Improving Junk Mail Filtering

By default Outlook 2003 has junk mail filtering enabled. This should catch the most obvious junk messages and move them to a folder called Junk Mail in your mailbox. You should check this folder regularly as there is no 100% guaranteed way to be sure that genuine mail messages will not end up here.

Outlook allows you to customise your junk mail filtering to improve how it works for you. To explore these options in Outlook first go to Tools -> Options and click on Junk E-Mail...

JunkToolsOptions

A new window will open and will have the options to switch filtering off, to High, or to allow through only mail on your Safe Senders list. You can also choose to delete mail that is identified as junk (not advised) and to switch off potentially unsafe links in mail messages.

JunkPreferences

If we click on the next tab, Safe Senders, we'll see that we can specify addresses or domains that will NEVER be treated as junk mail. For example we might add 'manager@stats.ox.ac.uk' or even '@stats.ox.ac.uk'. You may wish to check either or both of the boxes at the bottom of the window to add all your contacts and/or anyone you mail to the safe list.

JunkSafeSenders

The Blocked Senders tab has an almost identical structure but produces the opposite results. Addresses or domains added here will ALWAYS be treated as junk. This may be useful if you receive a lot of junk mail from one particular address.

JunkBlockedSenders

Of particular interest is the International tab. Here we can block mail sent in particular languages. Should you, for example, receive a lot of Russian junk mail you could click on the 'Blocked Encodings List...' button and select 'Cyrillic' to junk all mail written in the Russian alphabet.

JunkInternational