Annoying Facebook gets annoyinger
November 26, 2009 10:24 AM   Subscribe

I'm getting lots (I mean lots - over 50 today alone) of phishing/Trojan spam purporting to be from Facebook, asking me to "update my facebook account". How do I stop it?

I use Outlook. I've set up numerous rules designed to automatically delete these spam mails as they come in (based on key words in both the originating email addresses and in the message body), but these rules only seem to work intermittently.

It's getting annoying to have to delete them manually when the rules I set up should have worked.

I wouldn't care so much, but they're going to my always-running work address (self-employed, so no clever IT department to do this for me), and its getting quite bothersome.

Am I doing something wrong, or is Outlook just pants?
posted by idiomatika to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I don't think we could tell without knowing (1) the rules and (2) the emails you run them against. In my experience Outlook rules do what they're supposed to.

In the long run most people do need a decent junk filter. Maybe your "Internet Security" software comes with one? If you've got your own domain Google Apps is a free and excellent anti-spam solution.
posted by oxit at 10:34 AM on November 26, 2009

Spam is best filtered at the server level, not the client level. Depending on who handles your email you might want to see if anti spam is available directly on your account. I've never been impressed with outlook, if possible try Mozilla Thunderbird it has a built in junk mail filer
posted by Scientifik at 10:40 AM on November 26, 2009

Try a Bayesian filter such as SpamBayes, which has an Outlook plugin. Tho it looks like a dormant project. There are others.
posted by dhartung at 11:00 AM on November 26, 2009

The rules I set up are:

1) move all mail from to spam (all the emails purport to be from this domain) - this rule doesn't seem to work at all
2) they re-use a number of different phrases in the subject line (eg: "new login system"). The rules I set up against these work intermittently, but not always.

I've generally found Outlook's own junk mail filter to be very good. I used to use Thunderbird, but it only caught about 50% of spam.
posted by idiomatika at 11:06 AM on November 26, 2009

I find the outlook "from sender" rules to not be very good (the sender needs to be in your addressbook, etc), they are very specific.

Instead, make a filter like so:

"move all mail with '' in the header to spam folder and stop processing more rules"

And then make sure this rule is at the top of the rule list.

The important parts are "in the header" which will catch anything from that address (or pretending to be), and "stop processing more rules" b/c outlook will match mail against multiple rules and perform all the actions - so your mail may get copied into multiple places (sometimes you want this, but not for these messages).
posted by jpeacock at 11:14 AM on November 26, 2009

I have to agree with dhartung on this one.. spam is best filtered at the server/gateway level. It's not Outlooks fault ( although some email clients are better than others).. its just that spammers are constantly spoofing header info and attack strategies. You may get the filter rules to work effectively for a few days to a week.. but then the spammers will change their strategy and your rules will be less effective again.

Check if there are any spam filtering options available to you through whomever hosts your email... if not, I'm not sure what else to suggest other than changing your email address or changing your email host to someone with better filtering (at the server level).
posted by jmnugent at 11:26 AM on November 26, 2009

The general solution to spam is Gmail.

And yes, Outlook is indeed pants. I'm sure it's actually quite capable of doing the filtering you want it to, but figuring out how to ask it will consume a lot of your time.
posted by flabdablet at 6:04 AM on November 27, 2009

I concur with flabdablet - set your mail hosting up to forward everything to a gmail account you newly create. Then you change outlook to pull either POP or IMAP from gmail (google's guides here).

You'll be able to use your outbound SMTP as is, and you'll have the benefit of better mobile and web access to your mail, as well as the better junk detection and filtering that gmail offers.
posted by davemee at 9:47 AM on November 28, 2009

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