Friday 30 January 2009

spam or not spam

Imagine my surprise when I went to my Sympatico mail server directly, rather than using my normal mail reader )Mail, for a Mac, others use different PC browsers, i.e., Mozilla) and found 3 or 4 message Sympatico considered 'junk mail', that would have been deleted in 10 days.

From time to time, not often, I expect a piece of mail but Sympatico's mail filters will cull out mail they think spam at the expense of mail I anticipate! I never thought until today, as I missed an e-mail I had expected that I was being overprotected. It is in your best interests to check your mail every 10 days, or so.

Sympatico's web site says,
"Messages more than 10 days old will be automatically deleted from the Junk E-Mail folder. Review the messages in this folder from time to time to ensure that it includes only mail you don't want in your Inbox. Tell the Junk E-Mail Filter which messages you'd prefer to have delivered to your Inbox by using the checkboxes and then clicking the 'Not Junk' button."

You have to be careful. The beauty of big, more sophisticated systems, like Sympatico, Rogers, etc., mean that you are protected from much of the spam and the viruses and mail hoaxes that proliferate our web. That said, anything similar, with wording that mimics typical spam, p3n1s enlargement offers, or v1agra offers, are usually caught. When I used a smaller satellite company I was inundated with such mail. My gmail account is much more sophisticated than it used to be. The mail they perceive as spam, with all of these familiar words, as well as potential viruses, wit in a spam account and are deleted as a matter of course.

Most servers allow you to set filters and control the mail you receive. For example, I have my browser set to filter anything that does not use my full last name. Also, anything that is sent to me by someone or something NOT in my address book, it goes right to the junk mail filter where I can choose to dump it before reading it, or cull it if it is a new contact. Often, when you sign on with a new company or a listserv they remind you to add them to your mailbox to prevent such issues.

Protect yourself by using filters, whether you use a mail browser or not, but also check your spam files periodically. It might protect you!

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