Inbox `whitelist' might end your problems with spam


August 08, 2002|By James Coates | James Coates,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

I am really getting distressed with the porn site e-mail I keep receiving. I have never been to one of their sites, yet this stuff keeps coming in. I classify it in Outlook as adult mail and then delete, but it keeps coming. Is there software I can buy that will effectively stop this junk from my e-mail in-box?

With a minimum of effort, the "rules" feature in Microsoft Outlook Express can be turned into devastating Kryptonite that will melt away the porn and spam and leave your e-mail filled only with the stuff you want.

The trick is to set up the e-mail so that you just see notes from those you want. Microsoft executives call this strategy a "whitelist," as compared to a blacklist like you have created.

Click on Tools in Outlook Express and select Message Rules. This brings up a set of prompts that will let you order the software to look for notes from people you want to hear from and automatically send their messages to a special folder. Just type in a full or partial name of all those in your life and add each to the whitelist.

The software lets you import everybody in your address book into this favored list with a few well-timed mouse clicks. The software also walks users through creating a new folder to which the whitelist gets shunted.

James Coates is a reporter for The Chicago Tribune, a Tribune publishing newspaper. He can be reached via e-mail at

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