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5 ways to manage emails and control spam in Outlook

JD Sartain | March 13, 2015
Spam lives on, despite all our efforts to snuff it out--but Outlook has some features to help slow it down. Here are some things anyone can do, plus some tips for working within a corporate Outlook system.

In Sample 2, all spam emails with Subject: Jace and Sent To: are flagged and sent to the Junk Email folder. The subject line here has too many words for a good match, so this field box was unchecked.

4. Rules Wizard (advanced options)

You can create rules that block spam — or set up a number of other handy tasks — based on specific criteria that you set. 

For this example: UserKC receives a lot of spam emails with attachments in her Inbox that are not addressed to her email address. In this case, the email was sent to somebody named, but she received it instead. This is a common phishing scam that's escalated over time, so she decided to create a rule to automate a process that kills these spam attacks.

Select Home > Rules > Create Rule. In the Create Rule dialog box, click the Advanced Options button.

In the Rules Wizard dialog box, Outlook asks: Which condition(s) do you want to check? Step1: Select Condition(s). Scroll through the list and choose the conditions that apply to your unique situation. In this example, UserKC selected where my name is not in the To box and which has an attachment. Outlook enters the conditions in the Step2 box. Click Next.

In the second Rules Wizard dialog, Outlook asks: What do you want to do with the message? Step1: Select Action(s). UserKC checked move it to the specified folder.

Notice the underlined text here and in the Step 2 box: That means, "click this link to complete this action." Click once, choose the "specified" folder (Junk Email), then click OK. Outlook adds this action to your rule, then re-displays the additional rule in a new Step2 box. Click Next.

In the third Rules Wizard dialog, Outlook asks: Are there any exceptions? Step 1: Select Exceptions. UserKC decided to add a safety exception: If the sender name/email address matches a record in my current address book, then do nothing. Check the exception box, click the underlined "specified" Address Book, select the applicable contact list, then click Add.

Notice the new Step 2 box contains all the rules you just created. If acceptable, click Finish. The Finish Rules Setup Wizard dialog opens and requests that you specify a name for this rule (or collection of rules, actually). Enter a descriptive name, check the "Turn On this Rule" box, and click OK. Now, all those misdirected phishing and spam emails will go directly to your junk file folder.

5. Check spam folders often

Spam, phishing and blocking filters, and the rules that govern them, come in multiple levels. In addition to the filters and rules you create on your own computer, your email software, antivirus program, Internet provider, network administrator, individual supervisor, and possibly others all have various systems for protecting users from harmful and/or unsolicited communications. The often aggressive techniques these systems use to filter out the garbage means some legitimate emails may not get through.


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