IN THIS CHAPTER
Understanding junk email filtering
Setting junk email options
Defining blocked and allowed lists
Junk email, often called spam, is a problem for most email users. It can range from a minor annoyance for a home user to a major problem for a large organization, clogging mail servers and reducing the efficiency of employees. Fortunately, Outlook provides you with tools that greatly reduce the spam problem.
Junk email filtering works on two principles. The first is the content of the message-certain keywords and phrases are considered likely to be spam. The other is the identity of the sender. You can define a safe list-people whose messages are never treated as spam regardless of content. Likewise you can define a blocked list, people whose messages are always treated as spam regardless of content. In either case, messages that Outlook flags as spam are placed in the Junk E-mail folder rather than the Inbox.
Why doesn't Outlook just delete spam messages? The fact is that content-based spam filtering is not perfect, and it's possible that legitimate messages will sometimes be caught as spam. Some people like to quickly scan their Junk E-mail folder before permanently deleting the messages just to make sure that a legitimate message has not been caught. However, if you want spam to be deleted automatically, you can tell Outlook to do this. See the next section, "Setting Junk EMail Options," for details.