Now, how can I ignore those spam emails? How can I keep them out of my Inbox?
We’ve all tried the old way – using a "block the sender" function. Basically, this is a specific filter (called a "rule" by some programs) that says "if an email comes from him, put it in the spam folder." Whether you use Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora (like I do), Mozilla Thunderbird, or some other email program, they almost all provide a way to block or trash emails from specific individuals or domains. But, that doesn’t work any more…
Most Internet Service Providers (ISP’s) have some form of optional anti-spam software on their mailservers. Note that I said optional — sometimes they make you turn the function on. Almost all ISP’s will let you turn the function off. This anti-spam system is not meant to catch out-going spam (they use other tricks for that) — it is designed to identify incoming emails by their characteristics and classify them as spam if appropriate.
You may have to look around to find the "preferences" settings location at your ISP’s web site. At Cox.net, the settings are in the section "Customer Tool Box" on the right-hand side of the local cox.net homepage. The ISP systems do a pretty good job, but no system is perfect.
You should have alternatives to "label it as spam" or "identify spam and delete it." While many people have told me that they let their ISP delete the spam emails, I recommend that you use the "label it" option and allow it to come to your computer. Then, use the "filters" or "rules" capability of your email program to put these in a folder you call spam.
You can also use a third-party anti-spam program to pre-screen the emails before they get to your computer. Most of these you have to purchase, although some are free.
Occasionally. you should review the subjects and senders of the spam you have received. No anti-spam system is perfect. Unfortunately, they make errors both ways. Sometimes, hey fail to identify spam as being spam. Other times, they mis-identify good emails as spam. If you let your ISP delete them, or if you delete them without checking, you’ll miss some important emails.
My number one rule of email is: if I am expecting an important email, check the spam folder. It might be there. Murphy’s Law of Email says "The more important the email is, the more likely it is to be mis-classified as spam."