Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi
 


Thursday, February 6, 2003

Keep your mailbox spam-free with an intelligent email classification system

POPFile 0.17.9
= interesting, promising
Software utility
FREE

If you want to get rid of spam in your email inbox, you probably either sort it out manually or apply an automatic spam filter. Sorting it out manually takes up a lot of time, but you can be quite sure not to throw away any mail that is NOT spam by mistake. On the other hand, automatic filtering is fast, but sometimes not very accurate. With POPFile you can gradually move from a manual to an automatic mail filtering while minimizing the risk of classification errors. This is possible because POPFile is able to learn from you what is spam and what is not spam.

When you first install POPFile it is "stupid" and classifies your mails at random. You have to correct its mistakes and teach it how to classify mails appropriately. The more you train it, the more accurate its decisions will get and the less you will have to supervise it. Users are reporting that POPFile reaches accuracy levels up to 99 percent in a relatively short time (see for example Geekster's review).

 

 

If you are interested in the technology behind POPFile, i.e. na√Įve Bayesian filtering, you should read David Weinberger's article Bayes vs. Spam. It is well written and very easy to understand.

POPFile works as a proxy server for POP accounts. That means it does not integrate with your email package; instead you have to run it separately, which is a bit uncomfortable.

For more information on how to get rid of spam, see Robin Good's review What to do to limit junk email, spam and email-based viruses.

 
 
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posted by on Thursday, February 6 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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