How to configure Outlook 2010's Junk E-Mail filter

Outlook's Junk E-mail filter is a valuable tool in the war on Spam. This tool can be used as an alternative to server side filtering or in addition to server side filtering - often, combining the two tools provides better protection, but as different individuals email usage varies so does each users consideration of what is Spam. Someone shopping for timeshares might appreciate timeshare marketing messages - another user who is not interested would consider the same e-mail Spam.

Spam filters work by detecting certain common features of typical bulk email and when enough key indicators are in place they will take action.

To begin configuring the Outlook Junk E-mail filter, click on “Junk” in the “Home” tab and select “Junk E-mail Options”:



Sensitivity and Action

First we have to select the desired level of sensitivity and the action. Do not opt to delete the messages unless you are sure - this checkbox results in permanent deletion of suspected Junk E-mail without further confirmation or notification.

Chose a suitable level and then proceed to the next tab - "Low" is recommended.



Safe Senders

Safe senders will never be treated as Junk E-mail. Good practice includes adding addresses or domains of people you know to this list. Adding domains is not as good as specific addresses, as many spammers will generate mail from some forged address @ a real domain to trick you.

It is recommended to check the check boxes to trust people in your contacts and people you send to - then proceed to the next tab.



Safe Recipients

Sometimes you may receive mail as a Bcc - for example some newsletters or other expected bulk mailings. Adding the known To address to this list will ensure your newsletter subscriptions are not treated as junk. Adding your own address to this list may result in passing some Spam through, as some spammers will use your real address. If you receive most spam from aliases though (for example info@YOURDOMAIN fowards to you@YOURDOMAIN but you never receive spam directly) then you may experiment adding your real address to list list. When finished, proceed to the next tab.



Blocked Senders

This list is for addresses that should ALWAYS be treated as Junk E-mail. This can be useful if you see an address that should never receive email or always receives only Spam - a better stratagy may be to remove the alias or change the address though - why allow the mail to be received if it is always Spam?

Continue to the next tab when you have finished your changes.




This tab can be used to configure the blocking of mail received from specified foreign domains or encoded in various foreign character sets. Click the appropriate button and edit the selection lists as desired. In our experience few users require these settings - use them with caution - it is possible to select English and normal English / North American character sets which would mean that ALL your email would be detected as Junk E-mail.
Press "OK" when you are finished to save the settings.
Be sure to review the information on setting folder options for the Junk E-mail folder as well as the information on moving messages flagged by the server-side Spam filter.



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