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  1. #1
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    What are the Junk Email Rules? (2000)

    I found a note from a friend that was directed straight to my Deleted folder. I have the Junk Email Rules turned on, but I don't understand if there's any way to see what the junk rules are so I can examine this particular mailing to see what she did that would identify her note as junk.

    Is there some place to read what Outlook identifies as junk? I don't suppose there's any way to remove a junk criterion or two? I know I can add to what's considered junk - what I might want to do is subtract from what's considered junk, or at least know what it is to see if I should educate my friends or just turn off the rule.

    I am aware of the exceptions list. What I really want is to know what Outlook thinks it's looking for. Or does MS think that by revealing the criteria, spammers will just design mail that avoids getting caught in the trap?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: What are the Junk Email Rules? (2000)

    Well, MS appear to not want you to know:

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-GB;q295822&GSSNB=1>OL2000: The Junk Sender's Rule Incorrectly Filters Messages (Q295822)</A>

    Excerpt:

    SYMPTOMS
    If you enabled the built-in Junk Sender's rule to filter out unwanted messages, this rule also filters out messages that you do want.

    CAUSE
    This behavior occurs because a property of the message that you do not wanted filtered matches one of the built-in filter criteria for the Junk Sender's & Adult Content rules. You cannot edit this built-in criteria.

    WORKAROUND
    Use one of the following methods to work around this behavior:

    Do not use the built-in Junk Sender's rule. Instead, create a custom rule with similar actions where you can control the filter criteria.
    -or-
    Add the sender's address to the Exceptions List rule and place this rule at the top of the Rules order list.


    This may be worth a read:
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.slipstick.com/rules/junkmail.htm>Rules to filter junk mail</A> at Slipstick.

  3. #3
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    Re: What are the Junk Email Rules? (2000)

    I may be suffering from faulty recollection, but I believe that Microsoft's Outlook help site documentation implies that the rules file may be customized by third-party software developers (meaning OEM's perhaps?).

    The site also states that the text file that details the filter's rules, as installed by Office, is somewhat out of date and that a more correct version is also available online. Looking through this file should give you a good handle on what the filters are looking for. They include some very advanced and and or rules that I wish we could set up with the rules wizard.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: What are the Junk Email Rules? (2000)

    Ah!
    Perhaps you mean this:
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-GB;q195398&GSSNB=1>OL2000: How to Filter Junk and Adult Content E-mail (Q195398)</A>

    which states:

    To Update the List of Unwanted E-mail Senders
    From the Inbox folder, on the Tools menu, click Organize.

    Click Junk E-Mail.

    Scroll to the bottom of the Organizer window and click Click Here.

    To change the commercial e-mail list, click Edit Junk Senders.

    To change the Adult Content list, click Edit Adult Content Senders.

    Outlook adds the sender of the e-mail to the selected list and takes the specified action to either move or color-code the message.


    To Make an Exception to Your Filtered Content List
    On the Tools menu, click Rules Wizard.

    In the "Apply rules in the following order" box, click Exception List.

    In the Rule Description box, click Exception List.

    Click Add.

    Enter the e-mail address you want to make an exception.

    Messages from the e-mail address that you entered will remain in your Inbox, even if the content contains phrases found in the internal list of filtering terms.

  5. #5
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    Re: What are the Junk Email Rules? (2000)

    Actually, I was able to find the actual sites that I was thinking of, both from the Microsoft Office Assistance Center:
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://office.microsoft.com/assistance/9798/junkmail.aspx>Junk E-Mail Filters for Outlook</A>
    or
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://office.microsoft.com/assistance/9798/newfilters.aspx>Microsoft Junk E-Mail Filter Readme</A>

    But here's an excerpt from the first link --
    <hr>Outlook supports the installation of additional junk e-mail filters from third party providers to allow you to enhance and update these built-in filtering capabilities. The criteria used by the built-in filters are documented in a file called filters.txt, which is installed by default in <drive>:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice. The version of this file that is included in Outlook is outdated. The Microsoft Junk E-Mail Filter Readme, which contains an updated version of filters.txt, correctly describes the operation of the built-in filters.<hr>
    Do you know of any such additional filters created for general distribution?

  6. #6
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    Re: What are the Junk Email Rules? (2000)

    Would be interested to hear your views on Sue Mosher's method on the slipstick site (see link at end of Leif's first post). I switched to a simplified version of this "low maintenance" method some time ago and found it vastly more effective. It works on the principle that only rarely do spammers send specifically to your address. If you do subscribe to bulk lists (such as the Lounge) then you can exclude them from your filter up front. Filtering by content - the basis of most third party mass filters - has adverse side effects (which it appears is what wcutler suffered from).
    Gre

  7. #7
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    Re: What are the Junk Email Rules? (2000)

    I think some of the article's advice would work well in pre-filtering incoming messages, but I would still need to have a substantial number of rules set up to parse out the incoming to all the inbox subfolders that I have set up.

    Unlike you, a lot of the spam that I do receive is targeted directly to my account, so the "Rule #3" would actually hinder my anti-spam efforts -- by giving this targeted spam a free ride directly into my inbox. (I'm looking at spamgourmet.com to help cut down on targeted spam -- plus AdAware removed a piece of spyware that might have been adding to the problem.)

    I do use a "filter by content" rule, but I keep it pretty narrowly defined and have it placed low on my rules list. If people I otherwise would want to communicate with are sending messages that get caught by this rule, it's probably time to reconsider. <img src=/S/hosed.gif border=0 alt=hosed width=73 height=24>

  8. #8
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    Re: What are the Junk Email Rules? (2000)

    Thanks, David. The filter readme is exactly what I was hoping I could see. I'll have to check when I get back home, but I think in the note that got caught, the writer may have referred to her 'dear friend'.

  9. #9
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    Re: What are the Junk Email Rules? (2000)

    I noticed on my hotmail account that there was spam with my hotmail id as the SENDER as well as the recipient.

    Actually, once I clued into the error factor with the spam filer and started paying attention to my delete folder, I find that I hardly get any spam on my real email id at home. I wish I could tell you all how I got off those lists.

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