PDQ Library:  Spam & Email filters

Dealing with a lot of mail or junk mail can be frustrating. Your first line of defense is your ISP - read the help they provide on the subject. Most ISP's provide filters you can set to block junk mail so you never see it at all!

On your own computer, you should be using email software to download, read and send email - NOT your web browser. Good software lets you create mail filters that can automatically scan and sort your incoming messages (by subject, author, body, etc.) into the folders you specify.

Junk Mail Filters: Good software will also automatically recognize junk mail. Most junk mail is not addressed to you, so you can filter them into a folder you have created called "SPAM". Set your filter so messages with "To or CC" that does NOT contain your mail address are moved to your "SPAM" folder. Put this filter after any other filters you create. Inspect the SPAM folder occasionally to check for valid messages!

Mailing List Filters: Most lists use a unique name to start their subject line to help you put them into a special folder if you wish. They do not address messages to you directly so make sure this filter comes first. A filter for the "Web Club" mailing list will look like this:

Subject of the message contains [MyClub]
Move to folder MyClub

Outlook 2000 Email filtering

Offtopic.rwz is a rule which was created using Outlook 2000. It is unknown if this rule works in previous versions of Outlook.

A rule is a condition which organizes and processes messages as they arrive in your inbox. This particular rule is designed to move to your Deleted Items Folder, any email which contains the phrase "off topic".

To use this rule, you must download the rule and save it on your computer. Open Outlook and select from the menu:
Tools | Rules Wizard | Options | Import Rules
Then navigate to the location where you saved this rule.

This rule can be modified using the Rules Wizard. For assistance with this, look up "rules" in the online help section of Outlook.

Use a search engine to locate Offtopic.rwz.


Netscape Mail Email filtering

In Messenger version 4, choose the Edit menu, then Message Filters or Mail Filters. In the Message Filters dialog box, click New. You see the Filter Rules dialog box, where you enter information necessary to define the filter:

  1. Type a name for the filter (any name you wish).
  2. Select the "Match" option you want. Use the pop-up menus to choose filtering criteria and type a keyword to be used in the search.
  3. Click More to add criteria and Fewer to remove them. Then use the filtering action you want.
  4. Click New Folder to create a new mail folder.
  5. Type information about this filter in the Description field.
  6. Click Advanced to enter customized header information.

To edit a filter, select the filter name and click Edit. To delete a filter, click Delete. To turn a filter on or off, click the dot to the right of the filter name.

To change the order in which filters are applied, click the up or down arrow to move a filter name. To log filter activity, which can help to debug filtering, click the checkbox at Log Filter Use. To display the filter log: Click View log.



How on earth do spammers get your email address? According to the Email Abuse FAQ, they get your address by
  1. Running programs that collect email addresses out of Usenet [network news] posting headers
  2. Culling them from subscriber lists (such as AOL's Member Profile list)
  3. Using web-crawling programs that look for mailto: codes in HTML documents
  4. Ripping them out of online "white pages" directories
  5. Buying a list [of email addresses] from someone who already has one
  6. Taking them from you without your knowledge when you visit their web site.
  7. Using finger on a host computer to find online users addresses
  8. Collecting member names from online "chat rooms."

First, NEVER EVER reply to a spam message. The same is true with those "removal message" that promise to remove your address. If you reply they know your address is good and will send more!


Stop Spam

Canadian Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial Email (CAUCE.ORG) is coordinating the fight against spam, viruses, phishing and malware. StopSpamHere.ca is a joint effort of the Government of Canada, industry, CAUSE and several non-governmental organizations.

TOP back