How to get rid of spam


I received this question from my friend Paul recently:


My Spam Filter subscription for my email address and Outlook Express recently expired. Spam Filters could be a possible topic for your Blog and it would give me your present recommendation for a good spam filter. I would prefer an inexpensive, easy, efficient and not hoggish piece of software. Free would be nice but not necessary.

Spam is something that most people hate. I say “most” people, because there is a small percentage of people that actually get one of those detestable emails, click on it, and end up sending the spammer money. That is the only reason spam continues. If no one bought, there would be no incentive to keep sending out millions of emails each day advertising pharmaceuticals that make your body parts bigger (or smaller), chances to play the European lottery, or offers from a Nigerian prince to help him with his “inheritance”.

Personally, I almost never see a single piece of spam in my email inbox. My secret? I use Gmail, the free email service from Google. I have written before about why you should use Gmail instead of the email account that comes with your internet provider. One of those reasons is that Gmail has a great spam filter.

But let’s get back to Paul’s question. Does the Gmail email account meet his 4 criteria for solving his spam problem?

1. Inexpensive – that’s easy, since Gmail is completely free. If you use it with Thunderbird, Outlook or Outlook Express, you won’t even see any ads.

2. Easy – all you do is sign up for your free account, then go to to check your email. You can check your email from any computer, anywhere, as long as it has an internet connection.

3. Efficient – Gmail’s spam filter is extremely efficient. I would say the accuracy rate is greater than 99%.

4. Not a hoggish piece of software – another easy one – there is no software at all to install. It is all web-based.

So there you have it, the solution to spam. What will Google think of next?

Do you have a different spam solution? Click the Comments link below and tell us!

This week’s video – what 2 little kids do while Mommy’s away and Daddy’s on the computer (probably playing Farmtown or something). I like how he says, “Look what you guys did” – as if he is not the one responsible.

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September 7th, 2009

Scott, If one uses Thunderbird, can it be used to compose and receive email through your Gmail account? If so, how do you setup Gmail and Thunderbird to do so. Thanks for today's blog. Paul

Scott Johnson
September 7th, 2009

Yes, Gmail can be configured to come through Thunderbird. Log on to your Gmail account at, click on Settings, click on the "Forwarding and POP/IMAP" tab. In the POP section, click on the link that says Configuration Instructions. A new window will open, then click on Thunderbird. Just follow those step-by-step instructions.