How Do I Properly Configure My Email Client?

Most email clients such as Outlook, Netscape, and Eudora have built-in features designed to help filter out spam. By properly configuring your particular email client, you can effectively reduce the amount of spam emails that make it through to your inbox. It should be noted that the spam filters included with these clients are very simple and can be naive at times. When left to work on their own, these features will usually only catch the most obvious and glaring of spam emails. However, with some tweaking and a few customizations, you can turn your email client into an effective spam filter.

Here are some of the things you can do to make your email client filter spam effectively:

  • If you receive numerous spams from a particular email address, you can configure your email client to automatically dispose of all messages received from this sender. In Outlook, you can simply right-click on the sender's name or email address and add them to your "Junk Senders List." In other email clients, you may have to actually create a filter for this sender. This means you create a rule that states: if an email is from "" send it to "garbage".
  • If you receive numerous spams that are not from the same sender, but contain advertisements for the same website, product, or some distinctive promotional vocabulary, you can create a filter for these specific strings of text. Simply make a rule that will automatically trash any emails that contain "" or "Tired of working for your money?" or "Amazing Miracle Cure!" or whatever the common text may be.
  • Create a filter for dirty words and profanity. Specify a list of the words that you would rather not have appear in emails, such as sexual, racial, or swear-words. This is a more general filter that helps to eliminate a number of spam emails for adult-content, racially charged, and other inappropriate websites.
  • Many spam emails contain "unsubscribe" instructions, where you are offerred the ability to take your name off of the mailing list. While it is not advised that you follow these instructions, you can use this common characteristic to filter out any messages containing it. Create a filter for text like "To be removed" or "unsubscribe" or "to stop receiving click here".
  • Spam is often sent using automated spamming software. Some of these spam software packages feel the need to leave their signature on every email that they send. When you receive an email that contains one of these signatures, create a filter for that particular signature text. Make your filter search for "Mailbomber 2.0" or "Spam's A'hoy 7.02" or whatever the signature is and any future spams from that software will be eliminated.
  • There are specific words that are used in numerous spam messages. Many spams advertise trendy or hot products that may be grey-market or of dubious legality. Filtering for words like "Viagra" "Satellite Descrambler" "College Diploma" and other common spam products can reduce the amount of spam you receive. Another word to look for is "click." Filtering for this word can eliminate almost 80% of the spams you receive.
  • If you are receiving an inordinate amount of spam, you may wish to take extreme measures. In these cases, create a "White List" of the people you want to receive email from (family, friends, business contacts, etc.), and make your client send only these emails to your inbox while sending all of your other email directly to the trash.

Please note that these filters are intended to maintain the usefulness of your email account by eliminating useless spam messages. If you make your filters too strict, they will begin to eliminate emails that you actually want to receive. Keep in mind the text that you would expect to receive from your contacts, and make sure that your rules will not needlessly eliminate their messages along with your spam.