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You’ve got spam

tech reviews Updated: Feb 17, 2009 11:52 IST
Amit Agarwal
Amit Agarwal
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Someone I know recently lost his web domain to squatters because he failed to renew the domain name in time. All the renewal related email reminders from his domain registrar were getting marked as spam and, unfortunately, he did not check his spam folder for any false positives.

This is a very common problem — you might be waiting for an important mail that you miss because it is blocked in your spam folder. One way to avoid this is to manually scan your spam folder but that may not be possible if you get a few dozen spam email messages a day. What you need then is a sort of a safe senders list or a white list of email addresses that should not be marked as spam the email service (which, in my friend’s case, was Gmail).

How to create a ‘safe list’
Microsoft Outlook includes some excellent filtering options to help you reduce the chances to important email being marked as spam. But it is possible to do the same thing using simple Gmail filters as well. Here’s how:

1. Let’s say we want to create a white list so that the following kinds of emails are never marked as spam: All mails that have an edu in the sender’s address (like john@mit.edu or peter@stanford.edu); You work a company called XYZ Inc. and you don’t want to see any mails from your boss or colleagues in the junk folder ever (white list all mails that have xyz.com in the senders address); You are part of an alumni mailing list (say alumni@googlegroups.com)

2.Now, just create a new Gmail filter and put (edu OR xyz.com) in the From: address. Put the alumni email address in the To: filed. Click next and check the box that says “Never Send it to Spam”.

3.You can add as many domains or email address in the above filter but just make sure that they are all separated by the boolean OR operator.

Post script
The same trick can also be used to block emails from certain addresses — for instance, if you want to route all emails with the .ru Russian address straight into Trash.

Amit writes a technology blog at http://www.labnol.org

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