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6.1.3   Catch spam sent from my own addresses

Sometimes spammers forge one of your e-mail addresses and send you spam messages that appear to be coming from yourself. If SpamSieve is not properly configured, these spams will keep coming into your inbox even after you train them as spam. (Yes, you should train them as spam if they get through to your inbox.) Once you fix the configuration, SpamSieve will be able to catch these messages as easily as any other spams.

Why does SpamSieve let these obvious spams into my inbox?

SpamSieve does what you tell it to do. Under the standard configuration, the Use macOS Contacts option is enabled in SpamSieve’s settings. This is safety feature so that messages from people in your address book are never marked as spam. If your address is in the address book and a spammer sends a message from that address, SpamSieve will let it through to your inbox. It will do this no matter how blatantly spammy the message is; doing otherwise would counteract the safety feature.

How can I tell whether I need to fix the setup?

The Log section of the manual explains how SpamSieve keeps a log of all the messages that it filtered and why it thought they were good or spam. For each incoming message that SpamSieve thought was not spam, there is a Predicted: Good entry in the log. If it says the reason is that the sender address was in your Contacts or in Outlook’s contacts, that means that SpamSieve thought the message was good because it was sent from an address that’s in your address book. If the address is one of your addresses, please follow the instructions below. (If there’s no Predicted entry for the message, please see the Why is SpamSieve not catching my spam? section for instructions on checking the setup in your mail program.)

How do I make SpamSieve catch these spams?

SpamSieve has a feature specifically for catching this kind of spam. For messages sent from your address, SpamSieve will ignore the fact that your own address is in your address book. It will apply its normal Bayesian filtering engine to examine the entire contents of the message and evaluate whether it is spam. To use this feature, you need to do two things:

  1. Make sure that Catch spam sent from my own addresses is checked in SpamSieve’s settings. This tells SpamSieve to pretend that your address is not in the address book, thus bypassing the Use macOS Contacts safety feature (but only for messages sent from one of your own addresses).

  2. Tell SpamSieve which addresses are yours. You do this by listing them on your card in the Contacts application.

    If the addresses are already entered in your e-mail program’s settings, you can quickly add them by clicking the Edit Addresses button. Make sure to enter them in the e-mail address section rather than the phone number section.

    Your card is the one that has your name and photo (or login image). It says “me” on top of the photo, and in the name list it has a black silhouette of a head and shoulders instead of a white address book card. To find your “me” card, choose Card ‣ Go to My Card. If you don’t have a “me” card, you can make one by creating a new card with your name and addresses and choosing Card ‣ Make This My Card.

Excluding Extra Addresses

You can also use this feature to catch spam messages sent from certain addresses in your address book. Normally, if you have Use macOS Contacts checked, messages from addresses in your address book will never be classified as spam. This is generally what you want, but there may be one or two particular addresses that spammers keep forging. By using Catch spam sent from my own addresses and adding those addresses to the “Me” card in Contacts, you can get SpamSieve to analyze the full contents of those messages to determine whether they are spam. SpamSieve will continue to use the other addresses in the address book as before, always classifying messages from them as good.

You can use Terminal to add additional addresses that you want to exclude but that you don’t want to list on the “Me” card. Enter a command such as:

defaults write com.c-command.SpamSieve ExtraAddressesToExclude -array

To remove the list of addresses to exclude, enter this command:

defaults delete com.c-command.SpamSieve ExtraAddressesToExclude

Changes take effect the next time you launch SpamSieve. You can see which extra addresses are excluded by entering this command:

defaults read com.c-command.SpamSieve ExtraAddressesToExclude
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