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There is no doubt about it: Spam has become a way of life for anyone using e-mail; however, Outlook tries it's very best to help you manage your junk mail before it ever gets to your Inbox. Outlook will also do its best to protect you from phishing scams that are designed to bilk you out of your hard earned money. We're going to start by tweaking the basic Junk mail options. We get to those options by doing a right-click on any message in our Inbox, going down to Junk and choosing the Junk Email Options. We're going to start our tour by looking at the basic Junk Email Options, which we find on the Options tab.
We can change the level of protection; for example, we can use No Automatic Filtering, which means you're going to be receiving any and all e-mail that's sent to you directly in your Inbox. This is not a great idea unless you have brand-new e-mail account, or an e-mail account that you don't think anybody has access to. My favorite level is Low. That means Outlook is automatically going to catch the most obvious junk e-mail and move it to my Junk Email folder; for example, if someone sends me an e-mail that's a blatant sales pitch or is about lowering my mortgage rate, chances are pretty good that Outlook is going to take that, and move it to my Junk Email Folder.
A High level of protection is going to be a little bit more restrictive. Chances are pretty good that the level is also going to catch some regular mail that shouldn't be caught; for example, one of my friends might be sending me a joke or something of a more personal nature, and chances are pretty good that that will end up in my Junk Email Folder. Another option that we have is our Safe Lists Only. That means you will only be able to receive e-mail that comes from someone that you've designated previously as being a Safe Sender.
Again, this isn't such a great option, because as you start to use Outlook more and more, the amount of e-mail that you receive will become greater and greater. You don't necessarily know in advance who is going to be sending you that mail. One you've made a choice, you click OK to save that choice. If you want to go back and change it, simply return to the Junk E-mail Options by right-clicking your message, going to Junk, and choosing Junk Email Options. So for now, I'd like to set this at Low. Now there are a couple of other options that we can use, as well.
The first one I don't like, and that is to Permanently delete suspected junk e-mail, instead of moving it to the Junk Email Folder. That means, should we choose this option, that if Outlook deems a message to be junk, it will automatically and without question, delete, permanently, that message, so that you will not have a chance to look at it. It's not a great idea, because Outlook can make mistakes. It might just eat up one of your very important messages. Now two of the options that I do like - the first one is Disable links and other functionality and phishing messages.
A good example of this is I might receive an e-mail from that Nigerian prince that I'm so friendly with, who is asking me to make a slight deposit to his bank account. Well, Outlook may realize that the prince is not my friend. It will automatically disable his links, so that I won't accidentally go into his bank account and try to deposit money. Another option that I like is have Outlook Warn me about suspicious domain names and e-mail addresses. What this means is if a certain e-mail address comes in that Outlook is a little weary of, it will automatically mark that message as Junk mail; for example, e-mail coming in from domain names that include .ru.
It will also block things from obscure URLs. We also have a Safe Senders tab. The Safe Senders tab is where you can designate people that you want to always receive the e-mail from. For example, Olivia might add my Gmail account to her Outlook. She does so by clicking on the Add button, and typing in my Google e-mail address and clicking OK. This is her message to Outlook that any message that arrives to me is fine, and will go automatically to her Inbox.
Now you can also do a variation of your Safe Senders list by adding a domain; for example, I'm going to click the Add button, and I'm going to type in lynda.com and click OK. That means that any e-mail that comes from any of the good folks at lynda.com will arrive safely into my Inbox. When you've made all your choices, you would click OK, and proceed to send e-mail as you normally would. I like to make mention of the Safe Recipients tab. Now to me, this is not the one that I use very often.
The theory behind this is that I can add an e-mail address or a domain name. In this case, I'm going to add lynda by clicking the Add button, and typing in lynda and clicking OK. Now theoretically this means that any of the e-mail that I send to anyone at lynda will arrive in their Inboxes; however, if the folks at lynda don't want to receive my e-mail, they can go into their own Outlook and change their settings, so that I wouldn't be able to send my e-mail to them.
So this kind of gives you a false sense of security. These aren't options that I normally use. Unfortunately, as wonderful of a program is Outlook is, it's not perfect. There are a number of ways you can cut down on spam, such as by not posting your e-mail address on public Web sites, or by creating a Google or Yahoo e-mail address that you use for your online purchases. After all, every little bit helps.
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