Vista's Junk Mail Filter: Users' Tips: Page 4

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The Junk E-Mail Safe Senders Page

The “Automatically add people I e-mail to the Safe Senders list” option is different in that entries for every e-mail address you send to from Windows Mail is added to the Safe Senders list when this option is checked. A message does not have to be successfully delivered or even have to leave the Outbox for this entry; it is added as soon as you click Send.

Now, if we consider the settings available to us for junk e-mail filtering given this information about the Safe Senders and Blocked Senders lists, we can make more informed decisions. Let’s review our options again:

No Automatic Filtering Mail from blocked senders is still moved to the Junk E-mail folder.

Low The most obvious junk e-mail is moved to the Junk E-mail folder. • High Most junk e-mail is caught, but some regular mail may be caught as well. Check your Junk E-mail folder often.

Safe List Only Only mail from people or domains on your Safe Senders list will be delivered to your Inbox.

If a sender’s address is on the Blocked Senders list and the option for No Automatic Filtering is selected, any message he sends will be received and compared to the Blocked Senders list (which is essentially a local blacklist) and, when his address is matched, moved to the Junk E-mail folder. The true junk e-mail filters are never put into practice. Consequently, mail from any and all other sending addresses, no matter how obviously spam, will be delivered to the Inbox.

If a sender’s address is on the Safe Senders list and the Safe List Only setting is chosen, all mail from that sender, and that sender only, will be accepted. Obviously, no further filtering is applied or even required. Although this is a highly secure setting, it is one that places a great deal of administrative burden on the user because enabling any sort of e-mail communication from a new contact requires that the Windows Mail user take action to update the Safe Senders list.

A last option remains on the first tab of the Junk E-mail Options window, and that is to “Permanently delete suspected junk e-mail instead of moving it to the Junk E-mail folder”. Although this may sound like a fairly reasonable choice, keep in mind that “suspected” junk e-mail is just that. In addition, the level of suspicion is adjustable based on the Low/High options, which means legitimate mail can be moved and deleted without your consent.

Working with Junk Mail

When a message is detected as junk e-mail, it is placed within the Windows Mail Junk E-mail folder. This means the message is in the Windows Vista file system and is still very much accessible. By clicking on the Junk E-mail folder, you can actually see the message which, depending on its content, has been filtered or blocked from full display

In this particular example, Windows Mail detected both the potential for a spam advertisement and the presence of images. As a measure of protection, the images have been blocked, as is described in the warning banner posted within the header information bar.

From here, you have several options. From the messaging toolbar, you may delete the message or mark the message as “Not Junk.”

Although choosing to delete the message rids your Junk E-mail folder of the suspect message, marking the message as “Not Junk” automatically moves the message into the Inbox. This is a one-step process that allows you to quickly recover any message erroneously identified as spam.

In addition to the toolbar, you may simply right-click a message in the Junk E-mail folder and select any one of the five options available to you.

Junk E-Mail Options at the Message Drop-Down Menu

From the right-click message menu, you may add either the sender or the sending domain to the Safe Senders list or to the Blocked Senders list. In addition, you may also mark the e-mail as “Not Junk” here. You cannot, from this menu, delete the message.

As with the Phishing Filter, some messages that are truly junk in their core will arrive unscathed through our Junk E-mail filter. Although this is a nuisance, it is not the end of the world. And although not quite a one-click process as was deleting or releasing a message from the Junk E-mail folder, the steps for marking an e-mail as junk are still familiar. To mark an e-mail as junk, simply right-click the message, navigate to the Junk E-mail menu item we saw earlier, and choose again from the options presented (this time there are only four, because “Mark as Not Junk” is unavailable to us for messages already in the Inbox).

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