Mail on my Mac has about a dozen email accounts, some of which I’ve used for 15 years or more, so those addresses have floated around the spam-o-sphere far too long, and seem to show up on every spammer’s list. For a few years I used Mail’s Junk Mail Filter but instead of learning which incoming messages were true blue spam and blocking them accordingly, the function seemed to get stupid over time and allow even obvious spam (Viagra, Cialis, Nigerian scams) to get through.
Years ago I switched to SpamSieve and unlike Mail’s Junk Mail Filter, this one seems to get smarter over time, though it requires occasional training episodes. Installing SpamSieve is straightforward, and it works right out of the box, though tweaking is in order because it does learn the kind of spam your accounts receive.
SpamSieve can whitelist email addresses from your Contacts so you won’t miss important messages. There’s also a blacklist, called a blocklist which actually blocks specific email addresses so you’ll never see them again.
Spammers resort to all kinds of tactics to their messages through various spam filters, and SpamSieve color codes them so you can see which ones are, well, more spammy than others (not all spam is created equal). There’s also an option to turn off Mail’s new mail notification which sounds for every incoming message, and use SpamSieve’s new mail notification which only sounds when real email messages arrive.
Wait a minute. What about Mail on iPhone and iPad? You won’t find a good spam blocking utility for iOS devices but it doesn’t matter. As long as SpamSieve is running on your Mac, and you’re using IMAP email accounts, all is good– SpamSieve cleans up the spam so you won’t get the same messages on your iPhone.
If there’s a better, more comprehensive, and accurate spam filter for the Mac then I haven’t run into it yet. SpamSieve works on Apple’s Mac Mail, Airmail, Entourage, MailMate, Mailsmith, Outlook, Postbox, PowerMate and others, but, sadly, not on Mozilla’s Thunderbird email app.
The only nit picking I can come up with is that SpamSieve is a Mail plugin that ceases to work whenever Apple upgrades the Mac’s Mail app, but the developer usually has an upgrade that works within hours.