Mailblocks, makes a strong case for their service, in their press release below, but it’s not convincing enough for me.
I’d prefer to not have an important emailer have to type 7 digits in a challenge email message to verify that they are a human.
Although Mailblocks system will block 100% of computer generated spam, if you have email from clients and other important persons you might not want to throw this barrier up.
I’ve posted the full press release here:
If every time you jump online to check your email, you are forced to wade through multiple irritating or offensively titled emails just to get to your legitimate mail — you need to check out Challenge/Response. Challenge/Response is the only spam-fighting technology that effectively eliminates 100% of spam from your inbox with zero false positives — leaving only the email you wish to receive.
Here’s how Challenge/Response works — any email sent from someone who has not already been added to your Address Book is held in a Pending folder, and a response is automatically sent, asking the sender to authenticate themselves (called a Challenge). Legitimate senders need only type in the seven digits found in the Challenge email. They are instantly verified, and their email moves immediately into your inbox. Spammers, on the other hand, send out millions of computer-generated emails, so it is not feasible for them to respond to the Challenge messages. As a result, the spam stays in the Pending folder and is ultimately deleted, never reaching your inbox.
Mailblocks, a new-generation Web-based consumer email service, has perfected the use of Challenge/Response technology, and has taken the concept a step further. Mailblocks’ Challenge/Response 2.0 automates the process by reducing the number of Challenges legitimate senders see.
“We understand the way ‘real’ people use email and have taken Challenge/Response to the next level by working on the details that other systems ignore,” said Richard Landsman, Mailblocks acting CEO. “For example, most people will only have to respond to one Mailblocks Challenge in their lifetime. As long as a sender remains in good standing, they won’t ever be challenged again.”
Because it sounds like a complex technology, consumers are sometimes reluctant to use Challenge/Response. But once a consumer tries Challenge/Response, s/he quickly understands its value. Here are some common misperceptions about the technology — and the corresponding truths.
Challenging other people before their email can reach me might make people angry.
Challenge/Response systems are similar to intercoms at the entrances to many apartment buildings. Typically, visitors wishing to enter such a building are required to identify themselves (via the intercom) before being allowed in. In effect, the resident of the building is “challenging” the visitor to come up with a valid reason why they should be let in. Challenge/Response systems are similar except that the “visitor” in this case (i.e. the sender) has only to prove that they are a human, as opposed to a computer. Effectively, once they pass the Challenge they are automatically given a key to the door. Of course, the Mailblocks user can always revoke this “key” at any time.
If I forget to add someone to my accept list, their mail will be lost.
No email that is sent to a Mailblocks user is ever lost. It is either accepted into one of the user’s incoming email folders, or it is placed in the user’s Pending folder. Email stays in this folder until a Challenge is completed. If the Challenge is not completed by the sender, the email is automatically deleted from the Pending folder by the system after a time period of the user’s choice. Users have access to their Pending folder at all times and can move messages from their Pending folder into their inbox, or another folder, if they so desire.
If computer generated email can’t get to me, I will not see my e-commerce receipts and airline confirmation messages.
Mailblocks provides its users with a set of disposable email “aliases” called Trackers, which customers can customize and provide to online merchants and service providers. When email is sent to a Tracker address, no Challenge is sent, and the mail is immediately accepted, appearing in the user’s inbox or a designated Tracker folder.
Mailblocks does more than eliminate spam — it helps consumers more effectively manage, protect and consolidate their email and other related communications. Hallmarks of the Mailblocks service are the consolidation and management of existing Yahoo! Mail, AOL, MSN, Hotmail and POP3 accounts into one universal inbox; the capability to send and receive mail from a user’s custom domain name; and email access via a super-fast, application-like Web interface or through desktop email applications. Mailblocks also offers large storage and attachment allowances at the best pricing for consumers, as well as a selection of twenty email domains, and their keystone capability-100% elimination of spam with no false positives. This is why the Mailblocks service has received multiple Editor’s Choice selections and extremely favorable reviews in leading publications since the beginning of 2004 including: Computer Shopper, Forbes, Mobile PC, PC Magazine, PC World and The Wall Street Journal.
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