Your professional success and personal happiness depends on your ability to handle enormous amount of new information, much of it coming via e-mail newsletters. The more e-mail newsletters you’re subscribed to, the larger chance there is that your e-mail address ends up on a mailing list of some spammer.
There is nothing worse than your cell phone beeping with a new message alert triggered by a spam message!
I personally receive 1000-5000 spam e-mails every day and using the below described methodology I can handle all of them in a few secs per day.
While there are number of various anti-spam solutions available (e.g. Spam Assassin, Norton Anti-Spam, Postini), most of which I have tried and all of which failed, the only solution which actually works for Jiri is a very simple setting of white-listing only trusted domains.
This approach requires minor tweaks this article outlines.
Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office 365
I have been using Microsoft Outlook for almost 20 years and have found no real alternative because
- its ability to set up Message Rules is principal in helping me focus on the most important emails by filing the less important messages to less frequently monitored folders
- its ability to save related emails into folders enables me to look up the entire relevant histories within a second without having to figure out some complex search queries
- its calendar and task lists are top of the class.
Microsoft Office 365 is then the best Exchange hosting I have found with truly exceptional complimentary support (you get a call on any new support case within an hour of creating it). In addition to the support, it has the best global connectivity and reliability I am aware of.
Spam Handling in MS Outlook
MS Outlook provides the support for spam handling via the Junk’s Ribbon dropdown:
Clicking on the dropdown’s Junk E-mail Options displays the settings dialog
The problem with all options for email protection it offers apart from the last one (“No Automatic Filtering”, “Low”, “High”) is that they depend on algorithms of various quality to determine if an e-mail looks like a spam e-mail or not.
The writers of spam e-mails obviously know MS Outlook so are able to tweak their spam campaigns so that the Outlook won’t label them as spam, making these options not really useful.
The only option I found to be working is the “Safe Lists Only”.
Junk Email Options: Protection = “Safe Lists Only”
Selecting this option requires you to manually white-list domains of the legitimate senders which will take you a few minutes in the first week and then you just enjoy your inbox spam free.
The workflow is as follows – MS Outlook delivers the unknown domain email into Junk Email Folder, you right click and select “Never Block Sender’s Domain”:
The setting is then uploaded onto MS Office 365’s server and the emails from that domain will never end up in the Junk Email Folder. You can then move the message to the actual destination folder.
You should also enable white-listing of all your Outlook contacts and white-listing of all the contacts to whom you send a message:
Junk Email Folder Processing
If you look at a typical Junk Email folder contents,
you see that the spam messages are usually received multiple times, so that you can quickly select and delete.
1. MailChimp Mailing Lists
Many of the largest newsletters are using MailChimp as their Email Service Provider (ESP). MailChimp, unlike most other ESPs, sets the FROM email address to be an email address of one their thousands sending servers, thus making white-listing of the domains virtually impossible
Nevertheless, MailChimp generously shared their sending domains with me (download them from here), so you can manually import them into your Junk Email Options’s Safe Senders List
2. Freshly Whitelisted Domain Emails Return Back to Junk
White listing a sender’s domain can take 30 secs to propagate to the MS Office 365 servers, so if you white list the domain and then move the item directly to Inbox, it can return back to the Junk Email folder.
Rather, you should move the email to the destination, non-Inbox, folder, or wait a few secs for the white-listing to finish.
3. Reset of the Safe Senders Domains List
Once in a while, the Safe Senders Domains List can get corrupted and you may encounter duplication of emails etc.
In such a scenario, the best course of action is to export all Safe Senders Domains List into a text file, delete all the entire list in MS Outlook, close MS Outlook, wait a minute, start MS Outlook and re-import the Safe Senders Domains List.
4. Blocking of Spam Email Addresses
Blocking of Spam Email Addresses usually does not work since the spam senders change their identities all the time.
However, if you happen to find the pattern, the best solution for black-listing of a domain is via MS Office 365 portal – this way, the email is blocked directly by the Office 365 server before the Outlook’s Junk Lists are ever considered resulting in a higher email throughput.