How I Deal With Corporate Spam

In an entry yesterday, I talked about corporate spam and mentioned that I would post about how I have chosen to handle it.  I’m still learning how best to work with uploading images to Blogger, so please bear with me if I don’t have enough of if I can’t get the sequence right.

As you can see on the left, the first thing I’ve done is to create a folder that I chose to call "BS Filter". It can be named anything that you like. This is just what I chose because it is what I think of a lot of the corporate spam that I deal with.

As you can see here, I then click on the "Create Rule" (which can also be access by Tools -> Rules and Alerts in Outlook 2003). I won’t disclose a screen shot of my rules because I have some specific names in there and so I’ll just tell you what I do. When the "Rules and Alerts" dialog box pops up, click on "New Rule".  When I first came to the conclusion that I should do this, I decided to go nuclear. I selected "Move messages with specific words in the subject to a folder". I used subject for a reason. Thankfully, the fools who believe that the entire corporation is interested in their particular email haven’t yet adopted the tactics of professional spammers who will use subjects lines that actually sound like something you should open. I’m getting a lot of junk lately with subjects like "I’m very upset about Friday". If I recognized the name, I’d almost open that. However, they all come from people I don’t know, fools who have left their computers unsecured and now they eek out an existence as spambots. Anyway, I created the rule to route emails with words such as "charity", "tickets", "luncheon", "retirement", "funeral" and a few other specifics that my corporation and the organization that my office supports continue to spam us with. I told the rule wizard to route emails meeting these criteria to the folder "BS Filter". I then realized that this might be too nuclear. I do get emails from my church with those words and I do genuinely care about them. I also get joke emails that may contain some of those words. I put in exceptions to the rule for specific people such as our minister, the church secretary, and some of my friends who are likely to send me jokes. There are a few people who do nothing but send out corporate spam, so I put in a rule that any email with them as the sender should get routed to BS Filter.

Now, this system is not perfect, and it does not stop me from having to deal with these emails. What it does is stop me from losing productive time every time an email comes in. This way all emails that meet the subject criteria get routed to my BS Filter and I can deal with them in one fell swoop. It is much faster and more efficient. I have occasionally had a good one get by. Just the other day, an email about an open position was caught by my BS Filter. It wasn’t a big deal. I had time and saw a new email in there, so I went to the folder and found out a position I might be interested in was open. I applied for it. However, when that email actually came in, I was trying to get some work done. I can only imagine how much productive time I would have lost getting all excited about applying for that position in the middle of trying to get work done.

Your needs may be much lighter. At my last job, there was only one person who sent out corporate spam, so I made a simple rule that any email from her was to be routed directly to my Deleted Items folder. In 5 years on that job, I don’t think I ever got a single email from her that was relevant to me in any way.

Have a fun and happy time creating Outlook rules to suit your own needs. Rules can also be created to organize email from specific people. I have a rule that any email from my wife goes to a folder.

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One Response

  1. […] decided to resurrect a strategy that I used on my last job for dealing with “corporate spam“. I’ve already created my first […]

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