[24hoursupport] Filters and Rules

  • From: "Mike" <mikebike@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: 24hoursupport@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 27 Aug 2003 11:16:17 -0700

With the rash of virus and infected attachments I'm reprinting this article
which was originally posted to Linda's ~ ABC ~ All 'Bout Computers

Email Filters and Rules by Mike Baynes

Filters, may also be referred to as Message rules.

Different email programs have different methods of applying them.

What I hope to accomplish in this document is the use of words, or phrases,
to be used in creation of effective Filters, or Message Rules, [I will use
Filters, to refer to both]

When setting up filters, it is imperative that you test the filters as you
go along.

My most important filter is the virus filter, it is my first one.
In it have blocked the subject; 
Like: 'Ha Ha sexy fun' 
And other known virus phrases obtained from the virus warnings.
I have it set to delete these as they come in.

I like to set up folders for my incoming mail. 
I call my second filter 'Friends'.
If an incoming email is from any of my 'friends';
People I know; I have sub folders for 'special' ones<g>
Groups I subscribe to; I have sub folders for each one
Newsletters, product updates; to it's own folder.

You should test each filter as you apply it, you would not want to set up a
filter which deletes all email containing Caps. 
Better yet to move to a 'possible junk', or other name you wish. This will
avoid you permanently deleting email that you may wish to read.
I have found several email intended for me, which I had filtered out in my
'Junkyard' which is were all email which fits in my other filter rules ends

Below are some instructions for setting up filters;

This set of instructions is taken from the Win 98SE OE6 Help files

To create a rule for e-mail messages

On the Tools menu, point to Message Rules, and then click Mail.
Message rules cannot be created for IMAP or HTTP e-mail accounts.

If this is the first rule you are creating, proceed to step 3. Otherwise, on
the Mail Rules tab, click New and proceed to step 4.
Select the conditions for your rule by selecting the desired check boxes in
the Conditions section. (You must select at least one condition.)
You can specify multiple conditions for a single rule by selecting more than
one check box. Click the and hyperlink in the Rule Description section to
specify whether all of the rule conditions must be met before the specified
action occurs (and), or whether at least one must be met (or).

Specify the actions for your rule by selecting the desired check boxes in
the Actions section. (You must select at least one condition.)
Click the underlined hyperlinks in the Rule Description section to specify
the conditions or actions for your rule.
You can click contains people or contains specific words in the Rule
Description section to specify the people or words you'd like Outlook
Express to look for in messages. If you enter multiple people or multiple
words per condition, use the Options button in the Select People or Type
Specific Words dialog boxes to further customize the condition.

In the Name of the rule text box, select the default name or type a new name
for your rule, and then click OK.

This article from; http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~gcaselton/spam/spam.html
How to filter out the spam - 2

It is an extensive set of instructions and suggestions for words and actions
you can use.

Who is the e-mail addressed to? 
If you do not subscribe to any mailing lists, then all e-mails should be
addressed to you. 
This means that if your e-mail address is me@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, then all the
e-mails you receive should be addressed to:

To: me@xxxxxxxxxxxxx

And that is your most effective filter. 
If To: does not give your address, it's most likely a spam. 
In spam's where the addresses are forged, you will often find that the 
To: address is the same as the From: address, the Reply-To: address and the
Return: address. 

Well known domains appearing as From: 
e-mail addresses that seem to be associated with lots of spam's
A domain name that appears as the forged from: 
address on a lot of spam's. 

Most spammers cannot resist the '!' in the subject line, 
especially on MLM and MMF spam's. 
Some spam's have had up to 8 '!'.  

