www.BlackViper.com: E-Mail Filtering Guide Page 2


How to filter your E-Mail using Outlook Express

Spam and virus's do not have to get you down. Here, I take a look at the filters I use for the results you viewed on the previous page. It is not magic. With effective filters, a huge amount of spam can be dealt with behind the scenes with tools you already have at your disposal.

Creating email rules in OE
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9) Creating Filters in Outlook Express. (Image 2.1)

Creating filters in Outlook Express does not have to be difficult. In fact, it is a rather easy task!

Select Tools, Message Rules, then Mail.

Mail Rules Tab
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10) Viewing Rules. (Image 2.2)

Some important information to note: The rules are applied in the order they appear. Also, if you want the rule to stop after applying a particular filter property, select Stop Processing for more rules in the rule options.

This rule makes everything "not addressed directly to me in the TO: field automatically delete and stop processing any more rules."

With this same technique, you can add rules to "white list" peoples E-Mail address or domain and ALWAYS send them to your inbox (or another folder). This is to avoid possible "valid" news letters from slipping through and getting deleted if they use a technique to mask whom the news letter is going to. Ensure that the white listing filter is FIRST on the list.

How can you add a rule?

Create a New mail rule
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11) Adding New Rules. (Image 2.3)

Click the New button in the Mail Rules tab.

Here will be displayed a number of options that could be a complete topic in its self. However, you can experiment with what works best for you and your situation by thinking about the additional rules I describe later.

In order to create the "Not to me" list, select Where the to line contains people. Edit it by selecting the blue underline text in the lower portion of the window. Add your email address. Select options button. Modify the rule to say message does not contain the people below.

After selecting enough OK's to get you back, ensure that you add an action to your rule in the mid-portion of the dialog.

subject line filter
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12) This is my "Default Subject Line" filter. (Image 2.4)

Oddly enough, many people absolutely feel compelled either to not include my default subject line or must modify it. That is why I have a loose rule pertaining to my subject line.

The actual line is "A Question or Comment for Black Viper." However, if you include "comment" or "Black" or "Viper" in the subject line, it will still get through to me.

Update 18APR2003: Due to some spammers automatically including the E-Mail address in the subject line, I have modified my filter to say "Black Viper" and not just "Viper." Why? Because "Viper" is part of my E-Mail address (...@blkviper.com) and the spams that have been including it in the subject line have been slipping through.

This rule also sends it to a particular folder that is viewed by me by default. In reality, a rapid reply will result if I have to do little action to reply to an E-Mail. Pass my filters and the information you desire is yours. :)

Absolutely zero spam's have got through from a robot. Why? The robots may include "bv" (since that is the information before the @ symbol in the E-Mail address) in the subject line, but never have they equated "Black Viper" to "bv." Actually, many spams will include the information before the @ symbol and then a comma, then some spam message. One of my filters detects "bv," and "bv@" in the subject line and delete it.

Diet spam filter
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13) This filter detects "Diet" spam key words in the subject line. (Image 2.5)

Here I am looking for particular words in the subject line and highlighting the message Red, then moving it to the "SPAM" folder. This is a visual cue that the E-Mail used "bad" words and probably did not come from an actual person.

General spam filter
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14) This filter detects "General" spam words in the subject line. (Image 2.6)

Here I am looking for particular words, like "mortgage, free, $," etc in the subject line and highlighting the message Red, then moving it to the "SPAM" folder.

To avoid hate mail, I will not show my "p0rn" filter publicly, but I am sure that you get the point as to the words I filter.

Catch all filter
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15) This filter passes any other E-Mails that do not meet any previous rules to the SPAM folder. (Image 2.7)

If this was not here, it would place those E-Mails in the "Inbox," but I really do not like that as I highly doubt that any "legit" E-Mail would pass through my filters and NOT be spam.

Blocked senders tab
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16) Blocking Domains. (Image 2.8)

If you find that your filters are catching lots of E-Mails from a particular domain, you can block it before it even gets to you.

The Blocked Senders tab is processed BEFORE any filters are applied. This kills particular E-Mail addresses, like "someone@domain.com" or whole domains, like "spamsender.com."

As a result of this, it would be very wise not to block E-Mails from "popular" domains, such as "hotmail.com" or "yahoo.com" because, even though many spammers fake the E-Mails addresses with these domains, many people use these services for their personal E-Mail. However, if you get an E-Mail from "bulkemail.org," I am sure that no legitimate person will be sending you an E-Mail with an account from that domain... and if they did, would you want to get it?

I hope this offered some insight into the techniques I use to, not only fight spam, but identify the clever virus's out there attempting to suck up bandwidth from the rest of the internet. If this has helped you, feel free to Contact BV, but, remember, leave the default subject line intact... or your E-Mail could be tagged and automatically deleted as spam.

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