POP3Filter Tips & Tricks

POP3Filter is designed to be both easy to use and accurate with its classification of emails, however, there are some things that you should keep in mind when using it that will help improvie its accuracy even further.
  • Be consistent when training POP3Filter: e.g. if you initially classify a newsletter as not spam and then later classify a new edition as spam, it will tend to make it difficult for the software to know what classification to give to future newsletters like that.
  • When you first start using POP3Filter, you should regularly check for false positives (Good emails incorrectly classified as Spam) - e.g. once per day. Although such cases should be rare, they're more likely to occur when POP3Filter is starting to learn the types of emails that you receive. Failure to catch and correct false positives may tend to lead to even more in the future. After you have been using POP3Filter for a while, and you're happy that it isn't mistakenly marking good emails as spam, you can reduce the frequency that you check for false positives - e.g. once per week.
  • Make use of the Don't Learn feature - commercial emails that you have deliberately subscribed to may look similar to some of the spam that you get, so having the software learn those emails as being not spam may increase the chances of real spam slipping past the filter. Assuming that commercial emails from such sources always have the same From address, you can use the Add/Edit button at the top of the screen when viewing emails to set the sender action to Never Learn emails from that source. Normally, you would also set the sender action to always mark such emails as not spam, however, you may wish to instead set the software to always ignore emails from that address so that they never contaminate the learning of the software, or reach your inbox.
  • If you receive emails that are incorrectly addressed and weren't intended for you, it is better to have the software ignore them than to try to classify them as either spam or not spam.
  • For your own email address(es), it is often worthwhile setting the Recipient Action to Flag Name Mismatch - Spammers often buy lists of email addresses, without knowing the actual names associated with those addresses, so they just make up a name to go with the address when they're composing their emails. Using this flag will help to catch spam when this occurs with the slightly increased risk of catching legitimate emails.
  • Similar to the above, it may also be worthwhile setting the recipient action for your address(es) to Flag Missing Name. Although this isn't as strong an indicator of spam, it may help catch some spam in borderline cases.
  • If your mail client times out when checking for emails through POP3Filter, you should set File->Preferences->General->Don't wait more than 55 seconds for mail downloads to complete before responding. Depending on your mail client, you may be able to increase the timeout period to help with this as well.
  • When reviewing lists of emails, rather than double clicking on an email to reclassify it, you can just right click on it and choose a new classification from the popup menu.
  • If you accidentally delete an important email in your email client, you can use the search by sender or subject features of POP3Filter to search for the email and then use the Mark As New button. The email will then be re-downloaded into your mail client when you next check for emails.
POP3Filter - An Advanced Bayesian Spam Filter