A too-robust approach to spam

I was reading recently that something like 47% of emails are spam. I can believe it. I get the whole range: offers of Russian brides, Viagra, genie bras, news that a previously unknown relative has left me tons of money and messages exhorting me to open the attached document or confirm my security details. All this would be quite funny on one level, but it makes downloading and then sifting through email that much more difficult.

So I decided to do something about it.

Spam Wal, by Freezelight https://www.flickr.com/photos/63056612@N00/First thing I did was check my spam filter settings online (ie not in  Outlook on my desktop, which is filtered at a low level). I discovered to my horror that it was set at zero, ie no filtering at all. I could have sworn I set it ages ago, but still. I set it to Medium.

Next, I went through all my emails from the past week (during which I was away and actually managed to refrain from checking my emails for nearly the whole time!), and deleted about 80%.

Then I deleted the contents of the Spam folder.

Finally, I emptied the contents of the Deleted Items folder.

What a fool. I should have left the emails in the Deleted Items folder until I was absolutely certain that I didn’t need any of them.

Being completely paranoid about not seeing important emails, I have them automatically forwarded to Elaine. Good thing I did: she had espied one offering me work. One that, as you have probably guessed, I had permanently deleted.

Well, I found and retrieved it in the emails copied to Elaine, so that was OK. But of course, I now have to trawl through all of those emails just in case I accidentally deleted other important emails.

Lesson learnt? To do things in stages. Next time I will delete the spam emails, but not permanently until I’m absolutely sure I haven’t deleted something important.

The funny thing is, that’s exactly what I usually do. I think on this occasion, faced with a couple of thousand emails about genie bras and Russian brides etc I did the computing equivalent of running amok. Like a crazy, deranged person I slashed everything in sight until I had only a few hundred emails to look at.

Oh well. It’s all experience.

(“Experience is merely the name men give to their mistakes.” – Oscar Wilde)

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