couple of valid emails have been incorrectly been classified as spam. But, I just added those addresses to the white list of SpamAssassin and they are now correctly appearing in my inbox.
Although SpamAssassin isn’t a perfect tool and won’t eliminate all spam, it does do a decent job when configured to your specifications. If you have cPanel hosting, I would certainly recommend you give it a try since it doesn’t cost you any extra money.