Here’s How

You can greatly re­duce the amount of spam you get us­ing th­ese tips.

PCWorld (USA) - - Contents - BY JD SARTAIN

Spam lives on, de­spite all our ef­forts to snuff it out—but Out­look has some fea­tures to help slow it down. Here are some things any­one can do to man­age their email, plus some tips for work­ing within a cor­po­rate Out­look sys­tem.

1. USE BLOCK SENDER FRE­QUENTLY

Use Out­look’s Block Sender fea­ture to add in­tru­sive spam to your Block Sender List, and then move it to the Junk Email folder. This works fine if you re­ceive fewer than a dozen emails a day.

Se­lect the spam email, rightclick on it, choose Junk from the drop-down menu, and click Block Sender. Or, Se­lect Home > Junk > Block Sender. Out­look marks it and re­lo­cates it im­me­di­ately.

2. SET UP A BLOCKED SENDER LIST

If you get a lot of spam from a sin­gle

ISP or coun­try, or from a phish­ing group im­per­son­at­ing a le­git­i­mate or­ga­ni­za­tion, such as Ya­hoo6.com, epay­pal.com, or an email from Wells Fargo with an Earth­link ad­dress (hbird80@earth­link.net), you can add th­ese bad ac­tors to your Block Sender list by com­pany, group, coun­try, ISP, or other cri­te­ria. Se­lect Home > Junk > Junk Email Op­tions and click the Blocked Senders tab. Click the Add but­ton and en­ter a coun­try code, a group do­main, or a even a fake com­pany (epay­pal.com).

As the ex­am­ples listed in this dia­log box show, you don’t need wild­cards to block all email from a group or com­pany. Just en­ter the group name pre­ceded by the @ sign, or the name alone. Click OK > Ap­ply > OK. Task com­plete.

If you try th­ese tech­niques, and you’re still get­ting spam from some of the com­pa­nies or in­di­vid­u­als you pre­vi­ously blocked, then us­ing wild­cards may be the so­lu­tion. This tech­nique ad­dresses the chal­lenge that hack­ers are al­ways in­vent­ing new email ad­dresses for spam­ming you. In­stead of en­ter­ing in­di­vid­ual spam email ad­dresses into your Blocked Sender List, just en­ter this one “all-in­clu­sive” email ad­dress—*@*. com— into the Blocked Sender’s List. Fol­low the in­struc­tions in the first three para­graphs of sec­tion 2 above, and your spam prob­lem should be solved—or will be, that is, un­til the

hack­ers write an­other pro­gram to get around this so­lu­tion.

3. CRE­ATE RULES FOR SORT­ING, MOV­ING, AND MORE

Out­look has a fea­ture called Cre­ate Rule that of­fers cus­tom email man­age­ment based on con­di­tions that you de­fine in its vir­tual rule­book. Like macros, th­ese rules au­to­mate repet­i­tive tasks that you per­form daily, such as telling Out­look which emails to dis­play in spe­cific win­dows, move emails to other fold­ers, and/or cre­ate alerts with cus­tom sounds.

Se­lect the email you want moved to an­other folder. Se­lect Home > Rules > Cre­ate Rule. In the dia­log box, Out­look asks: “When I get email with the se­lected con­di­tions (From, Sub­ject, Sent To) do the fol­low­ing: Dis­play in New Item Alert Win­dow, Play Se­lected Sound, or Move Item to Folder.” Out­look as­sumes you want to check all three of the top boxes, but feel free to uncheck those that do not ap­ply. In the bot­tom pane, check the boxes that per­form the ac­tions you re­quire, then click OK.

For ex­am­ple, in Sam­ple 1 (see graphic on the next page), this rule says flag all emails from Com­cast with the sub­ject, “Your bill is ready,” sent to Xxx@chacha.com. Then I chose to play the Win­dows Rin­gin.wav sound, and then have the email moved to a

folder named Bills Due. For Play Sound, click Browse, nav­i­gate to the Win­dows/me­dia folder, then choose a sound from the list. For Move To Folder, click the Se­lect Folder but­ton, and choose one from your hard drive’s folder list.

In Sam­ple 2, all spam emails with the sub­ject “Jace” and the Sent To ad­dress as Xxx@chacha.com are flagged and sent to the Junk Email folder. The sub­ject line in this sam­ple has too many words for a good match, so this field box was unchecked.

4. RULES WIZARD (AD­VANCED OP­TIONS)

You can cre­ate rules that block spam—or set up a num­ber of other handy tasks—based on spe­cific cri­te­ria that you set.

