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Filter junk mail with Entourage manually and intelligently
Authored by: Frederico on Mar 24, '03 10:40:17AM

Yikes. I can see dozen or more reasons why those filter criteria would kill tons of potentially important mail.

While I credit the author for taking some precautions that seem workable for his situation (the flagged personal header actually seems a fine idea), I strongly advise anyone else employ these rules as is with extreme caution. One may also wish to divert mail to a custom folder for long-term inspection and sorting prior to deletion. Remember, items moved to the Deleted Items folder will automatically be purged after the preset timeout in your preferences (default is 3 days, I think), so you can't wait too long to inspect, either.

This would, e.g., cause problems with poorly dated mail not in your address book, such as mail from people who may need to compose it, but do not make connections or execute sending for several days (not entirely uncommon in my life), or, given the current state of OS X 10.2.4, may simply be affected by a computer with an incorrect date.

Also, anyone who suddenly chooses to change email addresses without first notifiying you from the the current address in your book (or other methods) will very likely get snagged in this filter, particularly if they switch to Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL or the ever-growing MSN. Most people do wait to inform you until they have the new address, and this filter will prevent you from even seeing such notice in many cases.

And be very careful, too, if, like me, you're currently working on refinancing any property, working on confidential deals/situations, or anyone ever forwards you email you want to see from an address not in your address book. God forbid you ever get email from anyone unknown to you by way of referral.

With all due respect to the author, I don't think these rules -- rather, the rigid severity of the third one -- would work well for most people, and, honestly, I'm baffled as to how they work so well for the author; and, unless the author inspects each and every piece of diverted "SPAM" sent to Deleted Items *before* it gets deleted, I don't think he can state with 100% certainty it works perfectly for him, either. And, if he does inspect all that mail, what's the point of these filters?

Bottom line for many people: SPAM sucks, and you still need a degree of human interaction to avoid losing important mail. Those who depend solely on filtering, no matter how good or advanced (such as Bayesian), will undoutedly, at some point, miss an important piece of mail, and the sad part is they will never know it. Ignorance may be bliss, but is it worth the risk?

FWIW, what works for me is to filter out all known sender addresses to specific custom folders (e.g., Family, Friends,, Business, etc., and specific sub-folders therein as required), and everything else is left in the inbox for the inspection. Other strategies, such as use of special or custom addresses when registering yourself at untrusted sources so that those can be flagged as undesireable mail automatically also help. Even though I get on the order of 300-400 pieces of SPAM per day across dozens of active email accounts I must use, it takes less than a couple minutes of my day, using Entourage's built-in Junk Mail filter flagging (set to about the middle) to select and execute an AppleScript upon that forwards the email to the FCC, reports it to various abuse agencies, domain owners, etc.

Frustrating some days, yes, but moreso over content and disgust at the state of peoples morals and ethics than my loss of time.


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Filter junk mail with Entourage manually and intelligently
Authored by: Mikey-San on Mar 24, '03 11:27:57AM

Where does anything say that you have to use all of the third rule's critera?

"I'll repeat that, because it bears repeating." - Lewis Black

Where does anything say that you have to use all of the third rule's critera?

If you get tons of mail from, that you WANT, where the senders aren't in your address book, don't use that criterion. If you get massive amounts of spam, and don't get e-mail from that isn't from people in your address book, use that criterion.

It's an HTML file, not an Entourage configuration application/script that you can't change. The basic concepts are all the same: Get around the "from me to me" spam trick, make exceptions, and lay down some burnination on everything else.

I'm strict on spam. My setup doesn't touch mail I want, and my filters show it. Some are lighter, and won't use all of those. It's a "starting point", like I said.

Excuse me for assuming people who understand rules are smart enough to understand that if they don't want blocked, they can ignore and not use the filter. I should assume they're all inept and will wonder where their mail went, like you, next time.

Also, if you work in finances, etc., and you see the rules that tag "financ", and /don't/ understand that, like everything else listed there, anything with "financ" in the subject line (just like the rule plainly, clearly defines) will get deleted, you shouldn't be touching spam rules to begin with.

Also, I appreciate you calling me a liar. I really do. I use this system, and it /does/ work for me. /Also,/ I didn't state with that it works for me 100%:

"It's a good starting point for getting the spam out of your field of vision. It takes about fifteen minutes or so to set this up, but it's worth it. I see maybe 5% of all spam sent to me, with an error margin of about 0.001%.

"If you have any ideas to improve upon this, shoot 'em my way."

1. Note the two error percentages there, including the error margin phrase. I'm serious when I say that I really only see about one friendly-fire error in every thousand messages that get scanned. I've been evolving my rules (note how I use "me" there, implying a level of subjection, and how it's just a bunch of text--you can implement it however you like) for a long time, and I wouldn't say it's too far-fetched, after more than a couple of years, to become that accurate against your e-mail habits.

2. Rather than giving me helpful suggestions, as I asked, you go to town on all but the first part in a comment you have no way of knowing if I'll see (though I did, obviously). Thanks for the single sentence on the (I'd say) most interesting part of the document, the header/authentication trick. (I was quite proud of this, even though it's probably been done before.)

I don't like spam. If you don't like it, either, these concepts are easily taken into your e-mail client of choice however you like, to best fit your needs.

It's easier to criticize someone else's work than to provide better alternatives. (No, a vague reference to using Entourage's junk mail filter and AppleScript doesn't exactly count.)

Thanks for the comment.

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Poking fun at myself, heh
Authored by: Mikey-San on Mar 24, '03 11:30:51AM

... And the best way to figure out when someone's using copy and paste?

"... all of the third rule's critera?"

When the same typo appears twice in a row. ;D


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Filter junk mail with Entourage manually and intelligently
Authored by: shift_register on Mar 24, '03 02:39:07PM

>Wth all due respect to the author, I don't think these rules -- rather, the >rigid severity of the third one -- would work well for most people, and>, >honestly, I'm baffled as to how they work so well for the author

Well by blocking all mail from AOL, hotmail, yahoo, and MSN, that eliminates the majority of SPAM. As to "mortgage", I deal with a local mortgage company, someone I see face to face, so that is not a problem. The rest of those key words would block a lot of unwanted email.

This third rule will work real well for me.


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custom addresses
Authored by: redfood on Mar 25, '03 01:21:11AM

>Other strategies, such as use of special or custom
>addresses when registering yourself at untrusted
>sources so that those can be flagged as undesireable
>mail automatically also help.

I love spamgourmet.

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