Microsoft Outlook is a slightly different product from Outlook Express in terms of email management. Released in versions like Microsoft Outlook 2000 and Microsoft Outlook 2003, the Outlook email programs have had and will continue to have their share of users along with Outlook Express. Considering that spam emails are a constant threat to anyone using e-mail as a form of communication, irrespective of which email program is being used, downloading a spam blocker for Microsoft Outlook becomes all the more significant. But the question is, do you really need to download a spam blocker software exclusively for Microsoft Outlook?
Microsoft Outlook comes with an in-built anti-spam, junk email filtering service which uses Microsoft’s SmartScreen Technology. Based on machine-learning Bayesian Technology, the SmartScreen Technology uses probability based algorithms to determine if an email is legitimate or a spam email. The key inputs to the database which helps the SmartScreen Technology detect spam are inputs from thousands of users of Hotmail. The way it works is the moment hotmail users spot a spam email, they are encouraged to report it back to Hotmail. What Hotmail does is feed this data back to Microsoft, which in turn maintains the database for spammers. This database is often referred to by Microsoft’s email products for anti-spamming. The features that come with Microsoft Outlook 2003 to counter spam are as follows
· Junk e-mail filter
· Safe Sender’s list
· Safe Recipients list
· Blocked Sender’s list
The difference between Microsoft Outlook 2000 and Microsoft Outlook 2003 is that in Outlook 2000 the email user has to create his own spam filter customized to what he needs. Outlook 2003 on the other hand comes with a pre-defined spam filter which combats spam. Though one can customize the degree to which a user wants Outlook 2003 to block spam emails. A brief tutorial in Microsoft Outlook 2003 teaches users exactly how to allocate the degree of spam control for the Outlook inbox. Users are given options between low, high and No Junk email filter. Needless to say, if one wishes to prevent the email inbox from being bombarded by spam, it’s wise to choose one of the first two options.
Other features like the “Safe Senders List” allows to define the email addresses who should never be treated as a spam email address. This allows Microsoft Outlook to clear emails coming from these email addresses through the anti-spamming test. Making anti-spamming a two-way traffic, a “Safe Recipients List” also allows users to send emails to addresses or domains without ever having to be in danger of being reported as a spammer.