Technology Advisor Blog

Turn on or Turn off the Junk Filter in Outlook 2010

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 10/26/12 4:19 PM

Whenever there's a mystery regarding a "missing" email, the first thing we look at is if the email is sitting in a spam filter.  We always recommend just using one spam filter, preferably "in the cloud" so mail is filtered BEFORE it gets to your mail server, and distributed to your laptop, smartphone, iPad, and wherever else you read your mail.

Recently, I installed a new solid state drive in my laptop, and when I had problems with moving over the disk image, I ended up re-installing Microsoft Office.  I didn't realize it at the time, but when I completed the installation, the "Junk" filter was turned "on" by default, and I was breaking one of my major rules - I had TWO filters guarding my mail.  A few weeks ago, I was looking for a mail message that I couldn't find, and thought perhaps I had deleted it by mistake, and didn't think much of it.  Just this week, a client mentioned an mail message he had sent, and I couldn't find it.  "Search" of my inbox didn't reveal the message, but when I looked at the mail history in the "People" pane, there it was.  It was sitting in my "Junk" box, which I never check because I'm opposed to using it in the first place! 

Junk Setting Outlook 2010Changing your "Junk" settings is easy. On the "Home" tab in Microsoft Outlook 2010, click on "Junk" in the upper left hand corner. This will open up a window where you can change your settings.

In the main tab, "options", you can turn off the Junk filter, or select an appropriate setting if you want. You also have the option to select "Safe Senders", "Safe Recipients", "Blocked Senders" and "International" settings.  The built in Junk filter does provide a lot of options, and will work well if the only place you read your mail is in Outlook on your main system.  

Junk Mail Settings -OutlookBut these days, with so many other devices,  we highly recommend a cloud based spam filter so you mail gets filtered BEFORE it gets to your mail server, and you have only one place to check for the invariable "false positives" - those messages that you DO want to receive that get falsely dispositioned as spam.

Next time you find yourself searching for a missing email message, make sure you have only one spam filter running!  Two spam filters are NOT better than one!

Tags: Outlook, eMail, spam, Junk, Filter

How to "Deliver" Messages from Postini Quarantine

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 10/2/12 8:53 AM

In the first few weeks of using a spam filter, we know it's an inconvenience to have to approve senders when it would be obvious to anyone but a computer that it's mail that you want, but you'll be grateful to have the spam filter when you see all the clutter gone from your mailbox. Note that what appears in your quarantine is only the borderline spam content and that the rest of it is blocked in a "black hole". On average, across all the clients we actively manage, around 80% of all incoming mail is blocked or quarantined as spam!

Here's a question we get a lot:  "I delivered a message from my spam quarantine, but the next time the person sent a message to me, it wound up in my quarantine again.  Why?" 

There are actually two steps to the process:  delivering and approving.

Postini Quarantine eMailWhen you receive your daily Quarantine email (we typically program delivery for 8am daily), you'll see a list of emails that were quarantined in the last 24 hours.  This list can be quickly scanned for "false positives", that is, emails that were flagged as spam, but may be things that you want. 

Quarantine ListFrom this email, you can quickly hit "deliver" to get the messages you want sent to your "inbox" by simply hitting the "deliver" link.  When you do so, you'll see a web page pop up that will say "Your message has been delivered.  Close this window".  At this point, the message you selected should have been successfully delivered to your inbox.  However, if you notice that it's from a sender that regularly emails you (such as an enewsletter, an important customer, a sales promotion, etc), you'll want to take an extra step to "approve" the sender so their mail always gets through.  For example, I definitely always want to know when Lands End is having a sale.  Their messages are commercial bulk mail, which is considered "spam", but since I always want to receive the mail, I need to "approve" the sender. 

MessageCenterLogInTo "approve" a sender and not have to click "deliver" every time they send a message, click on the "Message Center" link directly above "Date" on our list of quarantined spam.  This will directly you to a screen to log in to the message center.  Your "Log in Address" is simply your email address.  The password is the password originally assigned in your welcome message when the account was created (not the same as your email password), but don't worry if you don't know what it is.  Simply type anything into the Password box, and then you'll see a message "Invalid Login.  Please try again" and you'll also see a link "forgot your password?" directly underneath.  If you click on this, you'll be directed to a page to reset your password.  In our experience, people often don't log into the message center frequently, and they often forget their passwords, so this is a question that comes up often.  Don't worry, it's easy to correct.

After you're logged into the message center, you'll see a list of all your quarantined spam messages, but unlike your quarantine email, you'll also have a lot more functionality available through several links.MessageCenter

When you're logged into the message center, you can select one message on the left and hit "Deliver" (button on the right), or you can select multiple messages and hit the "Deliver Selected" above all the "Deliver" buttons.

After the message is delivered, you'll have the option to "Approve Selected Senders" on the next screen:MessagesDeliveredScreen

If you want to pre-approve senders and not wait until messages wind up in quarantine, another way to approve senders is to go to the "My Settings" link.  Here, you'll have options to approve senders, block senders, and change your password:MySettings

As always, if you have questions or need help, let us know! 

Tags: eMail, spam filtering, postini, approve sender

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