How to filter foreign language spam in Outlook

I’m sure at one time or another you have received emails from foreign countries in for example Russian and Chinese languages, most of which might be spam or contain malicious URLs. (This post isn’t applicable to business users).

Spam filters normally have a difficult time in filtering these types of emails, so if you want to know a FREE and QUICK way to stop these emails from clogging up your Microsoft Outlook inbox here is how: Click: Actions > Junk E-mail > Junk E-mail Options > International TAB > Blocked Encodings List (see screenshot below). Note: Click the image below to enlarge (to scale).

Note: This is applicable to Microsoft Outlook 2003 SP2/Outlook 2007 and includes the current version – Outlook 2010.

In the Blocked Encoding List window, scroll and select any encoding type you wish to block. Make sure you only block encodings for countries or regions you don’t have any contact with.

In English speaking countries, much of the legitimate email will use US-ACSII or Western European. As a suggestion I would check (block) Cyrillic, but you might also want to block Chinese Simplified and Traditional – entirely up to you. If you have business contacts from these countries you will need to check your spam filter from time to time.

Organizations on the other hand will block this type of junk mail at the server, gateway/endpoint, so this post isn’t of much use to organizations or the company admin.

Safe surfing folks!

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One Response to How to filter foreign language spam in Outlook

  1. Matthias says:

    Thanks for the great post, Julian. Do you know how to configure Outlook for Mac to filter foreign languages?

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