Block Spam in Outlook Express
Outlook Express has in built features that can be used to block spam.
Spam control is achievable in Outlook Express by using the
built in, block and filter features, and also through many third party products.
Built in Spam Control features.
When Spammers sends spam they like to know whether it has reached a valid
email address. They can use a variety of tools to verify emails but they are not
100% accurate. Therefore they have resulted to a few tricks to overcome this.
They all rely on embedding HTML code or graphics in the email to give an
automatic read receipt without
you knowing. There are three features available for preventing this they are
Attachments and Spam
Attachments are used to send viruses and these are often sent by spam email.
Unsafe attachments are blocked in Outlook express in SP1 by default.
You can also Configure Outlook Express Message rules to Block
Spam Filtering in Outlook Express
Outlook express uses message rules for
automatically sorting of messages. These rules can also be used to block spam. In
general there are three filtering mechanisms that can be used. They are:
- Word filtering
- Blacklist filtering
- White list filtering
This is the most common mechanism used to block spam in Outlook Express and email in general. In its simplest form, a spam or junk mail filter is a mechanism for classifying a message as
either spam or not spam.
Most Spam filters use a set of rules or keywords to
determine if a message is spam or not. Example: If an email message contains one
of the words that your spam filter is looking for, that message is marked as
Other spam filters examine each message looking for "spam-markers" such as
common spam subjects, known spammer addresses, known mail forwarding machines,
or simply common spam phrases. If any of these conditions are met, the message
is classified as spam (junk mail).
See Using a Word Filter in Outlook Express to Block Messages based on
and Black Lists
black list is a list of addresses
that you don't want to hear from. Adding an email address to your black list
means any messages received from that email address will either be deleted or quarantined depending on the system.
black lists can be used to block
messages, such as:
- Spam/junk mail or unsolicited email.
- People you wish not to communicate with
Black lists for Outlook Express
Black lists are implemented in
outlook express by using the block senders list. It is possible to block entire domains and even individual users. However, if you want to block individual users it is recommended that you use the message filtering in Outlook
express as it gives you more control.
See How to Configure the block senders
list in Outlook Express
A white list is a list of addresses
that you want to receive email from (your contacts). Adding an email address to
your white list means that any messages received from that email address
will not be blocked by the Spam filters and will be delivered directly to your inbox!
lists can be used to stop the Spam filtering of messages only from specific
email addresses. Using white lists helps reduce the number of
false positives as it takes you most important
contacts out of the spam blocking loop. To create a white list for outlook
express see the following article:
Configuring White lists To block
spam in outlook express
False Positives-The flip side of fighting Spam
False Positive is a legitimate e-mail that is incorrectly blocked by a spam
filter because it identifies it as spam. While accidentally deleting email from
a friend may be inconvenient, the loss of an email from a customer, client or
prospect could be costly.
How does it happen?
Spam filters scan each email, blocking delivery of what it deems spam. Most filters work by analysing the email, looking for specific indicators e.g. key words or missing addresses. Anti-spam systems also keep blacklists of known
spammers, as well as white lists of approved senders.
When setting up and configuring anti spam
measures and software be aware of the necessity of not blocking legitimate
email. There is no point in choosing an anti spam solution that is 100%
effective against spam but also blocks 70% of the legitimate email. In "real
world" testing, a false-positive rate of 2% or 3% is usually considered to be
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