View Full Version : Mail - Do you "Bounce"?

30th March 2008, 12:18 AM

Call me slow... today I discovered the "bounce" option in Apple's Mail program, which according to Help returns a "terribly sorry, this address was invalid" response to the sender of the selected email - ie for Spam.

Does anyone actually use this (or like me, never knew it existed)? Does it "help" (reduce spam)?



30th March 2008, 12:19 AM
I knew it existed. Never use it. Probably does nothing.

30th March 2008, 12:33 AM
Doesn't reduce spam because those systems are automated. The only thing the spambot registers when you bounce the email back is that your address is valid. I use the bounce feature to get rid of people whom I have only met once or twice yet they insist on sending me stupid jokes and lewd pps every day.

30th March 2008, 12:36 AM
Does it "help" (reduce spam)?

Mirroring most of my thoughts the Author of SpamSieve on Bouncing email.

bouncing-spam-messages (http://c-command.com/blog/2007/10/04/bouncing-spam-messages/)

Bouncing Spam Messages
October 4th, 2007 (SpamSieve)
From time to time, people ask why SpamSieve doesnít have a feature to ďbounceĒ spam messages back to the sender. They also ask whether they should use Apple Mailís Message ‣ Bounce command. The thought is that a spammer will stop sending to your address if he thinks that the address was invalid and his message didnít get through. The short answers are that SpamSieve lacks this feature on purpose and that I do not recommend using Mailís Bounce command. More specifically, this sort of bouncing is ineffective or even counter productive for a variety of reasons:

Spammers probably donít care. They have lists of thousands or millions of e-mail addresses, and itís cheap to keep sending messages to the entire list. They may get paid based on the size of their list, no matter whether all the addresses are valid. In any case, it wouldnít be worth the effort to prune it down.

You canít contact them. Even if you believe that spammers care, your bounce message probably wouldnít get to them. Spammers use hijacked machines and forged return addresses, so if you reply to a spam message youíre likely sending your bounce to an invalid address or an innocent bystander.

If you could, it might be bad for you. There is a narrow window of time in which rejecting a spam message might work. When the mail server is in the process of receiving a message, itís talking to the sending server and so theoretically it could communicate that the address is invalid. By the time the message has been delivered to your account, downloaded by the mail program on your Mac, and filtered by SpamSieve, this window has long since closed. At this point, if the spammer were listening, heíd already know that the message had been delivered. If you were able to get a bounce back to him, heíd know that it was a fake bounce. The original message must have gotten all through, so he should send you more spam.
Since bouncing doesnít work, it would be a waste of your time and network resources to do it. Including such a feature in SpamSieve would fill out the feature checklist but give the false impression that the feature should be used.

30th March 2008, 01:43 AM
I found the bounce worked well for a while... but then.. I gave my address to a site I shouldnt have and well my spam level went from 0 to 1000000000000 per day....

I created a new address and have had no problem since... and no need to bounce.

30th March 2008, 07:06 AM
I agree with leon - I tend to only bounce people.
I did get bounced once by another mac user (wilko if you're reading this I still haven't gotten over that!) and in the return text in the message it told me it was a bounce.... so I guess the moral is don't bounce another Mac Mail user!:)

30th March 2008, 09:28 AM
I didn't know about the 'bounce' feature of mail, but as others have pointed out, it wouldn't be very effective against spam.

A good strategy for reducing spam is to have a number of email addresses - one or two for your friends and family to use; a couple for using when signing up to forums, internet groups, etc. where you're pretty sure they won't sell the address list to anyone; and finally ones that you can use once and then delete once they've served their purpose.

In my time on the internet, I've only had one address get spammed, where I chose an address that was the same as my forum name.

30th March 2008, 11:30 AM
so I guess the moral is don't bounce another Mac Mail user!

Unless you don't care if they know you're bouncing them ... either way it should stop the crap.

30th March 2008, 11:37 AM
Thanks for the hint guys, I have one person who insists on e-mailing me jokes and crap. I'll bounce it the next time I get one. Hopefully that will put a stop to that.