For this ex­am­ple: Userkc re­ceives a lot of spam emails with at­tach­ments in her In­box that are not ad­dressed to her email ad­dress. In this case, the email was sent to some­body named mikeal.vic­tor98@gmail.com, but she re­ceived it in­stead. This is a com­mon phish­ing scam that’s es­ca­lated over time, so she de­cided to cre­ate a rule to au­to­mate a process that kills th­ese spam at­tacks.se­lect Home > Rules > Cre­ate Rule. In the Cre­ate Rule dia­log box, click the Ad­vanced Op­tions but­ton.

In the Rules Wizard dia­log box, Out­look asks: “Which con­di­tion(s) do you want to check? Step1: Se­lect Con­di­tion(s).” Scroll

through the list and choose the con­di­tions that ap­ply to your unique si­t­u­a­tion. In this ex­am­ple, Userkc se­lected where “my name is not in the To box” and “which has an at­tach­ment.” Out­look en­ters the con­di­tions in the Step2 box. Click Next.

In the se­cond Rules Wizard dia­log, Out­look asks: “What do you want to do with the mes­sage? Step1: Se­lect Ac­tion(s).” Userkc checked “move it to the spec­i­fied folder.”

No­tice the un­der­lined text here and in the Step 2 box: That in­di­cates that you need to click the link to com­plete this ac­tion. Click once, choose the spec­i­fied folder ( Junk Email), and then click OK. Out­look adds this ac­tion to your rule, then re­dis­plays the ad­di­tional rule in a new Step2 box. Click Next.

In the third Rules Wizard dia­log, you can make ex­cep­tions to a rule. Here, Out­look asks: “Are there any ex­cep­tions? Step 1: Se­lect Ex­cep­tions.” Userkc de­cided to add a safety ex­cep­tion: “ex­cept if sender is in spec­i­fied Ad­dress Book.” Af­ter you check the ex­cep­tion box, click the un­der­lined “spec­i­fied,” se­lect the ap­pli­ca­ble con­tact list, then click Add.

No­tice the new Step 2 box con­tains all the rules you just cre­ated. If ac­cept­able, click Fin­ish. The Fin­ish Rules Setup Wizard dia­log opens and re­quests that you spec­ify a name for this rule (or col­lec­tion of rules, ac­tu­ally). En­ter a de­scrip­tive name, check the Turn On This Rule box, and click OK. Now, all those mis­di­rected phish­ing and spam emails will go di­rectly to your Junk E-mail folder.

4c.

5. CHECK SPAM FOLD­ERS OF­TEN

Spam, phish­ing, and block­ing fil­ters, and the rules that gov­ern them, come in mul­ti­ple lev­els. In ad­di­tion to the fil­ters and rules you cre­ate on your own com­puter, your email soft­ware, an­tivirus pro­gram, In­ter­net provider, net­work ad­min­is­tra­tor, in­di­vid­ual su­per­vi­sor, and pos­si­bly oth­ers all have var­i­ous sys­tems for pro­tect­ing users from harm­ful and/or un­so­licited com­mu­ni­ca­tions. The of­ten ag­gres­sive tech­niques th­ese sys­tems use to fil­ter out the garbage means some le­git­i­mate emails may not get through.

Check your spam fold­ers of­ten at every level, es­pe­cially if you’re ex­pect­ing a com­mu­ni­ca­tion that never shows up. It’s gen­er­ally easy to ac­cess your spam fold­ers at the ISP level, be­cause most providers of­fer an email pro­gram with the ser­vice, which in­cludes a spam folder. In­di­vid­ual com­pany poli­cies may not be as flexible or con­ve­nient. Talk to your net­work ad­min­is­tra­tor if you’re miss­ing emails to de­ter­mine whether the con­tents of the spam fold­ers are ac­ces­si­ble and avail­able to re­view. If not, ask your friends, col­leagues, and as­so­ciates to mon­i­tor their com­mu­ni­ca­tions and call you if you don’t re­spond in a timely man­ner. Or, if your com­pany poli­cies al­low it, con­sider pro­vid­ing a se­cond, backup email ad­dress to catch those drifters that wan­der into cor­po­rate traps.

1.Use Block Sender fre­quently to au­to­mat­i­cally add the senders to Junk Email folder.

2.Use the Block Sender list to block groups, coun­tries, and fake com­pa­nies.

3.Use Cre­ate Rule for cus­tom email man­age­ment based on con­di­tions that you de­fine.

4a. Cre­ate rules that block spam, in ad­di­tion to a num­ber of other handy tasks, based on spe­cific cri­te­ria you set.Un­der­lined text means “click this link to com­plete this ac­tion.”

4b.

En­ter ex­cep­tions and name the rule.

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