Subject & Body 
If the subject or body includes '$' it's most likely a spam 
trying to sell you some financial rubbish 
If the subject includes 'money' it's most likely a MLM/MMF spam 
If the subject includes 'free' it's most likely a spam

If the subject includes 'adult' it's most likely a porn site spam  

If the subject includes 'XXX' it's most likely a porn site spam  

Some bulk mailing spamware use this as the default To: address  

If the body text includes 'remove' it's most likely a spam 
with an 'opt-out' remove clause in it  

If the body text includes '1816', it's referring to the non-existent 
pro-spam bill that's actually not an American law 

Large numbers of spam refer to websites, use e-mail addresses 
hosted by these domains, or spamvertise non-existent 
'remove' e-mail addresses with these domain names 

Unless the from address is related to a list you know about, 
then is subscriber appears in the body text, it's usually a 
spam; the spammer tries to justify the spam by saying it's 
your fault, i.e. you are a subscriber...  

list bot  
Related to the above, the spammer tries to justify the spam by 
saying it's your fault, i.e. you are a subscriber to the mailing list.  

left blank  
If the From: line is blank then it's from a spammer who is trying 
to hide where they come from.  


Unless you actually know someone in one of these country domains, 
then any e-mail received from these domains is 99.9% spam 
++ There is more to this article on there web page;

Deleting Multiple Junk E-mail Messages in Outlook 2002  By Paul Cornell

April 2002
Are junk e-mail messages clogging your Microsoft Outlook=AE Inbox?
Wish you could do something about it? 
Learn about the junk e-mail management features in Outlook 2002 and 
then modify these features by using the macro code in this column.

As you can see the use of filters, will require a lot of trial and error to
out what is the most effective solution for you
++ There is more to this article on the web page

Here are some tips on different E-Mail programs which have been sent to me
to help in preparation of this article.

Filtering in The Bat! ~ by John Galvin

In The Bat, filters are set up and managed using the Sorting Office, which
is accessed from the Account Menu.  There are various types of filters which
can be used e.g. filters for incoming mail/outgoing mail/read
messages/replied messages and selective download filters.
For a typical user, the filters for incoming mail are most important.
To set up a new filter for incoming mail, click on the Incoming Mail folder
in the Sorting Office, and then click new. 
Enter a name for the filter e.g. My friends and then select the folder where
you want to send the mail to. 
The most important bit is the Filter Strings. This is where you determine
what to filter e-mails on. For this, I will choose an e-mail address. So for
"Strings" I will use "myfriend@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx", and the "Location" will be
If I receive a new e-mail, the filter will check to see if my friends e-mail
address is in the Senders field of the e-mail. If it is, then the e-mail
will be moved to whichever folder I have specified previously.
Filters in The Bat are processed from the top down. 
So when a new e-mail is received, it is first checked by the filter at the
If that filter doesn't catch it, the next filter down will check it and so
If it gets to the bottom of the list of filters, and none of them were able
to catch the e-mail, then the e-mail is left in the Inbox. 
Once an e-mail triggers a filter, it will stop being processed by the rest
of the filters, unless it is specified otherwise.
The Actions/Options and Advanced Tabs in the Sorting Office, allow greater
flexibility in dealing with e-mails. 
For example, I could set up a filter which takes customer orders, moves the
e-mails to a special folder, and automatically appends each order to a text
file while sending a confirmation e-mail back to the sender."
Best regards,
You can get The Bat here  http://www.ritlabs.com/the_bat/


Calypso Email Program ~ From the Calypso help file

Using Individual Messages to Modify a Filter Rule
You can add a filter rule based on a message.

1.      Right-click the message.
2.      Click Add to Filter.
3.      In the Add rule to filter dialog box, select the appropriate filter rule
from the Filter list.
4.      Create a filter rule. Refer to Creating a Filter Definition for help
about creating a rule.
5.      Click OK to save the rule.
        The filter definition will be applied to the message.

        Applying Filters Manually

        You can apply existing filter definitions to a message or folder.

        To apply a filter definition to a message:

1.      Right-click the message.
2.      Click Filter then the filter name.

        To apply a filter to a folder:

1.      Right-click a folder.
2.      Click Filter All Messages, then the filter name.

        Creating a Filter Definition

1.      In the mailbox folder list, right click Filter, then click New
Definition. The Filter Definition dialog box appears.
2.      Type a descriptive name for the filter in the Filter definition name
3.      To make this filter definition your JunkYard filter, see Creating a
JunkYard Filter. Otherwise, go to step 4.
4.      Click the Add button to create a filter rule.
5.      In the What Pattern to Search For field, type the character pattern that
Calypso will use to search incoming and/or outgoing mail.

