Spam Best Practices?

I’ve been a long time mxroute user (2016?) and we all know that spam is the bane of our existence.
Are there any best practices that I can adopt to limit spam? We have 6 email accounts on Ocean server (family peeps). (I think I am on a legacy server, what is this “crossbox” thingy?)
Somehow, I have ended up with multiple spam folders on the main email id (junk/spam/subfolders marked as spam).
I use the spam assassin cpanel thing occasionally to white and black list email.
I don’t know if there is a way to “right click” and “mark as spam” to train the spam assassin program.
We use multiple devices (Win 7 PC, Android phones, IPhones, etc).
Would routing everything through “gmail” help (using their spam filters) ?
I was using MxGuardDog for several years, but that ended up causing problems that I quite don’t understand (Jarland helped figure it out, and we all decided that it was best to stop using mxguarddog.)
Basically, too much spam getting through, and what practices can I adopt as the “dad” in the family to help.
Thanks in advance!

Great question!

On the cPanel boxes you have two layers of spam protection. You have my global settings and your user settings. My global settings are a ceiling, everything above that gets rejected. It’s designed to be a bit high of a ceiling so that you can control how much further you want to go by your own config.

I don’t think blacklisting is very effective. It’s rare that I see the same spam from the same email (or domain) twice, at least not when it’s real legitimate spam (as opposed to newsletters I’m tired of receiving).

Now you can get crazy with this if you want to, the abilities you have to control this are a bit excessive. They’re all under “Spam Filters” in cPanel. Let me go over some of the abilities you have:

  1. You can adjust the score for auto deletion. Mine is set at 10, anything you set under that is effective. Example of deleting anything that scores a 7 or higher:

  2. You can customize scores of spam rules. So if you see a certain type of email always triggering a rule, you can increase the score given by that rule. For example, in this email you find HTML_MESSAGE gives a score of 1.5:

Now let’s say I decide to give HTML_MESSAGE a score of 2.5:

Hopefully that familiarizes you with the two options you have that I think give you the most control. Adjusting the spam score for deletion, and adjusting the result of individual rules.

I need a newbie version: Is the higher the number more restrictive or less restrictive?
I don’t mind sending “ham” to the spam folder, than whitelisting them.
My wife is getting at least 15 “thermometer” covid 19 emails a day, and I’d like to send all those to the spam folder…
Is there a dummies guide to spam assasin config anywhere?

Thanks again.

A higher number means more spam checks were hit. Each check carries with it a score. So, for example, I have a rule that says if the body of an email contains the string “Grandma Takes It All Off” it gets a score of 10, which means I instantly reject it. Humorous, and actually written as the result of real spam I received. Thankfully there were no images attached that I recall.

So the higher the score, the more likely it is to be spam. The lower the score, ideally the less likely it is to be spam.

I suppose this is more clear documentation but I’m not sure it’s an easier read:

There’s basically just so many different ways to handle spam that a lot of it comes down to preference. For example, you could also create a filter as your own anti-spam system, something like this: