Some observers believe that the rising tide of unsolicited commercial e-mail, known and loathed as spam, might actually kill off the e-mail medium. Repel those get-rich scams and manhood enhancers with these new keys to a cleaner inbox.

Pros: Senders who aren’t on your approved list must fill out a permission request. If you don’t okay it, the spam never gets through.
Cons: Doesn’t work with America Online’s proprietary e-mail program, so many of its 35 million users can’t benefit.
Bottom Line: Tests show high success rates in blocking spam. A real step forward.
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SPAMNET, free download
Pros: Uses a team approach to fight spam, adding the pests to a community database that protects all users.
Cons: Works only with Microsoft Outlook; may encounter problems with some corporate firewalls.
Bottom Line: A strength-in-numbers way to gang up on the spammers.
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Pros: Creates a “whitelist” of approved senders from your address book and sent-mail folder. Dumps unsolicited junk mail into a folder you can examine at your leisure.
Cons: It can take time to teach Matador what you want and what you don’t.
Bottom Line: A smart system that recognizes tip-off phrases used by spammers, saving you lots of time.
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