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Poco Forums • View topic - Junk mail filter not working well

Junk mail filter not working well

Discussion on Bayesian and standard junk mail filters

Moderators: Eric, Tomas, robin, Michael

Junk mail filter not working well

Postby LGM » Wed Apr 18, 2007 8:54 am

Can someone please tell me the ideal way to setup the junk mail filter or point me to a set of instructions.

I am having lots of problems with false positives. Moreover, mail from the same senders that I repeatedly classify as good keeps getting put in the junk folder.

What I am most interested in is if there is a way to score words OR whitelist certain senders so that email from, for example, buy.com will never be classified as junk. Conversely, I would like to blacklist certain words or senders.

I have looked at the junk mail filter interface and find it confusing. Can someone please help?

I am using Pocomail 4.

Thanks in advance.

--LGM

~ Moved from PocoMail ... Eric ~
LGM
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Re: Junk mail filter not working well

Postby Michael » Wed Apr 18, 2007 2:19 pm

LGM wrote:Can someone please tell me the ideal way to setup the junk mail filter or point me to a set of instructions.

I am having lots of problems with false positives. Moreover, mail from the same senders that I repeatedly classify as good keeps getting put in the junk folder.


If these senders are in your address book then add the following filter (place it immediately above your junk mail filters):

Search: From for Known Senders Then Perform Stop processing

LGM wrote:What I am most interested in is if there is a way to score words OR whitelist certain senders so that email from, for example, buy.com will never be classified as junk. Conversely, I would like to blacklist certain words or senders.


You can white list and black list only if you are using strict bayesian filters or you use a custom method. I'll go over enabling non-bayesian filters first:

a) Open the Junk Mail Filtering form (Tools | Junk Mail Filters)
b) Select the "General settings" tab
c) Check the "Run non-standard Bayesian filters" box
d) Select the "Word lists" tab and use the "Banned senders" to blacklist and/or the "Allowed senders" to whitelist.

Note: Using this method blacklisting and white listing are not guaranteed to treat a message as bad or good but they do move it considerably in the direction you want. The actual results are determined by a large number of filter rules that are applied, including the Bayesian filter rules.

Method 2: White listing and Black listing without running the non-standard Bayesian filters. This method will treat the messages strictly according to the whitelist/black list settings.

a) Open the Junk Mail Filtering form (Tools | Junk Mail Filters)
b) Select the "Word lists" tab and use the "Banned senders" to blacklist and/or the "Allowed senders" to whitelist.
c) Create the following filter and place it at the very top of your incoming message filters. When adding new filters always ensure this filter remains at the top.

Search From for Banned senders Then Move message to Junk Mail

d) Change the "Known senders filter (described at the start of this reply) to:

Search: From for Known Senders OR Search From for Allowed senders Then Perform Stop processing

LGM wrote:I have looked at the junk mail filter interface and find it confusing. Can someone please help?

I am using Pocomail 4.

Thanks in advance.

--LGM
Michael
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 12:14 pm
Location: Victoria BC, Canada

Postby LGM » Thu Apr 19, 2007 2:36 am

Michael, thanks for your detailed reply.

Today I was searching in the menus for something else and just today saw for the first time the context menu for junk mail filtering when you right click on a specific message. I feel dumb for not having seen this before! I just always went to Tools>Junk Mail Filters in an attempt to fix things but always found the interface confusing.

I'm going to try using the context menu first. The #1 issue is all the false positives so I hope by using "Allow Sender" and "Allow Domain" this will stop that. In the past I simply clicked "Classify as Good" in the message window and this seemed to have zero effect.

So I'll try this for a week or two, and if it doesn't work, then I'll implement one of your suggestions.

I'll report back here on what happens.

Thanks gain,
LGM
LGM
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Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 10:26 am

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 19, 2007 12:47 pm

If you are using strict Bayesian filters I'm not sure that the allow sender and allow domain options will have any effect. I could be wrong but I believe these are only effective when you are using non-Bayesian filtering (whether on it's own or in conjunction with Bayesian filters).
Michael
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Joined: Mon Jul 26, 2004 12:14 pm
Location: Victoria BC, Canada

Postby LGM » Thu Apr 19, 2007 1:49 pm

Just looked at the Junk Mail Filters setup window. Both "Run standard non-Bayesian filters" and "Run Bayesian Filters" are checked and have been that way since I started using the junk mail filters. I guess that's the default as I don't think I've ever changed those options (though I'm not 100% sure).

I thought by merely clicking the two buttons in the message window -- one for filing in the junk folder and the other for classifying as good -- that would be enough to train the junk filters. But evidently that's not the case and hence all the false positives.

So, since options for both types of bayesian filters are checked, the domain thing should work, right? I'm crossing my fingers that's the case.

I'm keeping a list of which domains I am now blocking and which I am allowing. So I should know shortly if it's working.

--LGM
LGM
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Posts: 35
Joined: Mon May 23, 2005 10:26 am

Postby Michael » Thu Apr 19, 2007 3:19 pm

Domain filtering should help. As to the classify buttons, they train the bayesian filters, people have reported quite varying results using Poco/Barca's Bayesian filtering. With the advent of image based spam these filters become less reliable although the effect of the image based spam should be more false negatives, it should have little or no effect on false positives.
Michael
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