Isn't it enough that have to deal with unwanted mail and
unwanted phone calls, now we have to deal with unwanted e-mail
(sometimes called spam or junk mail). Well, the good news is
that we don't have to deal with unwanted e-mail.
One way to get rid of unwanted e-mail messages is to "filter"
them out. By filtering, I mean telling your e-mail program what
mail you would like sent to the trash. The exact method of telling
your e-mail program what mail you wish to delete, depends on
what you use to receive your e-mail. Some people use a "client"
based (POP3 based) e-mail program like Outlook or Outlook Express.
Some people use Web based e-mail like Yahoo or Hotmail. Some
people use propriety e-mail like America Online or Juno. Most
e-mail applications allow the user to set up "filters"
to deal with unwanted e-mail messages.
With Outlook Express, the user can set up filters by clicking
on the Message menu and then clicking on either Create Rule from
or Block Sender
commands. The first command
(Create Rule from Message
) allows the user to specify a
word or phrase to look for in the subject or body of the e-mail
message. If the word or phrase is found by Outlook Express when
the message is being downloaded, Outlook Express will take an
action which the user specifies, normally sending the message
to the Deleted Items folder. The second command (Block Sender
allows the user to specify that messages received from a certain
sender (specified by the sender's e-mail address) should be sent
to the Deleted Items folder also.
Web based e-mail applications such as Yahoo e-mail also offers
filters. You can find the Web page to set filters with Yahoo
by clicking on the Mail Options link on the Yahoo Mail page.
In the Management section of the Mail Options page, you will
see links to Block Addresses and Filters. These management features
are similar to the ones mentioned in Outlook Express.
If you use client based (POP3 based) e-mail programs like
Outlook or Outlook Express, you may want to try a free program
called MailWasher. The
newer version of MailWasher should work with MSN and Hotmail,
according to the product manufacturer. The author of this article
has been using it and finds it easy to use and effective. After
downloading and installing MailWasher, you need to set up an
account (or set accounts) that you want MailWasher to check.
For this, you will need to know your e-mail Incoming and Outgoing
server names. You can find these names in the Tools menu and
Accounts command of Outlook Express. Write down the POP3 and
SMTP server names in the Properties window and Server tab. MailWasher
also needs your e-mail address and password entered in the appropriate
To use MailWasher, connect to your ISP and then start MailWasher.
MailWasher will go to your ISP e-mail server and download just
the sender's address and subject line. From this information,
MailWasher can determine, in most cases, if the e-mail is "normal"
or "junk". For "junk" mail, you can delete
the message, bounce the message or blacklist the message. For
known junk e-mail, MailWasher suggests the operation to perform.
When you click on the Process Mail button, MailWasher can delete,
bounce and blacklist the junk e-mail message at the server.
What is nice about MailWasher is that e-mail messages do
not have to be downloaded to your computer before taking appropriate
action. If an e-mail message is unwanted, it can be deleted,
bounced at the server. This saves you the need and time to download
unwanted e-mail. After Processing Mail, you will only download
the e-mail that you want. Clicking on the Mail Program button
starts your e-mail program (Outlook, Outlook Express, MSN or
Hotmail) and downloads only the e-mail that you want to receive.