JUNK MAIL CONTROLS INFO
Junk mail controls in SeaMonkey and Mozilla Thunderbird employ an adaptive filter. It must be
trained before it will work. And as new types of spam arrive you should mark them accordingly to keep the filter
effective. This is described in the reading links below but here's a quick rundown on how to train the filter.
To begin you must train the filter by identifying messages as being one of three types:
- Junk (You must explicitly tell the filter that a particular message is "Junk.")
- Not Junk (You must explicitly tell the filter that a particular message is "Not Junk.")
- Unknown (the default for messages that the filter cannot identify from its database.)
Then, take these actions:
- If you have emails saved that you know are not junk, highlight them all,
right-click, select Mark then choose As Not Junk. If you have no saved messages of this type
you'll have to mark them as they come in.
- If you have spam mails that haven't been marked as junk, highlight them all and do the same
except choose As Junk when marking. Likewise, if you have no saved spam messages you'll just
have to mark new ones as they come in.
- Training the filter is a never-ending process. Spammers constantly come up with new forms for their junk
in an attempt to circumvent such filters. To keep the filter effective you must constantly train the
filter by marking messages that come in and are judged to be of the "Unknown" type.
- You should carefully watch the actions of the JMC for the first month or so (depending on how
much mail you get) to ensure that you correct false positives and false negatives. Simply select
an incorrectly-marked message and mark it correctly.
- You should examine the Junk Mail Controls preferences and set your options for which
automatic actions you want to employ. It's located in: Tools - Junk Mail Controls.
- Turn on the Junk status column so you can see what the status is. See the
Junk Mail Controls Reading
More Advanced Reading
First, retraining Mozilla JMC is not required after a program upgrade. Your junk mail database (training.dat) is
stored in your profile which is not touched by a program upgrade.
As for accuracy of the filter, spammers are constantly reformulating
their spam to try to be more effective and outguess filters, including
the Bayesian-type filter used by Mozilla applications. This means (at
least) that filter training is an ongoing process.
Every once in a while I notice the filter efficiency drop because of the
changing spammer tactics. You can rename (or delete) your training.dat file and
train a new one from scratch. Or just keep marking messages as either junk or not-junk
to bring the filter up to date.
This page last changed: April 30, 2013 - 10:26 AM
Copyright Ed Mullen |