Recent statistics show that around 80 per cent of all email sent is spam. Judging by the contents of our inboxes, that figure is on the low side. Among cheap mortgages, discount drugs and degrees from universities we've never heard of, there's a dangerous element in lottery scams, bank detail phishing and malicious code.
While most email programs make some effort to bin unwanted email from your inbox, they're not always effective and you still have to download the email before it's marked as junk. Step forward then, spam blocking system ClearMyMail. The company behind the product makes a bold claim: that it can make your email 100 per cent spam-free. Can this be true, or is it marketing hyperbole?
Taking it away
Rather than working on your local machine, ClearMyMail is a hosted service that downloads your email from your ISP, then processes it. ClearMyMail uses 18 filters, analysing the content, subject line and origin to determine if the email is likely to be spam.
You may have noticed that in an effort to defeat these types of filters, spammers have started using images that contain text, as these are difficult for a machine to read. However, ClearMyMail has developed a system that can decode these images.
To use the service you need to create an account, provide ClearMyMail with your email login details and change your POP3 settings to download your email from ClearMyMail's servers. You're sent regular email reports where you can choose to block or allow the senders of emails, and if you login to your account then you can see a list of blocked email, in case any genuine messages have been blocked by accident.
Having tested a number of spam-blocking services, we were dubious of ClearMyMail's 100 per cent spam-free guarantee. Yet after 30 days the service had blocked 392 emails - 94 per cent of all our email, without letting one spam message through. Not a single genuine message was blocked, which is doubly impressive. If you're plagued by spam, then for £40 for two years you can reclaim your inbox.