Click the arrow [v]  (hyperlink) and select an operator. If applicable, type
a second character pattern in the second text box.

6.      Select the Match case check box if you want capitals and lower case 
            letters in the filter pattern to match those in the message.
        About Patterns, Wildcards, and Operators (hyperlink)


Filter patterns tell Calypso what to look for when it is searching your
A pattern may be a whole word or part of a string. 
For example, if you use "university" as your pattern, Calypso will consider
State University, clark@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx, (university), or university news as
a match, depending on which objects you selected.
In other words, if you use "university" as your pattern, Calypso will look
for "university" surrounded by non-alphanumeric characters. Non-alphanumeric
characters can be spaces, periods, parentheses, commas, tabs, etc. 
If you want to search for all instances of the word, surrounded by
characters or not, you may want to use wildcards.


Calypso ignores any spaces at the beginning or end of the pattern.


Wildcards are symbols that stand for one or more characters. 
Calypso uses the asterisk symbol (*) to indicate wildcard characters. 
For example, "*mclark*" would refer to samclark, tomclarkson,
pamclarke@xxxxxxxx, mclark@xxxxxxxx, and so on.
Use "*" before a pattern to indicate that other characters may precede it. 
Use "*" after a pattern to indicate that other characters may follow it.


Only    Only the pattern string in the upper pattern box will be evaluated. 
        The e-mail message must include the pattern to be considered a match.

And     The pattern strings in the upper and lower boxes will be evaluated. 
        The e-mail message must include both patterns to be considered a match.

Or      The pattern strings in the upper and lower boxes will be evaluated. 
            The e-mail message must include at least one pattern to be
considered a match.

Not     Only the pattern string in the upper pattern box will be evaluated. 
        The e-mail message must NOT include the pattern to be considered a 

And Not The pattern strings in the upper and lower boxes will be evaluated. 
                        The e-mail message must include the first pattern,
but cannot include 
                        the second pattern to be considered a match.

7.      In the Filter Mode field, select whether you want the filter rule to
apply to incoming mail, outgoing mail, or both.
8.      In the What Objects to Search field, select one or more of the filter
            Calypso will search the selected objects in the  message to find
a matching filter pattern.
9.        In the What Action to Take field, select one or more of the filter
           Use 'What's This?' Help [?] (hyperlink)  for information about
individual actions.

         Learn more about running a program
                About Run Program

The Run Program option can initiate an application and provide information
from the message to the application. 
When creating a filter rule, specify the application to use and the part of
the message to be included. 
The command line in the Run Program field should include the path to the
application, any options, and the following tokens:

<<SZ>>  =3D message size
<<DS>>  =3D date and time ("3/27/99 10:09AM" format)
<<DL>>  =3D date and time ("1999-03-27 10:09:50 -0500" format)
<<DT>>  =3D date only
<<TM>>  =3D time only
<<SJ>>  =3D subject
<<FR>>  =3D from alias
<<FA>>  =3D from address
<<TO>>  =3D to alias(es)
<<TA>>  =3D to address(es)
<<CC>>  =3D CC alias(es)
<<CA>>  =3D CC address(es)
<<BC>>  =3D BCC field
<<BA>>  =3D BCC address(es)
<<RT>>  =3D ReplyTo field
<<AC>>  =3D account name
For example, the Run Program field could contain a command line that sends
the subject of a message to a pager. 
The filter rule might look like this:

Mode:   Incoming
Pattern:        user@xxxxxxxxxxx
Case:   Off
Objects:        From
Action: Run program 'C:\program files\pager.exe <<SJ>>'
When the filter definition finds a matching filter pattern, the application
will run.


