One of the most annoying items that we all face is undoubtedly email spam. Unfortunately, there is little that we can do about it, and so I figured that it was time to try and understand it better. Not so long ago, I made two changes that made this not only possible, but useful. First, I switched from using POP3 email to IMAP. This in turn led to the other change, which was to (finally) dump Outlook and start using Thunderbird exclusively. In fact, the only time that I've used Outlook in the last few months was to help a family member figure out what was going wrong. But that's a story for another time.
What these two changes have done has allowed me to look at email spam differently. You probably already know that Outlook handles junk email. I've mentioned it before. More than once, actually. Unfortunately, the Outlook junk filter doesn't have much of a brain to it. I'm sure it does something, but it doesn't seem to ever tell you anything about it, and operating in a void doesn't help anyone. Thunderbird, meanwhile, doesn't tell you a lot either, but it does interact with the most popular spam filter on the planet (SpamAssassin) and it also allows you to tag items as junk and not junk, which supposedly will help future items. I don't know if that helps or not, but it feels like it does, and sometimes that makes all the difference.