Why I Use SpamArrest
By Mary Pride
Written on May 21, 2003
I used to hate getting my email. It was so depressing! I'd work and work to clear out my inbox, and just a few hours later, there would be another 20 messages.
- Porn-site messages.
- Virus-laded messages.
- Solicitations from Nigeria asking for my bank account information.
- Work-at-home schemes.
- Viagra ads.
You know the drill!
It was so bad, I didn't even want my kids using email any more . . . and I've been one of the promoters of distance learning via the Internet for homeschoolers!
All along, I was doing my best to filter out this mess, using the built-in filtering options in my email software. But it didn't work! As soon as I'd add a phrase, the spammers would start inserting strange characters and spacing so my filter wouldn't catch it. They'd change their email addresses every day, so trying to filter out mail from specific addresses didn't work either. And some of the mail I did want kept ending up in my "Trash" file, since the filters weren't smart enough.
Don't blame my email software. According to the latest reviews in computer magazines, even the best spam-filtering software lets oodles of bad stuff through and puts some of the mail you want in the trash. Not a really great solution.
Well, I've finally found a spam-blocking solution that actually works. It's called "SpamArrest." I put their button on our main page because I'm hoping lots of you will try it.
Here's how SpamArrest works:
- Your email is forwarded to the SpamArrest server.
- The recipient gets back a message telling them you are using SpamArrest, and that they should click on the included link to authorize their email.
- When they go to the link, they have to type in some letters from a graphic on that page. After they do that, they are authorized to send you email.
This method alone takes care of almost all the spam. Spammers do not follow up on emails of this sort, and there is no automated way for them to type in the letters from the graphic.
You can pre-authorize people you WANT to receive email from (friends, family, your kids' distance learning instructors), and DE-authorize anyone whose email you decide you don't want to receive anymore. So even if some spammer or unsavory person goes to the trouble of authorizing himself, you can go right back out to the SpamArrest site and add them to your list of blocked names.
Blocked mail never shows up at all. Unauthorized mail (mail from folks who are neither authorized yet or blocked yet) sits on the SpamArrest server for 7 days. You can check your messages very quickly, authorize any you want to get through, and block all the rest by just clicking their boxes and the "Block Sender" button.
In the case of a child, or anyone who only has a small, known list of people they want to hear from (friends, family, and teachers), you don't even have to bother going out to the SpamArrest site. After all, any legitimate contact just has to click on the link in the email SpamArrest sent them and type in the letters from the graphic.
If you're worried about your young child going to the SpamArrest site and seeing all the spam that way, just don't tell him or her the account password. YOU can manage your child's spam -- or just ignore it and let it go away all by itself.
If, like me, you have business you need to conduct online, and don't know in advance all the folks who might want to email you, you can just hop out to spamarrest.com daily, block all the bogus email, and authorize the good stuff. You can read your messages right there on the SpamArrest site, so you don't have to wonder what you're letting through.
In all, it only takes a few minutes -- much less time than downloading and deleting the daily flood of spam used to take.
And since it's on THEIR server, all those nasty little virus attachments, porn images, and useless ads never even get to your computer.
If this all sounds too good to be true, you don't have to believe me. Check it out for yourself! SpamArrest offers a free 30-day trial of their system. Being a cautious type, I signed up for the 30-day free trial, but well before the 30 days were up, I was sold on their service.
Now I just go to the SpamArrest site first thing, blitz all the spam in just a minute or two, authorize the valid messages, and then get my email. And instead of 30 to 60+ email messages full of depraved and depressing , now I only end up dealing with about nine per day -- from people I actually want to hear from!
My husband Bill has already signed up for his SpamArrest account. You can bet I'm also getting SpamArrest counts for all my kids. And we're so sold on this solution, we've even become a SpamArrest affiliate. That means that if you click on the button below and sign up for a free 30-day trial, if after the trial you are happy enough with SpamArrest that you sign up for a paid term of service, some of that fee will help support this site.
Of course, you always can just go directly to their website, but we hope that if you found this article helpful, you'll click on the banner below. The cost to you of a SpamArrest subscription is the same either way.
Mary Pride is the author of The Way Home, All the Way Home, Schoolproof, the Big Book of Home Learning series and many other books on family and homeschool topics. She is the publisher of Practical Homeschooling magazine, and one of the creators of this website.