What’s the point of re­port­ing spam?

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

Does mark­ing some­thing as ‘Junk’ in Mail ac­tu­ally do any­thing? It gives me more work to do clear­ing out the Junk mail­box. I was hop­ing that the Mail elves would be re­spond­ing to en­sure un­wanted rub­bish doesn’t darken my in­box again. Does it re­ally make any dif­fer­ence or should I just trash junk? An­drew Pritchard Mail re­fines its junk mail fil­ters only if it is in train­ing mode (when ‘Mark as junk mail, but leave it in my In­box’ is se­lected un­der Junk Mail in its pref­er­ences). Mark­ing emails as junk (or mis­tak­enly in­ter­preted mails as not junk) af­fects Mail’s al­go­rithm. In this mode you’re re­spon­si­ble for delet­ing or mov­ing spam your­self. Af­ter a cou­ple of weeks, your fil­ter should be pretty ac­cu­rate, and you can set the fil­ter to ‘Move it to the Junk mail­box’.

Mail on iOS has no train­ing mode, but mark­ing junk might still be use­ful be­cause it moves things to the junk folder, where mes­sages are auto-deleted af­ter 30 days (at least for iCloud ac­counts), so there’s time to change your mind.

Years ago, train­abil­ity was a killer fea­ture, but iCloud, Gmail and many ISPs ap­ply very good fil­ter­ing be­fore mes­sages reach your in­box. Although not tuned to you, th­ese server-side fil­ters are con­stantly up­dated, in part by spam re­ports from thou­sands of peo­ple like you. To flag a mes­sage in Gmail, se­lect it and press the ‘Re­port spam’ but­ton. For iCloud, for­ward the mes­sage as an at­tach­ment to spam@icloud.com.

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