Hacking Gmail to eliminate spam

Gmail comes with a very good built-in spam filter, so you might be wondering what the …. ?

Well, consider this scenario –

  • We use Google Apps as our mailing solution.
  • The mailing solution lacks some very basic features like setting up inbound filters for mailing lists.
  • We have a mailing list called xxxxx@burrp.com that reaches out to every inbox company-wide. Earlier, it used to just accept mails from the same domain i.e. burrp.com. But we needed to open it up to receive mails from other domains like network18online.com and infomedia18.in.
  • So we went ahead and made a simple change – “Allow anyone to send mails to xxxxx@burrp.com”. But, this set us up for massive company wide spam from the outside.
  • Setting up a simple inbound domain filter should be easy, na? Except you cannot do this for mailing lists using the Google Apps mailing solution.
  • So here’s the little hack that we did –
    • All xxxxx@burrp.com mails only get sent to a real mailbox -> filter@burrp.com.
    • The mailbox only  receives mails from within the same domain. So you cannot spam it from outside.
    • You can setup various filters on a real mailbox. We’ve setup a forwarding rule in the filter@burrp.com mailbox to only deliver messages coming in from the above mentioned domains. If the rule matches it gets delivered to another mailing list xxx123@burrp.com, which is now the real company wide mailing list.
    • So non matching mails are just dropped.

That’s how we did a little message routing to only accept mails coming from certain domains, even though the mailing list is open.

Hope this helps you think of other cool Gmail hacks for your enterprise needs.


Author: anand

Currently CleverTap. Founder & ex-CTO - burrp. A techie and an entrepreneur at heart. Have worked in US, China and India.

2 thoughts on “Hacking Gmail to eliminate spam”

  1. little creativity in everything we do makes the life simpler…..so whatever we do, pause a while, rethink and bingo…….ride on your fresh energised levels of performance.

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