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How to Reduce Spam You Receive via Windows Live Mail

You can reduce the flow of spam you receive to a trickle by using the mail-blocking feature within Windows Live Mail. Is there anyone on the planet who actually opens a message promising instant hair regrowth? Or a once-in-a-lifetime investment opportunity? Or some sort of illicit physical offer that you neither want nor need? Why does junk mail exist? Aren’t these spam-slingers just wasting their time?

When you receive a junk mail message from someone, right-click it in the Message list and then choose Junk E-Mail→Add Sender to Blocked Sender List from the pop-up menu that appears. Live Mail displays a confirmation dialog box to let you know that the offending sender has been added to your Blocked Sender list and that the message has been moved to your Junk E-Mail folder.

Use this method to block all messages from a specific e-mail address. Any mail you receive from that source is then dumped directly into your Deleted Items folder. (You can still look at it there, of course, just to verify that the proper trash was picked up.)

However, nefarious junk mail villains can still get around a blocked-sender list by changing their sending addresses: For example, imajerk@justanexample.com suddenly becomes hahastillhere@justanexample.com or something similar.

Does this mean that you have to continue to suffer? Not in the least, good Internet citizen! You can also block an entire domain name, which is the part of an e-mail address that follows the @ sign, like spamtwit.com in bonehead@spamtwit.com.

That way, no matter which silly username they try, Live Mail still throws straight into the trash anything they send. To block an entire domain name, just right-click the offending message in the Message list and choose Junk E-Mail→Add Sender’s Domain to Blocked Sender List, to knock them out completely.

If you add an address or an entire domain to your blocked list by accident, you can return that address or domain to good standing. Click the Junk E-Mail folder in the Folder pane to display its contents in the Message list. Then right-click the message and choose Junk E-mail→Add Sender to Safe Sender List.

To restore the message to your inbox, right-click the message and choose Junk E-Mail→Mark as Not Junk. Mail whisks the forgiven message back to the Inbox automatically.

If you get a message from an obvious spam tycoon who includes a line about how you can oh-so-conveniently “unsubscribe” from his mailing list, don’t do it! This scam is designed to verify that your e-mail address is valid; if you unsubscribe, you end up with a regular tidal wave of junk mail. Better to add his e-mail address (or the entire domain) to the Blocked list.

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