It is possible to place a message header token in the Run Program field
without associating any specific program. 
When a matching message was found, the program listed in the message's
header would be run.
For example, a filter rule has the following settings:

Mode:   Incoming
Pattern:        user@xxxxxxxxxxx
Case:   Off
Objects:        From
Action: Run program '<<SJ>>'
An incoming message matches the filter pattern and has the subject of
Based on the filter rule above, Calypso would start the Netscape program;
if the subject were "deltree c:\", your hard drive would be erased. 
Use extreme care if you place only a header token in the Run Program field.

10.     Click OK to add the filter rule to the filter definition. 
11.     Repeat steps 4-11 to add another filter rule.
12.     In the Filter Definition panel, click a rule and use the Priority Up and
Priority Down keys to arrange the rules. 
          The order of the rules tells Calypso which filter action to accept
13.     Click Save when finished.
14.     To apply the filter definition to your mail, select the Apply selected
filter definition check box in the Filter tab. 
               The Filter tab is located in Account Properties.


Filter definitions perform various actions on incoming and outgoing mail.
This feature is useful if you send or receive many e-mail messages and want
to organize them automatically.
A filter definition is made up of filter rules. A filter rule identifies a
pattern that Calypso will look for in a message header and then takes action
on that message. Actions can include running a program, saving a message as
a text file, deleting the message, or routing the message to a folder or

For example, Sam Clark wants all his incoming university mail placed in a
folder labeled "School." Sam would create a filter rule that looks for
"university" in the From field of incoming messages. When Calypso finds a
match, it places the message in the School folder. (See figure below.)

You can create as many filter rules as needed to sort your messages. The
order of the filter rules within the definition determines which actions are
accepted first. 

While you can apply only one filter definition to an account, that
definition can reference other filter definitions. This gives you greater
control over how your mail is sorted.
Each account in your mailbox can have a different active filter, or you can
activate the same filter definition for several accounts. 

You can get the Calypso e-mail program for free here;

Eudora  how to use filters;
Many e-mail management functions in Eudora can be done automatically using
See the web page for the graphics;
A filter can be thought of as a personal "valet" or "butler" that takes your
mail and does certain things to it that you specify. One kind of valet might
watch for particular mail from a mailing list and move it into a mailbox,
open the message, and play a sound. Another might look for other kinds of
mail and give it a label color, a high priority, and a new subject line.

Recommended Reading;
SpamCon Foundation newsletters
HELP FILE: Using filters to sort spam out of your life
From the 16 November 2001 issue (#019)

E-Mail Filter Programs

Magic Mail Monitor ~ freeware
Post Office Protocol v3 (POP3) compliant e-mail notifier for Windows

Easy Notification 2.0 ~ free 
Is a simple e-mail notification program. It allows you to view messages on a
POP3 mail server without downloading them with a mail client. .0

Consumer Reports  Digital chaperones for kids


Adding Spam Filters
Tired of spam messages from every address in a domain? 
Tired of spam message from every address in a TLD (such as .ru, .ch or .kr)?

Filters: Improve the quality of your Inbox
Email filters are a powerful management tool when it comes to moving
incoming or outgoing email around within your email program.

iCom Stealth
 is one of the most advanced content filters. It is capable of monitoring
all user activity, internet sessions and applications, and to block access
to all resources containing material that is objectionable or potentially
harmful for your children and for your family. Compatible with all Windows
versions and ISPs.

MailWasher  ~ free
Is a powerful email checker with effective spam elimination. 
Discover the safe way to stop unwanted viruses and emails before they get to
your computer.

PopTray 2.0 freeware Mail Notifier

Setup Filters
Mail filters are setup on your computer within your email program to help
prevent some spam messages.
Outlook Express

Cyberspace Law - Unsolicited E-mail
including e-mail and Usenet "spamming"; sender address falsification;
unauthorized relaying

Mike ~ It is a good day if I learned something new.
Editor MikesWhatsNews see a sample on my web page
See my Anti-Virus pages  
A Technical Support Alliance Charter Member 

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