Why “Block Sender” does not work

By | December 3, 2011
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Linda and the continuing saga of junk mail (or why “block sender” never works)
I use windows live as my email and I was very proud that I only had two or three junk emails a month but a couple of weeks ago instead of deleting the junk then looked under sweep and saw block sender so I did and smiled as I thought NO MORE JUNK… but instead I have been overwhelmed with new junk from via/gra and the likes. The more senders I block the more I get. I get 82 junk mails….yuck….please save me !

Also, when I use a program like CCleaner or defrag that takes a long time to complete my computer screen goes black after awhile and when I touch the mouse to open I am on my sign in screen so I sign in and see the program stopped when the screen went black and is picking up from there so unless I sit by the computer and keep it from going black it will never finish. Is this usual? Thanks for the amazing easy to read newsletter and I love your new ebook…..Linda

Our answer
Hi Linda. Thanks for the nice comments and for buying our e-book. I bought several copies myself (TC). I just like watching it download. I like to hear the cash register jingle too. But EB won’t reimburse me! Everyone should stop reading right now and buy a copy of our InfoAve Premium Volume 8 E-book not only because it’s a great ebook but because we need the money. If you already have a copy, buy another and give it to a friend – or just have two, three, or four copies stowed away on your computer because you love us so much! (Kidding — kind of 🙂 )

Let’s try to help you here. Do you know why block senders doesn’t work as a way to block spam? Because spammers send from hundreds, maybe even thousands of email addresses – either conjured up or real email addresses they’ve snarfed up through various means – including people clicking on the unsubscribe links in spam emails. (Oh yes! Clicking those unsubscribe links is a perfect way for you to ensure the spammer has your email address and to tell him or her your email address is valid and working.)

Here’s an example. Suppose my name is Günter Jordan (it’s really not, but suppose it is) and I’m a spammer. I have several very high-powered computers set up as email servers and I also have a network of botnets and zombies – computers that have downloaded my Trojans or malware through trickery or whatever. I have my mail blaster bulk email program set up to randomly send spam from 1000 different addresses. And I also have a network of 500,000 computers which are infected with my malware which has now turned at least 500,000 computers into zombies which I control and which I can use to send more spam from more different email addresses. So I’m sending spam from tens of thousands of email addresses – none of which are mine – and most of which are real. So go ahead and click “block sender” and see if I care. You’re not going to block all 501,000+ addresses I’m sending spam from and even if you could – every day I’m getting more and more addresses by infecting more and more computers – and recruiting more zombies for my spamming empire. Yes, I’m a malevolent guy – but I’m not stupid.

OK I’m done being Günter Jordan — and I’m back to being the lovable dough boy you love to love – TC. Now do you understand why block sender doesn’t work, and never ever will?

There really are no perfect spam filters, Linda. The reason why there are not is because spam is as complex as it is illogical. You can’t always assume that mail with the one or more words like spam, virus, Trojan, worm, buy now, click here, spyware, and the like. is spam. Yet some ISPs do just that. Some home PC spam filters try to identify spam by scanning the contents of the body of the email and some try to filter spam by trying to match the “from” address with an IP address – but no spam filter works 100% of the time; most spam filters don’t even come close.

Another problem with spam filters is they block good email too and if you’re not careful to browse through your spam or junk folder before emptying it (or Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail empty it for you) guess where all those good emails go? Spam filters have become censorship filters. No spam filter yet created works well enough for us to recommend. And no matter which spam filter you use, you’re going to have the same problem: good email is going to end up in the trash and you are still going to get spam. A spam filter may indeed cut down on the amount of spam you receive but if you miss just one important email because the filter tossed it in your junk or spam folder then you’ve lost it forever. You’ll then have to hope that email wasn’t all that important.

So is installing a spam filter worth it? That’s up to you to decide. We have most of our personal and business email accounts set up through Google’s Gmail simply because their spam filters work on an algorithm created by (and used only by) Google which we’ve about 98% accurate. That is a much higher accuracy rate than any other Web mail service. Plus Gmail doesn’t delete anything so we can (and do) go back and check our junk folder often to make sure Google’s filters didn’t toss some good emails in with the junk.

If we didn’t have businesses on the Web, we wouldn’t be getting over a hundred thousand spam emails a month (we’re not kidding). We’ve come to realize that spam is fact of Internet life and we have learned to live with it. If there were a simple solution to the spam problem, then spam wouldn’t be the problem it is. ISPs have created a problem almost as bad as spam by using really poor spam filters which decide which emails are spam based on the content and that makes it censorship.. But it doesn’t stop the spam.

Are we saying “learn to live with it, Linda”? No. But we want you to know that trying to stop spam using block sender is an exercise in futility.

