Tuesday, September 27, 2005

I think everyone at the library got spammed on Monday from the same person. To help deal with this in the future, you can create a filter in Eudora that will intercept messages like this and put them in the Trash. You won't even see them.

To make a filter:
Open the Eudora Inbox and click once on the offending message to highlight it.
Go to the Special menu and select Make Filter.

When the Make Filter box appears, you have several choices based on the content of the message. In this case, click the Subject Contains button. The subject of the message is Ultimate Online Pharmaceutical. Next, click the Delete Message button. Finally, click the Create Filter button. The box will disappear. You are now ready to filter your messages. Go to the Edit menu and choose Select All. This will highlight all the messages in your Inbox. Go to the Special menu and select Filter Messages. All messages with that subject line will be sent to the Trash. In the future, any message with that subject will automatically be filtered to the Trash.

Making filters can be tricky, because spammers often change letters in the subject lines. For example, the "O" in Online may be changed to a zero. This will evade the filter. Sometimes it's easier just to delete the message without making the filter. In this case, the filter is effective because we got multiple identical messages. Other times,it's best to make a filter based on the sender's e-mail address. For example, somehow I got on a mailing list for a series of rock music concerts in England. I've contacted them several times asking to be removed from the list. They've ignored my requests, so I made a filter that sends all messages from them to the Trash.

Filters can be used to help sort your mail, too. You can make a mailbox for all messages from a discussion list and then create a filter to send them there. This can help keep your Inbox orderly.

If you're using Outlook Express, you can do the same thing by making Message Rules, which can be found under the Message menu. The OSX Mail program also lets you make rules. Go to the Mail menu and select Preferences. Click the Rules button, then click Add Rule. You'll see a box of menu and choices similar to those in Eudora.


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