email spam status

For the past few years I've done something silly with my email: I've
accepted email for every address at, and then
filtered them for spam before display. This means that, as far as any
spammer is concerned, every email address they tried to send to was a direct hit. So there's been a snowball effect:
everything they tried worked, and those addresses stayed on their lists,
and every variant they tried worked, and made it to the lists, etc.

Of course I didn't see most of it, but it all made the trip from spammer
to mail server and over fetchmail to my poor home computer, which would
have spamassassin crank for 20 minutes every, oh, 25 minutes or so.

I've finally changed to a sane situation wich my mail server on a VPS
and exim4 calling spamassassin at accept time. I've also set up a bunch
of rules for which email addresses I accept. (Just any old string
doesn't cut it any more.)

The result: over the past 9 days I've rejected 209,605 emails as spam.
That's about 16.17 a minute, or a little more than one every 4 seconds.

How many have I accepted? Including false negatives, 2441, or one every
5 minutes. (I am on several high-volume mailinglists.)

That's a S/N ratio of 1.16%!

Hopefully as time goes by, the rejections will start trimming addresses
off spammers' lists, and that will improve somewhat. Until then... at
least it's not my home computer doing the work any more.


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