Rule your spam

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS, CPA

Q: Even though I’ve set my Outlook 2010 Junk E-mail Options to High, I still receive so many unsolicited emails it’s maddening. Do I need to purchase a junk email or spam program, or is there something else I can try to reduce my junk email?

A: I recommend that you try creating an Outlook rule to move email containing the words “unsubscribe” and “remove” to your junk email folder. By law, unsolicited commercial email must contain instructions for unsubscribing; therefore, the word “unsubscribe” or “remove” usually appears in such emails. Follow these steps to create this rule:

1. From the Outlook 2010 Home tab’s Move group, select Rules, Create Rule.

2. Click the Advanced Options button.

3. Under the section labeled Step 1: Select condition(s), place a check in the box labeled with specific words in the body.

4. Under the section labeled Step 2: Edit the rule description, click the underlined text specific words, then add the word unsubscribe to the Search Text using the Add button. Click OK, Next. (Repeat this step to also add the word remove to the Search Text.)


5. Under the section labeled Step 1: Select action(s), check the box labeled move it to the specified folder.

6. Under the section labeled Step 2: Edit the rule description, click the underlined text specified, then browse to and select your Junk E-mail folder. Click OK, Next.

7. Optional: If you receive any regular emails containing the word “unsubscribe” that you don’t want moved to your Junk E-mail folder (such as an industry newsletter), then under the section labeled Step 1: Select exception(s) place a check in the box labeled except with specific words in the sender’s address. Next, under the section labeled Step 2: Edit the rule description, click the underlined text specific words, and add phrases found in the approved sender’s email address to the Search list (such as AICPA). Click OK, Next. (This example exception ensures that emails from the AICPA are not moved to your junk folder.)

8. Finally, enter a rule name in the Step 1: Specify a name for this rule box, make sure the box labeled Turn on this rule is checked, and then click Finish.

Thereafter, any email you receive containing the word “unsubscribe” or “remove” will be automatically moved to your Junk E-mail folder. If you later discover emails in your Junk E-mail folder that you did not want moved, edit this rule to include additional exceptions.

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