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Tech Talk

New products help stop junk e-mail
Scripps Howard News Service


April 27, 2005

How safe is your e-mail inbox?

Most Internet service providers are now offering protection against spam. E-mail programs such as Microsoft Outlook and Eudora include junk mail filters. But let's face it, none of them do a decent job of keeping these invasive e-mails from getting to us.

Even when we add the "iron-clad protection" provided by products such as Zone Alarm and Symantec's various products, some of the stuff still gets through.

Enter stage left Choice-mail ($39.95) from DigiPortal and Mail Manager ($29.95) from Chrysanth. Both of these products are designed to flag offensive e-mails and let you eliminate them with a single keystroke.

Choice-mail is similar to the e-mail protection offered by ISPs, such as Earthink. Simply put, you set up a "white list" of correspondents you want to allow into your mailbox. All others are "challenged" and receive an e-mail telling them to ask for permission to send you mail.

This gives you control over what gets through and what becomes stranded in cyberspace.

Other features of the program include:

  • It will work with virtually any e-mail program.
  • It doesn't set up a spam folder in your inbox, because the offensive stuff doesn't get through.
  • The registration process is "hack resistant."
  • It's easy to use, install and configure.
  • Suspected spam is put into a Junkbox so that you can review it. You can also set a limit on how long the mail stays there before it's eliminated.

Now, I wouldn't disillusion you and say every bit of spam is eliminated from your inbox, but Choice-mail does filter out a high percentage of it.

Mail Manager works a bit differently. With this product, spam never gets past your ISP because it seeks out and destroys the offensive e-mails on your server.

The process is simple: Mail Manager analyzes the e-mail, highlights the spam and you get to eliminate it before it's downloaded. It will also seek out and destroy e-mail that sometimes gets through because the spammer uses weird characters.

Among its other features are:

  • It alerts you when you have new e-mail with a "You've got mail" sound.
  • It alerts you when you have spam to review.
  • You can set it up to delete all forms of spam without having to review it.
  • You can view you e-mail before downloading it from the server.
  • It gives you control over what your e-mail program downloads, eliminating timeouts or your inbox repeatedly trying to download large files.

Additional information on both of these programs can be found at and


E-mail Mike Berman at mberman(at) or visit

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