Chapter 16: Using Windows Mail, Calendars, and Contacts
occurring in spam email and in legitimate email. For instance, most email users will
frequently encounter the word Viagra in spam email but will seldom see it in other
email. Typically, the filter doesn’t know these probabilities in advance and must first
be trained so that it can build them up. To train the filter, you generally must indi-
cate manually whether a new email is spam. For all words in each email you’ve iden-
tified as junk, the filter adjusts the probabilities that each word will appear in spam
or legitimate email in its database. For instance, Bayesian spam filters typically will
have learned a very high spam probability for the words Viagra and refinance, but a
very low spam probability for words seen only in legitimate email, such as the names
of friends and family members.
Fortunately, you do not have to have a degree in mathematics or programming skills
to use this feature or to change the filtering to be more effective. Windows Mail
comes ready with an initial database that you can use to distinguish between spam
and legitimate email. You can choose to adjust the sensitivity of the filter to block
more email or to block less email, depending on your needs. You can also specifi-
cally designate senders as either safe or blocked.
By default, Windows Mail moves any email identified as junk to the Junk E-mail
folder. This ensures that you don’t have to wade through junk email but can review
the messages before deleting them as necessary. Checking your Junk E-mail folder
periodically for regular email that has been incorrectly filtered is important to opti-
mize junk email filtering. If an email is marked as junk but isn’t junk, right-click it,
point to Junk E-mail, and then select Mark As Not Junk.
You can set the filter level for junk email as well as safe senders and blocked senders
by following these steps:
1. In Windows Mail, click Tools, and then click Junk E-mail Options.
2. In the Junk E-mail Options dialog box, shown in Figure 16-7, you can set the filter
level for junk email on the Options tab. Choose one of the following filter levels:
No Automatic Filtering
Turns off automatic filtering. Only email addresses on your Blocked Send-
ers list are filtered.
Ensures that only email with the highest probability of being junk is filtered.
Uses rigid screening to detect the highest number of junk email possible, but
may also incorrectly flag regular email as junk.
Safe List Only
Filters all email except for recipients specifically designed as Safe Senders.