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QotD: SpamAssassin Rating

Question: At what level do you have SpamAssassin set?

My Answer: The new server at MediaTemple offers SpamAssassin. On the advice of a friend, I set my limit to 5 and only modify the subject currently. It worked reasonably well after a few days of testing, so I changed my parents' email accounts to delete at 5 or higher. Then I lowered my threshhold to 3. I got two false positives, one of which was actually a notification of a comment spam, but a lot more correctly marked spam. I've dropped back to 4 now (the two false positive threes were 3.1 and 3.7). 4 seems to be marking about half of my spam without any (yet) false positives.

I think I can tweak some of SpamAssassin's settings beyond "total score" and "action," but I've not yet gotten into that. I'm just trying to settle on a number at which I can change "modify subject" to "delete." KISS and all that. Somewhere between 4 and 5 seems to be a good spot.

You are encouraged to answer the Question of the Day for yourself in the comments or on your blog.

4 Responses to "QotD: SpamAssassin Rating"

  1. I had two levels: 5 for moving to Junk, 10 for /dev/null. Though this was after I'd trained it a lot (using the bayesian stuff). I then (really) upped the weightings of the 60%+ certainties, such that if something scored 99% bayesian certainty it was instantly going to /dev/null.

    (Before setting 10 to /dev/null I had it going to a separate "Really Junk" folder for about a month with 0 false positives.)

    With that setup I had maybe 1 or 2 spam reach my inbox every 3-4 days, around 5-10 actual spam in the Junk, and maybe 1 false positive end up in the Junk folder (which was then really easy to spot, and most of the time that was actually Mail that decided - wrongly - it was spam). According to my stats ~140 day were ending up in /dev/null.

  2. Do they also offer SPF or Domainkeys ? Because I do believe that both of these solution should be implemented where they can. SPf is on my plate should implement that in a few weeks.

  3. My answer to this QotD is in my blog here:

    Using a MaybeSpam Mailbox

    I put non-list messages with a score of 2 or more in my "MaybeSpam" mailbox and then "greenlist" false positives. I put all my spam-fighting energy into keeping my greenlist up-to-date and so far, it's working well for me. Details are in the blog item.

    BTW, nice blog!

  4. I used the default 5 for junk, and 6 for automatically deleting. I am sick handling all those spam.