As far as CCleaner goes, we think it’s one of the most over-rated programs ever. But CCleaner it has a very loyal following. Maybe one reason is because it seems to exaggerates the amount of junk it removes. But one thing we can tell you for sure is that its registry cleaner can cause serious computer problems. If you wish to continue to use CCleaner, don’t use its registry cleaner.

15 thoughts on “Why “Block Sender” does not work

  1. Michael W. Moseley Sr.

    I have heard several comments about CCleaner taking 10 minutes to work. I have had it for years and never had that happen. The reason her screen goes black is because of her computer settings, not CCleaner. Most laptops will do this to save battery power unless you set it differently. My CCleaner runs every time it starts and it doesn’t take but a couple of minutes at most. Any registry cleaner should be used with skepticism. Just because a cleaner tags something doesn’t mean it should be deleted. I found that out using Advanced System Care.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      CCleaner is over-rated and its registry cleaner does not work. I think the lady confused disk defrag with registry cleaner. I couldn’t recommend CCleaner to anyone. It’s not that good of a cleaner (Run Windows Disk Cleanup after CCleaner and see how good CCleaner isn’t) and the registry cleaner in CCLeaner is not only worthless – it can cause problems -exactly like the lady was having. CCLeaner should stick to cleaning junk and garbage files and stop trying to be an jack of all trades.

      Reply
  2. Ron Lewis

    It sounds like her CCleaner settings are set
    wrong because she has to log back in after it
    does its cleaning; and, if you do not already
    have a good antispyware, get the free version
    of Superantispyware free addition. Lastly,
    about to many spams, create yourself a
    disposable address and be very selective of
    who you give your real email address to; the
    non-selective’s use your disposable email
    address!

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      CCleaner’s registry cleaner doesn’t work right and never has – regardless of settings. And creating a disposable address, while a good idea, doesn’t help this lady – hindsight is always 20/20.

      Reply
      1. Ron Lewis

        I was not speaking on the
        registry, i was speaking on her
        settings in ccleaner where she
        said that after she runs it she
        has to sign back in. In the
        program on the left side where it
        says Windows, there are many
        settings, and if they are set
        wrong, then you will have to sign
        back in everytime after you run
        it. But again, hindsight in my
        read on it could be on me whereas,
        i do get into trouble for
        thinking! The disposable was just
        a suggestion to hopefully help her
        down the road.

        Reply
  3. Ips

    Another great spyware remover is Malwarebytes. Their freeware version works great and their subscribed version allows you to auto run at said times. I run mine every 3 days at 4:00 AM with autoshutdown and my computer runs better and faster. It’s amazing how much spyware resides on our computers after a search on the internet. I don’t go to any exotic or dangerous sites but I’m sure I’m still collecting unscrupulous cookies. Malwarebytes seems to take care of this. Thanks for all you do to help computer users.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      Couple things wrong… this comment has nothing to do with the article – and cookies are never spyware — they’re text files. People who worry about cookies are taking their eyes off the really dangerous things. So I went ahead and approved your comment – but I wanted to make sure that every one who read it realizes that cookies are never “unscrupulous” or dangerous because they’re text files which do not execute and can be deleted easily; and Malwarebytes, while a great program does not have anything to do with spam or “block sender”. Just wanted to clear that up.

      Reply
  4. Barbara

    Hi infoave,
    I have been receiving your emails for years, but I still had to retreive your latest from the junkmail folder. What makes it decided that suddenly this one is junk and not any previous ones beats me. This is the reason that like your good selves, I always check the junk mail folder before I empty it.
    barb

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      ISP censorship is based on the content of the email. Every issue is different. That’s why censorship is not a good thing. You should use a provider that doesn’t censor your email based on content. You will continue to have problems if you use a provider who censors your emails based on content. Gmail would be a good alternative for you. Thanks!

      Reply
    2. Ron Lewis

      Barb, once in a blue moon this too
      happens to me. I just click on to tell it that this is not spam; if you have
      not already done this, try it. I hope
      this helps.

      Reply
    3. Ron Lewis

      Barb, once in a blue moon this too

      happens to me. I just click on to tell

      it that this is not spam; if you have

      not already done this, try it. I hope

      this helps.

      Reply
  5. suat

    “blocking sender” doesn’t works.
    there must be a bug in hotmail server.
    lets forget about spams. I want to block one of my old friends.

    it is not working.
    you can try it. (by using two different e-mail address)

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      Block Sender never works with spam. Spammers use thousands of different email addresses to send “from”.

      Reply
  6. Steve Willey

    no, no, bloked sender really does not work. I receive mail from opne demented person and added her to blocked sender list in windows live mail. Still cthey come, properties show it from the exact same address as is on blocked sender list. Just keeps coming and I keep adding it to list, only shows one listing because the address it doesn’t change. Also, “send and receive at start-up” keeps on doing that thing, even though it is UN checked in the options. The program is flawed and never gets corrected in updates.

    Reply

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