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The tactics of spammers and the content of their messages are constantly evolving. For this reason, just like antivirus applications, the Outlook 2007 Junk E-mail filter’s effectiveness heavily relies on keeping its data file up-to-date.
Each version of Microsoft Outlook that contains a junk e-mail filter receives updates to the data file (outlfltr.dat) as part of the Microsoft-wide monthly update released on the second Tuesday of each month.
The updated outlfltr.dat is the result of the evaluation of hundreds of thousands of spam messages and constantly increases the filter “catch” rate for incoming junk email.
The recommended way to obtain updates to the Outlook Junk E-mail filter is by turning on the Automatic Updates option in the Windows Security Center (both in Windows Vista and Windows XP SP2). By turning this option on the Outlook Junk E-mail filter updates will be automatically downloaded and installed on you computer as soon as they are released. If you instead wish to download the updates manually, you can either select the “Check for Updates” option in the Outlook 2007 Help menu or by going directly to the Microsoft Update site.
We just released the latest update on Tuesday 7.10, so this is a great time to update. In the meantime, drop us a line. We want to hear from you about your experience with the Junk E-mail Filter and how we could make it better for you. Use the contact form on the Email link above.
Alessio RoicOutlook Program Manager
It's great that the Outlook junk mail filter is updated often. But it junk mail detection is not as good as Hotmail's. In fact, the Outlook junk mail filter triggers a lot of false positives.
(will mail this as well) I would like to know why a certain message got flagged as spam: spamfilters like SpamAssassin give the reasons for a high spam score, so if you receive legitimate email, you can check why it was flagged as spam and for instance notify the sender that some mail server setting is causing their mail to get a high spam ranking. Furthermore I would like to be able to enable or disable the junk mail filter for each account and to be able to set the junk mail folder for IMAP accounts.
For me this works great for a long time. Only thing I miss is the possibility to add more then one sender to the junk-mail list. Now you can add only one sender a time. Ruud
Wouldn't bayesian filtering be a much better approach and make updates obsolete? Or are you combining multiple apporaches?
I'm still getting a bit through - mainly phishing messages about Banking. These seem to be picked up as Phish but moving them to Junk would be of benefit to most users. Ruud Groeneveld suggests here to allow multiple selections to add to Junk. Well, that has never been an Outlook feature but is certainly a desirable one and one that has been requested many times. Jorrit Schippers suggests informing a user why a message was marked as Junk. Not a good idea! If you inform a user then you essentially show how the Junk filter can be passed.
Lately we've been getting complaints that basic legitimate emails from our domain are going into the Junk Mail folder. How can I investigate why? Joshua Hoskins, IT Director
That works great and there is no more needs to make it better because it is the best. I report junk e-mail and hardly ever the next update for Outlook doesn't contain this type of e-mail so I look for them in junk mails folder.
Joshua Hoskins said: Lately we've been getting complaints that basic legitimate emails from our domain are going into the Junk Mail folder. How can I investigate why? Joshua, Without looking at the original mail and knowing what the recipient junk email filter settings are (and also if they use other anti-spam applications on the server or server side) it is difficult to determine cause. Have you been able to repro the issue yourself or within your organization? Alessio Roic
Outlook Program Manager
Alessio or other Outlook Pro's, I am also curious how I can investigate why an email goes to junk. Recently an email was sent from our website using mailto. Therefore it was sending via their method of sending new mail. The only things I noticed where that 1) the subject line was empty and 2) the domain name had a hyphen in it. We are using Exchange 2007 and Outlook 2003 with automatic updates turned on.
sorry for the late reply. Determining as to why a message is moved to the Junk E-mail in Outlook folder is not an easy task for a multitude of reasons. Suffice to say that the Junk E-mail folder can be used by other anti-spam filters to get rid of spam. This includes Exchange 2007.
What you might consider doing is what our friends and colleagues in Exchange describe on their blog (msexchangeteam.com/default.aspx) and turn on the display of the SCL and PCL values in the message internet properties - that will allow you to determine whether it is Exchange that identifies the email message as junk. Alessio Roic
I've recently had some junk mail which seems to be able to turn the junk e-mail menus off in Windows Mail.It just leaves the "mark as not junk" menu item available. What's going on here?
I find that the Junk mail filter doesn't work well. Mail is getting into my Inbox that is tagged as Bulk and is not filtered to the Junk Mail box. Furthermore, I'm finding that Spammers are changing IP's and gateways to get that Junk mail to you. I think that Microsoft should work on a way for users to input / block IP's as well as domains. That would enable us to have more control over that Spam getting to us in the first place. Dwight Cole technology Architect
thanks for the feedback. Yes, it is a common practice for spammers to switch IPs or to use IPs they have obtained unlawfully from other users. However allowing to add IP addresses to the blocked senders list wouldn't be too effective measure: - spammers change IP addresses very rapidly - by the time an Outlook user has added an IP to his blocked list, the spam attack originated from that address will have ceased and it will unlikely occur again. - in the long run, as IP addresses are reassigned by providers, blocked IPs would generate false positives with legitimate users' mail being junked due to a spammer having used that IP in the past.
Having said that you do raise valid points indicating that the battle to thwart spammers is an ongoing one. We will continue striving to make their life harder while ensuring all good mail gets to your Inbox as expected. Keep the feedback coming! Alessio Roic
Outlook Program Mananger
get feedback about the IP's. I've also considered that most of the true spammers who have too much time on their hands also all use a gateway. That was they think that no one can get the really endpoint. I also know that they also can't hide the hostname. Any good IP search engine can do a reverse lookup and find the IP and the hostname in moments. The header that you get from outlook also gives you the gateway the message came from. While this may not be the answer I would hope that MS is looking at ways to assist the end user with blocking these types and "profeesional spammers". Its widely known that email and inbox clutter is an expensive issue for corporations. Blocking everyone not in your address book is, at best, a bad way to go and can also be very unproductive going back and forth until they are let in. Dwight
I've been having trouble with my Junk Mail filter. I mark an e-mail as not junk and add the sender to the safe senders list but the very next time it will still go to the Junk Mail folder. Also, whenever I do a search for text that I know is in an e-mail within a folder or even a all mail item search. Outlook fails to find said text. Which means I have to manually search and find the e-mail.