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Oct 26, 2008

Tricks For Outlook Express

Outlook Express is free and comes bundled with IE. You can integrate your HotMAIL account with it.

* Save some space by unchecking Contact, Outlook Bar, and View Bar in the Window Layout Properties. This is chosen by selecting Layout from the View menu.

* Implementing Spam Filters For POP Accounts: Create two folders in your mail client - Filtered Inbox and Spam. Create the following four Message Rules in Outlook Express (Tools » Message Rules » Mail). Use your old messages as a guide while picking the words for your filters. Check the Spam folder once in a while for any false-positives. If you find any spam among the flagged messages in the Filtered Inbox, then update the filters in the third rule with new words.

Mail Rule #1: Mail From Known Contacts
Where the From line contains 'friendname' or ''
Move it to the Filtered Inbox folder
and Stop processing more rules

Mail Rule #2: Mail Not Addressed To Me
Where the To or CC line does not contain ''
Move it to the Spam folder
and Stop processing more rules

Mail Rule #3: Word filters on From, To, ∓ Subject lines
Where the From line contains 'debt' or 'enlargement' or 'teens' or 'viagra'
or Where the Subject line contains 'debt' or 'enlargement' or 'teens' or 'viagra'
or Where the To line contains 'debt' or 'enlargement' or 'teens' or 'viagra'
Move it to the Spam folder
and Stop processing more rules

Mail Rule #4: Suspect Mail
For all messages
Move it to the Filtered Inbox folder
and Flag it
and Stop processing more rules

* Integrating HotMAIL: You can integrate your HotMAIL account with Outlook Express. Just go about as you would do with adding a POP account. After you enter your HotMAIL address, OE will automatically identify it as a HotMAIL account and pre-fill the E-mail Server Names details. Click Next enter the userid and password. When you are done, OE will ask if you want to download folders for that account. Here, choose Yes. After the folders have been downloaded, you can use it like you would use a POP mail account except that you will not be able to use the Message Rules (available under the Tools menu) on this account.

* Handling Junk Mail ∓ Viruses In HotMAIL: If you get a lot of junk mail, then through the HotMAIL website activate the bulk mail folder. Create appropriate mail filters to prevent junk from landing into your inbox. Despite this, you might get junk mail and sometimes viruses. To handle these annoyances, you have to configure OE to download only mail headers. Right click on Bulk Mail and Inbox folders, and follow this - Synchronization Settings » Headers Only. Keep the Preview option off by clicking on its button on the toolbar. Some viruses get activated when Preview is on. Now, connect to the net and receive your mail. Then, read the from addresses and subject lines. Leave mails that appear to be viruses or spam alone. Mark the good ones by clicking under the column Mark for Offline. After this, once more receive your mail. Now, the messages that you had marked alone will be downloaded in full. The viruses and junk would not have been downloaded. Sometimes, your well-meaning contacts might be sending you viruses unknown to them. So, instead of opening the attachments, save them to your desktop. If the attachments contain any viruses, your antivirus should kick in at this time. I am using AVG antivirus and it does a pretty good job of handling viruses.

Email Headers: Spammers and viruses do a lot of spoofing when it comes to leaving traces. Check the screenshot for the header of a virus-laden mail that I received. Both the to and from address belong to me but the sender was actually By reading the header, it becomes clear from which ISP this guy has been using. In this case, or By sending a mail to, you will be able alert the ISP provider of the nuisance. When contacting the ISP, make sure you send them a plain text message along with the Internet header of the offending email. Without the header, they will not be able to take any action. To read the email headers, keep the Preview off. Right click on the message and select Properties » Details.

Most viruses usually attack the Address Book. The virus reads the addresses stored in the Address Book and mails a copy of the virus to all the contacts, sometimes along with a file found in your machine. Some viruses forge the to and from addresses. So, it may not be always be right to yell at your friend for sending viruses. It is best not to keep any contacts in the Address Book not just in the interest of your contacts, but also in the interest of your own privacy.

People who send junk mail or spam have large databases of email addresses. They are paid by companies that sell something. All current measures against spam are devoted against spammers rather than the spam sponsors. Spam sponsors are at the root of this evil. Is there a way to stop this group of low life? Read Reverse Spamming or How To Fight Spam With Spam.

* Archiving HotMAIL messages: When you import messages from a backup copy of the message store folder, your HotMAIL messages will not be imported. So, create two folders under Local Folders called Archived Inbox and Archived Outbox. Copy the messages from your HotMAIL folders to these folders appropriately. Before you reinstall Windows or something drastic as that, create a backup copy the store folder in some other location. The store folder's location can be found by going to Options » Maintenance » Store Folder. After you are done with your reinstall, ask OE or whichever mail client you are using to import the messages from this folder. Now, your HotMAIL messages will be imported.

* Options: To change the various settings of OE, choose Options in the Tools menu. If you have a dial-up account, then under the General tab, uncheck all the check boxes. Under the Send tab, uncheck the Send messages immediately. Under the Compose tab, under Font Settings choose the Verdana 9pt font or anything else that you might fancy. Under the Signatures tab, create different signatures for different accounts or one for all accounts. If you are in India, then setting the dictionary to English (United Kingdom) in the Language section of the Spelling tab will prevent conflicts with American spelling.

* Blind Carbon Copy (bcc): Not many people know the advantages of bcc. When an email is cc'd to different people, each one of them get to know the other ids. Many people would be annoyed if their ids are distributed around in a careless fashion. Also, many a time, people just cc all others when replying. So, when broadcasting a message leave the "To" and "cc" fields empty and instead fill up the "bcc" with the addresses. To send mails using the bcc option in Outlook Express, choose View » All headers in the New Message window.

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