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Meyers + Associates Architecture, LLC.

Christopher Meyers, Principal Architect

 

 

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Friday
Oct132017

Put a Lid on Junk Email with Microsoft Outlook!


Call it junk mail or call it spam, unsolicited email is a daily hassle for everyone. Fortunately, Microsoft Outlook has an excellent built-in tool to filter out the worst of it before it ever gets to your inbox.

By default, Outlook's Junk Email filter is turned on and ready to go right out of the box. However, it's still waiting for some instructions from you. If you're having trouble - either seeing too much spam or missing something legitimate, here are a few things that you can do to customize your settings.

Once you open Outlook, start by going here:  Home --> Junk --> Junk Email Options. This will open a pop-up window that lets you take a look at your settings.

First, lets take a look at Automatic Filtering.

Automatic Filtering applies Microsoft's experience and algorithms to your incoming messages, automatically moving spam to your Junk Email mailbox. You have a range of options available, from No Automatic Filtering (accepting messages from everyone unless they are specifically blocked) to Safe Lists Only (blocking everything unless you specifically mark a sender as "Safe.") Here's the complete breakdown:

  • No Automatic Filtering     Although this turns off the automatic Junk Email Filter, messages are still evaluated by using the domain names and email addresses in your Blocked Senders List.

  • Low     If you don't receive many junk messages, or want to filter only the messages that are the most obvious junk, select this option.

  • High     If you receive lots of junk messages, but don’t want to restrict messages from senders on your safe lists, select this option. You should periodically review messages moved to the Junk Email folder, because some legitimate messages might also be moved.

  • Safe Lists Only     This is the most restrictive option. Any message that is sent neither from someone on your Safe Senders List nor to a mailing list on your Safe Recipients List, is classified as junk.

     

Adjusting these settings should be enough to keep your incoming spam to a reasonable level. Give it a try and then modify as need be.

But what if you're missing something important? Or, what if you're still getting bombarded by a few annoying spammers?

No filter is perfect, and there are many technical reasons as to why a "good guy" might get blocked or an irritating sender is given a pass. To allow or block email from a specific sender or service, take a look at the other tabs in the pop up window: Safe Senders, Safe Recipients, and Blocked Senders.

The options under these tabs let you enter specific email addresses or domains to be always blocked, or always allowed.  As an example, if joe@mycompany.com is important, enter his address under Safe Senders. (Or if everyone "@mycompany.com" should never be blocked, enter their domain instead.) Here are few details on the settings:

  • Safe Senders list     Email addresses and domain names in the Safe Senders List are never treated as junk email, regardless of the content of the message. You can add your Contacts and other correspondents to this list. If you use a Microsoft Exchange Server account, all names and addresses in the global address list (GAL) are automatically considered safe. The Safe Sender limit is 1024.

  • Safe Recipients list     If you belong to a mailing list or a distribution list, you can add the list sender to the Safe Recipients List. Messages sent to these email addresses or domain names are never treated as junk, regardless of the content of the message.

  • Blocked Senders list     You can easily block messages from particular senders by adding their email addresses or domain names to the Blocked Senders List. When you add a name or email address to this list, Outlook moves any incoming message from that source to the Junk Email folder. Messages from people or domain names that appear in this list are always classified as junk, regardless of the content of the message. The blocked sender limit is 500.

The good news is that the War On Spam is a battle we're winning. Email providers have caught on to many spammer's tricks, and a lot of nefarious traffic is blocked before it ever gets anywhere near your computer. But until the war is won, these tips should make your day-to-day a little easier.