Tips on Reducing the amount of "SPAM" you receive

In much the same way that retailers and businesses use postal mailing lists to send potential customers catalogs and other information, an increasing number are using e-mail messages as a direct marketing tool. Some of these messages may also be of an adult nature or may contain potentially offensive advertisements and links. Here are a few ways to manage both types of e-mail.

Reduce the amount of junk e-mail you receive

The following are several ways that you can reduce the quantity of junk e-mail you receive.

  • Avoid replying to the sender with REMOVE in the subject line  Messages you receive may include instructions (such as to reply with REMOVE in the subject line) on how to remove yourself from future mailings from the individual or organization. Unfortunately, many senders include these instructions in order to try to confirm that they've reached a working e-mail address, not to remove you from mailings. Unless you are unsubscribing from a mail distribution list that you signed up for or you know the message sender, the best practice is to discard these messages without responding. Some messages contain a phone number to call, but many contain no information on how to stop future mailings. Often if you reply to these messages, you find that the return address or phone number is invalid or is that of someone other than the real sender.
  • Alter your e-mail address when posting  Organizations that sell e-mail addresses use computer programs that scan Web pages and newsgroups to harvest e-mail addresses. If you display an e-mail address on a Web page or when posting to newsgroups, alter your e-mail address in such a way as to trick search programs but not confuse users. For example, if your e-mail address is, change it to Most users will know to remove NOJUNKMAIL from the address before using it, but search programs will not.
  • Avoid giving out your primary e-mail address  Guard your main e-mail address just as you would your telephone number. Your main e-mail address is one you would give to friends, family, and business associates. Unless there is a specific reason to give out your main e-mail address to someone other than those you know, consider using a second e-mail address when filling out forms on the Internet— such as information requests, special offer sign-ups, or service requests— that might potentially lead to your address being sold or leased to other companies. Set up a second e-mail account in Microsoft Outlook® and create a rule to move messages from that account into a special folder.

    HideAdd an e-mail account

    1. On the Tools menu, click E-mail Accounts.
    2. Select Add a new e-mail account, and then click Next.
    3. Select the e-mail server used for your account, and then click Next.
    4. In the appropriate boxes, type the information given to you by your Internet service provider (ISP) or administrator. If you want to use Microsoft Outlook to connect to a Hotmail® server, all you need to know is your Hotmail e-mail address and password.


      • Unless your ISP has indicated that your service uses Secure Password Authentication (SPA), do not select the Log on using Secure Password Authentication (SPA) check box.
      • Unless specified by your ISP, all server and address entries are typed in lowercase letters. Some ISPs require a combination of lowercase and uppercase letters for passwords to add further security. For example, passWorD. Check with your ISP to see if it requires a case-sensitive password.
      • You have the option of having Outlook remember your password by typing it in the Password box and selecting the Remember password check box. While this means that you won't have to type in your password each time you access the account, it also means that the account is vulnerable to anyone who has access to your computer.
    5. Do any of the following:
      • If you are adding a Microsoft Exchange Server account, click Check Names to verify that the server recognizes your name. The name and server you entered should become underlined. Be sure your computer is connected to your network. If your name does not become underlined, contact your administrator.
      • If you are adding a POP3 server account, click Test Account Settings to verify that your account is working. If there is missing or incorrect information, such as your password, you will be prompted to supply or correct it. Be sure your computer is connected to the Internet.
    6. If you want to configure additional settings, such as how you want your computer to connect to your e-mail server, click More Settings. Otherwise, click Next.
    7. Click Finish.

    HideCreate a rule to move mail sent to a second e-mail account

    1. On the Standard toolbar, click Organize Button image .
    2. Click Rules Wizard, and then click New.
    3. Click Start from a blank rule, click Check messages when they arrive, and then click Next.
    4. Select the through the specified account check box, and then, in the box below, click the underlined word specified.
    5. Click the name of the secondary e-mail account, click OK, and then click Next.
    6. Select the move it to the specified folder check box, and then, in the box below, click the underlined word specified.
    7. In the list, click the secondary Inbox folder, click OK, and then click Next twice.
    8. In the Please specify a name for this rule box, type any description you want, and then click Finish.
  • Make use of laws and consumer protection against UC  Some states and jurisdictions now provide legislation against unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE). A good source of information is your state's Attorney General's office or consumer protection agency. The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) also offers a free service, similar to its program for telephone and postal mailing solicitations, enabling consumers to opt out of UCE. DMA members are required to purge from their mailing lists all e-mail addresses of consumers who have requested to be removed. More information is available from the DMA at

Use Outlook to manage junk and adult content e-mail

Outlook can search for commonly used phrases in e-mail messages and automatically move messages containing these phrases from your Inbox to either a junk e-mail folder created by Outlook, to your Deleted Items folder, or to any other folder you specify. You can find the list of terms that Outlook uses to filter suspected junk e-mail messages in a file called Filters.txt, located in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\LocaleID folder, where LocaleID is the locale identifier (LCID) for your installation of Microsoft Office. For example, the LCID for English - United States is 1033. For a list of LCIDs, see Microsoft Office Help.

You can also filter messages with a list of senders of junk and adult content e-mail. As you receive unwanted e-mail messages, you can create a list of the e-mail addresses of these senders.

When you first begin using these features or when you make modifications to them, you should review messages that are automatically removed from the Inbox to make sure that any wanted messages are not accidentally removed.

HideAutomatically move junk mail from your Inbox

  1. On the Standard toolbar, click Organize. Button image
  2. Click Junk E-mail.
  3. In the bulleted items for Junk and for Adult Content messages, in each of the first lists, click move. When you click move, the second list on each line will change from a list of colors to a list of folder destinations.
  4. You can leave the default destination (Junk E-mail), click Deleted Items, or click Other folder and choose or create one.
  5. To enable the feature, click Turn On.
  6. Repeat steps 3 through 5 for both the Junk and Adult Content lines.

In addition to using the built-in Outlook filters, you can create custom rules to filter out specific types of unwanted messages. Custom rules include additional words or phases that are not included in the Filters.txt file. Just as with the built-in feature, you can specify that the rules you create move messages from your Inbox to the junk e-mail folder, to your Deleted Items folder, or to any other folder you specify.

HideCreate custom rules

  • On the Tools menu, click Rules Wizard, and then follow the instructions on your screen.

HideAdd e-mail senders to the junk e-mail list

  1. Click Inbox.
  2. Select a message, and then right-click it.
  3. Point to Junk E-mail, and then click Add to Junk Senders list or Add to Adult Content Senders list.

HideReview or delete e-mail senders on your junk e-mail list

  1. On the Standard toolbar, click Organize Button image .
  2. Click Junk E-mail.
  3. Click the underlined phrase click here.
  4. In the second bulleted item, click Edit Junk Senders or Edit Adult Content Senders.

    You can review, add, edit, or delete entries from the list.

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