applied tips : february 2009
microsoft outlook : dealing with junk email
Often called "spam" or "unsolicited bulk email", junk mail arrives in many of our inboxes on a daily basis. Some veteran email users receive as many as 100 a day, though email filter software will often remove the most obvious pieces of junk before we even see it.
Your organization may already be using a junk email filter, and often you can control the aggressiveness of this filter as well as adding contacts to its "white list" so that they are never blocked from emailing you.
Microsoft Outlook incorporates an intelligent filter to reduce the junk mail that you receive, placing suspect messages into the "Junk E-mail" folder for your review.
To change the settings of this filter, choose the Tools menu then Options, then click on "Junk E-Mail". You can tune the aggressiveness of the filter, add contacts to a white list, and more.
Marking an Email as Not Junk
If someone's legitimate email found its way into your Outlook Junk E-mail folder, bring it back to your inbox and insure it never happens again by right-clicking the email and choosing "Junk E-mail", then "Mark as Not Junk". There is also a "Not Junk" toolbar icon which only appears when you are viewing your Junk E-mail folder.
Marking an Email as Junk
If an email in your inbox is junk, right-click on the message and choose "Junk E-mail". From this menu, you can add the sender to the Blocked Senders List. This ensures that any more email from the sender will go straight to your Junk E-mail folder.
Unfortunately, most junk mail does not use a legitimate email address, so the odds that this will be effective are slim. You should also be very careful that you are not adding yourself to the Blocked Senders List, as junk e-mail often poses as email from yourself.
Keeping the Junk Email Filter Current
Nearly every month, Microsoft updates Outlook with new information on the latest junk email trends and how to quarantine them. These updates must be downloaded to your computer for them to be useful.
If you have allowed Windows Update to automatically download and apply new updates, then you've probably already seen the periodic notice that the "Outlook Junk E-mail Filter" has been updated.
If you're not seeing these updates, run Windows Update or visit the Microsoft Office website and look for the update link.
Unsolicited email often finds you much like the bulk email you receive in your post box. Perhaps you completed an online survey, or attempted to win a new car, or played a game but needed to register first. Generally, these email addresses are collected and sold for the purpose of email marketing.
Another, less scrupulous method of email marking is called "farming" – or, sifting through webpages using automated software designed to collect email addresses. If your email address exists on your organization's website, in a message form, a press release, or anywhere else on the web, you've already been farmed.
The third and least-common way of receiving junk email is by having a common name, such as "jsmith" as the first half of your email address (before the @ symbol). Email marketers will commonly send messages to common names at a variety of domain names and remember what does not bounce.
When you receive a junk email, you should never reply to it unless you are absolutely certain that the sender will remove you from their list. Often times this just confirms you are an actual email user and will result in an increased frequency of junk mail.
upcoming classes on outlook
There are two classes on Microsoft Outlook scheduled in March at University of the Pacific, and you can attend! Review the Upcoming Classes for more information.
getting too much junk mail?
One of my clients is MX Resources, a reseller of the award-winning Postini junk mail filtering service. If your current spam filter isn't working, visit the MX Resources website and give Matthew a call.
schedule a class on outlook and exchange
Request an on-site Outlook class from Applied Office. Sessions are inexpensive and your employees will be able to use all of the features of Outlook like calendar sharing, assigning tasks, forwarding contacts, and managing their inbox! Learn more here.