Best Way to Beat Spam with Outlook 2003?

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Dear TIP,


I’m really enjoying reading your column, you have great advice and are very funny.

I have a question about Windows and Outlook 2003. What is the best way to stop spam? My ISPs spam filters don’t seem to be very helpful, and I still get a lot of spam coming on to my computer.


Full of Spam

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Outlook 2003 actually contains some fairly nifty built-in anti-spam functions, similar to those found in many of today’s end-user email programs.

When using Outlook 2003, and with an email highlighted (spam or not), select the “Junk Email” option from the Outlook “action” menu.
You will see a list of options which include “Add Sender to Blocked Senders List”, “Add Sender to Safe Senders List”, “Add Sender’s Domain to Safe Senders List”, “Add Recipient to Safe Senders List”, “Mark as Not Junk Mail”, and “Junk Email Options”.

By applying these actions according to your preferences, you can pretty quickly have Outlook set to deliver email you want to your inbox, while shunting email that you don’t want into the spam folder. You should be sure to review your spam folder occasionally, to make sure that Outlook hasn’t accidentally put some email you want into your spam pile. If Outlook as done that, you can highlight that email and select the “Mark as Not Junk Mail” option.

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Best Way to Beat Spam with Outlook 2003?

We have found that it’s very useful to be able to add sending domains to the safe list, along with individual sender’s addresses, as this allows you to set Outlook’s filtering to a higher (more sensitive) level. You can set the level of filtering by going to the “Junk Email Options” area, and selecting “Options”. This gives you a click-button menu which allows you to set your spam filtering level at “none”, “low”, “high”, or “Safe Lists Only”. “Safe Lists Only” means that the only email which will go into your inbox is email from the people on your “Safe Senders List” – all other email will go into your spam folder (although this is not necessarily a bad thing!)

Many people recommend that you start with the filtering level set to “low”, however many others have had success with setting it to “high”, or even to “Safe Lists Only”, and then working backwards, fishing good mail out of the spam folder and adding the sender to the safe list so that they are “whitelisted” from then on.

We hope that this helps to give you some spam-control guidance, and for goodness sakes, get an ISP with good spam filtering!


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Best Way to Beat Spam with Outlook 2003?

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2 Replies to “Best Way to Beat Spam with Outlook 2003?”

  1. Safe List only doesn’t always work…spam still gets through. How, you ask? Who knows, but Safe List only is not a silver bullet.

  2. I also like to edit the blocked list in Outlook 2003 to block domains whenever possible. I will delete everything to the left of the @ sign to accomplish this. Of course one must evaluate the domain to insure they never expect to receive legit email from that domain, but it is very effective in some instances.


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