BEYOND SPAM REMOVAL

emailA reader tells us he’s getting around 20 messages a day about a “dream mate.” He marks them as spam, but they keep coming in. We have a magic word for him: Filter.

Persistent spam can go straight to the trash if you set up a filter. Whether you use Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook, AOL or some other service, it involves clicking on “settings” and then “filters.” Choose a phrase that always appears in the body of the message – like “Dream Mate” or in the subject line. Then choose the folder, in this case, “trash,” that you want your mail sent to automatically. Other examples might be “Free credit check” or “Money-making opportunity.”

This also works for mail that you want to keep and have organized into folders. Instead of having mail sent to trash, choose a folder like “newsletters,” or “weekend stuff” or “Aunt Polly.” That way, this stuff isn’t cluttering your inbox till you’re ready to look at it. For more specific instructions on how to do this, go to Google.com or whatever search engine you use, and search on “email filters.”

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