Fighting Spam with Gmail

Remember a few weeks ago when I lamented the dramatic uptick in the amount of spam I was getting. Well I got rid of it. All of it. Here’s how.

First, I modified the procmail settings on our mail server to redirect all of my incoming email to my Gmail account, except email coming back from Gmail itself:

* !^X-Gmail-Received: .*

Next, I modified my Gmail account so that under the “Forwarding and POP” section it’s set to “Forward a copy of incoming mail to…” my actual address, and “archive Gmail’s copy.”

The effect of these two changes is that all incoming email gets redirected to Gmail where spam is stripped out (very, very effectively) and non-spam is forwarded back to me where, because of the procmail rule, it’s not forwarded to Gmail and I pick it up from my IMAP server, using my regular old mail client.

In addition to the spam that Gmail’s filtering out, I’m also running Spamassassin locally, and using Apple’s anti-junk mail features.

In addition to the spam-fighting properties of this solution, I also get a searchable backup of all my incoming email at Gmail.

This has all been in place for 3 days now, and I haven’t seen a single spam message in my inbox yet.


Chris Corrigan's picture
Chris Corrigan on October 21, 2006 - 07:04 Permalink

That is one damn smart hack Peter. Sharp, easy and true, and with the added back up of the searchable archive.

Ken's picture
Ken on October 25, 2006 - 22:22 Permalink

Can you somehow bcc all your sent mail thru google to archive it as well? You would have a complete backup system on hot standby in Google.