THE ULTIMATE SPAM SOLUTION using Outlook

Does your email inbox get filled with junk mail? For me, the problem went way beyond annoying until I discovered how to setup a mail rule to sort the incoming mail. I call it the Ultimate Spam Solution.

The mail rule I setup sends all incoming mail to the junk folder, unless it comes from someone I’ve listed in my Address Book. Of course, I still skim through my Junk Mail folder, but that's easy to do because I’m only looking at the subject line for anything that might be pertinent.

This example shows how to setup a mail rule using Outlook Express. If you use a different email client, the steps may be different, but the concept presented here should help you wend your way through the process.

How to create your own mail filters

In Outlook Express, from the Menu Bar select Tools/Message Rules/Mail, (Fig-01).
In the Message Rules dialog box perform the following steps, (Fig-02).
- Select the Mail Rules tab.
- Click on the "New" button.

In the New Mail Rule dialog box, select these options, (Fig-03).

1. Select the Conditions for your rule: (click the box for this option)
x Where the From line contains people

2. Select the Actions for your rule: (click the box for this option)
x Move it to the specified folder

4. Name of the rule:
Type any name that will remind you what this rules does.
Here's what I use.
Ultimate Spam Solution

3. Rule Description (click on an underlined value to enter it):
"Move it to the specified folder" (Fig-04B).

In the Move dialog box, (Fig-05).
Click on the Junk folder
Click on the OK button

3. Rule Description (click on an underlined value to enter it):
“Where the From line contains people" (Fig-04A).

In the Select People dialog box, click on the Address Book button, (Fig-06).

In the Rule Addresses dialog box perform the following steps, (Fig-07).
Select all the entries in the Name – Email Address list.
Click on the name at the top of the list
Scroll to the bottom of the list
Hold down the Shift key
Click on the name at the bottom of the list

Click the "From =>" button to add all the names
Click OK button

In the Select People dialog box (Fig-08),
Click the Options button

In the Rule Conditions Options dialog box (Fig-09) select these options.
Apply rule if:
o    Message does not contain the people below
o    Message matches any one of the people below
Click OK button

In the Select People dialog box, (Fig-10)
Click OK button

At the bottom of the New Mail Rule dialog box,
Click the OK button

At the bottom of the Message Rules dialog box,
Click the OK button

The downside

Every time you add a new person to your Address Book, you also have to add their name to the Mail Rule. To do this, select the Tools/Message Rules/Mail Modify option and add the one new address. If you've made several additions to your Address Book and you're not sure if you've kept the Mail Rule up to date (this happens to me frequently), just delete the rule and recreate it from scratch adding everyone in the Address Book.

One further consideration

When you give someone your email address for the first time, their email will be sent into your Junk mail folder if you haven’t yet added them to your address book. So, as an added precaution, give them a keyword to use in the subject line the first time they send you an email. Use the same keyword for everyone, something simple to remember like “Aloha”. This makes it even easier for you to skim through the Junk mail folder and pick out the real mail. This also serves as a reminder to add them to your email address book and update the Mail Rule.

Copyright © Yale Schwartz, 2009