Computer Security & Viruses/Stopping Junk and Imposter E-Mail

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Hi Brian,

If I'm submitting too many questions please let me know.  I'd much rather ask you questions because you have always been helpful and I appreciate your expertise and ability to communicate in language I can understand.

I have two e-mail issues. The first is that I receive about 500 junk e-mails per day, and only about 25% are caught and go to spam.  I thought that there was a way to only accept e-mails from addresses that are in my contact list, but I can't figure out how to do it.  Classifying junk e-mails as spam doesn't work because the sender just uses different domain names.

The other issue I have is that I get fake e-mails designed to look like they come from people I know.  Mostly, but not limited to people with my same last name.  I've made the mistake a few times to click on a link in the e-mail that might say "Take a look at this article".  If I remember to look at the sender's e-mail address tied to a family member, it's obvious that it is an illegitimate e-mail.  I don't know if there is a virus on my system that communicates my contact names to a hacker or if it's a problem on one of my relatives computer.

Any suggestions you may have on making my e-mails more manageable would be appreciated.  I link all my e-mail addresses to Outlook 2010 and use Windows 7.

Thanks again.

Steven

Answer
Hi Steven

Sorry, I was away for a few days and could not reply.  Let's take the second question first.  Possibly, your relatives have computer infections on their systems which are sending out these bogus emails.  In that case, you should notify them to run a virus scan.  If the email does not come from an address you recognize, do not open it.  There are ways to filter these out, which brings us to your first inquiry.  From Microsoft, here's how to tighten up your spam filters:

You can adjust the Junk Email Filter settings in the Junk E-mail Options dialog box.
On the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Junk, and then click Junk E-mail Options.
While the Junk Email Filter checks your incoming messages automatically, the Junk Email Filter Lists give you more control over what is considered spam. You can add names, email addresses and domains to these lists so the Filter allows for messages from sources that you trust, or blocks messages that arrive from specific email addresses and domains that you don't know or trust.

Safe Senders List: Email addresses and domain names in the Safe Senders List are never treated as junk email, regardless of the content of the message. You can add your Contacts and other correspondents to this list.

Safe Recipients List: If you belong to a mailing list or a distribution list, you can add the list sender to the Safe Recipients List. Messages sent to these email addresses or domain names are never treated as junk, regardless of the content of the message.

Blocked Senders List: You can easily block messages from particular senders by adding their email addresses or domain names to the Blocked Senders List. When you add a name or email address to this list, Outlook moves any incoming message from that source to the Junk E-mail folder. Messages from people or domain names that appear in this list are always classified as junk, regardless of the content of the message.

Blocked Top-Level Domains List: To block unwanted email messages that come from another country/region, you can add country/region codes to the Blocked Top-Level Domains List. For example, selecting the CA [Canada], US [United States], and MX [Mexico] check boxes in the list would block messages from email addresses that end in .ca, .us, and .mx.

Blocked Encodings List: (Useful if you receive a lot of Chinese alphabet spam) To block unwanted email messages that appear in another character set or alphabet, you can add encodings to the Blocked Encodings List.

There are third-party add-ons for Outlook which say they filter spam better than the built-in tools, but I have found if you take the time to train Outlook properly, your spam will drop significantly.  For more reading on this and visual instructions, including a link to a subscription add-on called Kutool, click here:
http://www.extendoffice.com/documents/outlook/1106-outlook-configure-junk-mail.h

Brian  

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Brian Benosky

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I will help you in eradicating malware and all forms of virus/trojans/adware. I can answer all PC-related hardware issues. I can also troubleshoot Windows OS errors (all versions) and other software problems. HijackThis logs are a MUST for virus related help. If you do not know how to do this, I have posted easy-to-follow instructions on the Ask a Question page. Every computer infection is different, so I will give you personal instructions on how to remove the malware, not a 'pat' answer. You can be assured of a prompt, polite, and knowledgeable response in all regards.

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I have over 25 years experience in using, building, and repairing computers. I have helped over two thousand people here on AllExperts, with consistent Top Feedback Scores. Please look at my answers here: http://en.allexperts.com/q/Computer-Security-Viruses-1737/indexExp_84308.htm I am also a Top Contributor of General Computing answers in Yahoo! Questions.

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College Educated Self-taught Computer Skills

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