A frequent question users ask is how to block foreign spam:
“I’m receiving email that looks like it comes from Russia (funny looking letters). I keep adding the addresses to my block senders list however I seem to be getting more and more of them. I would like to make a rule to just delete them all, but I cannot find the letters anywhere to type into the rule. “
“Can we make a rule in which Outlook 2010 can auto-delete any emails that contain Asian characters?”
Sure, you can create a rule to delete messages containing these (and other) character sets. You can also set the junk filter to delete mail that uses certain character sets.
But first, I’ll address the use of the blocked list: Don’t bother adding spammers to it. Because most spammers use an address once, you’re only filling up the list with bad addresses. The blocked list should be nearly empty. Set the Junk Email filter on High and let Outlook take care of spam; use the Safe lists to whitelist addresses as needed.
Junk Email Options
If you use Outlook 2003, 2007, or 2010, you can set the Junk email option to filter mail either by the top-level domain or character set. If you don’t correspond with users in certain high spam countries or who would be using alternate character sets, you can configure Outlook to filter all messages from the top level domain or that use foreign character sets.
Open the Junk Email Options dialog and go to the International tab. Block most of the encodings, but not ASCII or Western European, possibly not Latin 3 and 9 and any others that would be used by people from other countries that you correspond with.
Note: If the message (spam) doesn’t have a character set in the header, this filter won’t work.
The lines in the message header will look something like either of these two lines:
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=”ISO-8859-1″
The top level domain list blocks mail sent from addresses ending in a two-character country code (.de, .us, .ru etc). Because most spammers use .com addresses, this filter is less useful.
Find the Junk Email Dialog:
Note that Outlook 2010 maintains separate junk mail settings for each account.
If you have multiple accounts and deliver the mail to different Inboxes, select an Inbox and review the junk mail settings, then repeat for each Inbox. If you use one Inbox, select a message from one account and review the settings, then select a message from another account and check the settings.
Create a Rule for Foreign Spam
Users of all versions of Outlook can create rules that look for foreign characters in message bodies. Copy a few of the most common characters from a spam message and paste them into a rule. You only need about 8 to 10 letters from each language for maximum spam filtering.
To create a rule
First, locate a message with the characters you want to filter on and copy one or more characters.
- Open Rules Wizard. In Outlook 2010, look for Manage Rules & Alerts on the Home ribbon, Move section, under the Rules button. In Outlook 2007 and earlier, Rules & Alerts is on the Tools menu.
- Click Add Rule.
- Choose Apply rule on messages I receive near the bottom of the dialog.
- Click Next to move to the Conditions screen.
- Select the “with specific words in the subject or body” condition.
- Click on “specific words”in the lower part of the dialog and paste the characters in the Specify words… field. Click Add. If you copied multiple characters, delete all but one character, then click Add. Repeat until all characters are added.
- Click Next to move to the Actions screen.
- Select “delete it” and click Next. At this point, the rule should look something like the rule shown in the screenshot.
- Click Next if you want to add exceptions to the rule or run it on messages in your Inbox, otherwise, click Finish to return to the Rules Wizard dialog.