Easily avoid all of this spam mail you have to check and delete each day!

Gmail and all major Desktop clients do a terrific job in classifying spam / junk mail, separating it in special folders. However, this is not the end of our problem, because once in a while, and rather often, some mail that we do want, is also classified as junk. This means, we have to browse the endless list of junk trying to locate what perhaps is something we need.

What can we do? First I tried to find out some super filters list that would let me delete instantly all real spam without the danger of deleting also useful messages. Unfortunately, this list does not exist! Then I tried to find some super powerful configuration in Gmail, Thunderbird and Outlook: it does not exist! Then I thought of changing my email address with a new one that spammers do not have (for the moment). Impossible! I’d have to inform all of my friends and colleagues about this change, and even if I managed to do it, still, I don’t remember all those places where I used my current address to subscribe, etc; if I change it I’m in real danger of losing very useful messages.

Here is what I finally did, and seems the best possible solution so far to me. Instead of fighting spam directly, why not try protecting the useful mail? Now I knew I had a real solution, something that can be done. First of all, Gmail and Thunderbird (this is the combination that I use) already discern the mail that I really want almost perfectly. They can lose (classify as junk) only a 5-10% of my messages. The great majority is already safe, but I have to protect also this 5-10% which is wrongly classified as junk and may contain precious messages.

I opened the Message Filters dialogue of Thunderbird. Something similar you can find in any client and in the Filters of Gmail. If you read carefully, I’m sure you will be able to modify my directions, find a way to apply them in Outlook or any client.

The first rule I used saves instantly a lot of your real mail. Select From, then is in my address book, then Personal Address Book. Repeat this rule, each time selecting one of your other address books (assuming you have more than one). When you finish, proceed to the second step, Perform these actions and select Move Message to, then select any folder you like, e.g. the “Inbox”. Add another action rule, to Set Junk Status to “Not Junk” and another one to “Mark as Unread”.

This means that if you receive a message from a person, forum or anything, from any address that exists in any of your address books, this message immediately avoids junk classification, is saved in a normal folder and is marked as not junk and unread! If you tell also your client to automatically add to your address book anyone you send a message to, you will have immediately protected all the replies you might be receiving from them in the future!

Now you need to add a few more rules to your Filter to make it more powerful. Browse past messages in your mail folders and locate sources (“From”) and subjects of messages that you recall they have been wrongly classified as junk. Create rules to dictate that mail from these sources or with these subjects is treated the way your Filter treats any mail that comes from sources included in your address book(s).

Finally let your Super Saver Filter work and watch the results when new mail arrives. Check your spam / junk folder for a week or two in order to find out more messages that need to be protected and when you are sure that now in your spam folders nothing but spam arrives, you can stop worrying about it, no more browsing the endless list, you can leave it as it is to empty itself automatically in the schedule you configured, each day, each week, whatever. Just take care to have your filter run after junk classification, to avoid messing up with jobs performed by other filters on normal mail.

I finally have a real solution for spam, after a very long time! In this fight with spammers the score seems to be 1-1: I can’t stop them sending, they can’t stop me detecting and saving my own mail separately. In reality, I have won, because now I delete everything they send automatically, without bothering to read even the titles. Not a single non-spam message arrives in spam folders! Spammers still send their mail, but they send it directly to the garbage, they just waste their resources…

Enjoy!

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