OK I’ve seen it a million times (perhaps even more) but never really knew what it meant or cared to investigate. MAILER-DAEMON. Turns out its really not that interesting but I’ve been receiving a particularly large – but now shrinking – amount of mail from them. Lets get to the definition of what it is then I’ll get into how I’m actually reducing SPAM with a simple click. The definition of MAILER-DAEMON according to PC Mag (I’m a Apple guy but whatever) is:
Software in a mail server that delivers messages to recipients. When you get a MAILER-DAEMON@whatevercompany.com message in your inbox, the server at that company is informing you that it is returning your message because of some failure. The “to” e-mail address may no longer be valid, or there may be a problem routing the message to the appropriate mail server. Your domain name may be on a blacklist, and the server is refusing all incoming messages from it. See blacklist.
Chances are also good that you never sent the message in the first place. Your e-mail address could have easily been copied by a worm from someone else’s address book and used as a “from” address without your knowledge.
So interesting, huh? Not really.
Like the rest of us I get tons of SPAM – C.i.al.is, rich unknown relatives that want to give me millions of Dollars, Euros, Pounds, etc. We all know the drill. See it and delete it. See it and delete it. See it and delete it. See it and delete it. And so on and so on. But now not as much for me. Why?I use Apple’s Mail email program and a couple months ago I discovered/started using the Bounce feature. What does it do? The Bounce feature allows the user to send an automatic return message or ‘bounced’ message back to the sender. The return message the sender receives claims your email address to have permanent and fatal errors. Basically says that your email is no good and they (be it the SPAMmers or your ex girl/guy friend, etc.) shouldn’t be sending to your address because there just isn’t a pair of eyes to see the junk message. So for every unwanted and unrequested email, i select them then hit the Bounce button to send it back to its maker.
However, SPAMmers do a lot of spoofing. OK definition time (from Wikipedia):
So because they’re using phony front end accounts, you will get a MAILER DAEMON response saying basically that your bounced SPAM message was to an email that doesn’t exist – but it actually does (‘behind the scenes’) and the SPAMmers get the info that YOUR email address is bad.
Though I don’t have empirical data to back all of this up, I can easily that my Yahoo, Gmail, and Kitlas Junk/SPAM email boxes are down at least 50% since I started using this bounce feature. The lesson here is that some – probably not all – people who are generating SPAM pay attention to mailboxes that are ‘no good’ and they remove your email after you bounce it enough times. I know also that bulk email programs (used for company newsletters, announcements to large groups of email addresses, etc.) can easily be configured to automatically remove email addresses that have bounced a certain number of times. Also, I’m guessing that there are not as many SPAM operators as you may think (check this and that) so when one operator sees enough bounces and removes your email from the mailing list, you’re actually getting removed from several.