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Selecting Your Level of spam Protection

spamBlocker features two levels of spam protection: Known spam Blocking and Suspect Email Blocking. Understanding how each level works will help you determine the best level of protection for your email address.

You can change your level of spam protection (or turn spamBlocker off altogether) through spamBlocker Settings.

Note: Certain email messages will always appear in your Inbox, regardless of your spamBlocker settings. These include Allowed Sender Requests and summaries sent by spamBlocker; most "bounced" email notices generated when you send messages to invalid email addresses; and messages from EarthLink regarding your account, Customer Support, and EarthLink products and services. (You can stop receiving messages about products and services by following the unsubscribe instructions in those emails.)

Known spam Blocking

Known spam Blocking is spamBlocker's basic level of protection. It is enabled by default on all EarthLink email addresses. (Known spam Blocking essentially works the same way that EarthLink's former anti-spam tool, spaminator, worked.)

spamBlocker is constantly being updated to recognize new spam circulating on the Internet. To identify junk email messages, spamBlocker uses a network of specially created email addresses that attract vast quantities of spam. It then analyzes any messages that appear to be bulk email, i.e., those that are sent to many of spamBlocker's email addresses.

spamBlocker examines these messages for forged headers, invalid unsubscribe information, and other telltale signs that a message is spam. If the message is spam, spamBlocker creates filters to keep it from reaching your Inbox.

When Known spam Blocking is active, spamBlocker checks each of your incoming messages to determine whether it matches any of the junk email that spamBlocker knows about.

If a message matches, spamBlocker intercepts it and automatically deletes it by default (if you wish, however, you can set spamBlocker to store known spam in your Known spam folder; see spamBlocker Settings). If a message does not match, spamBlocker allows the message to reach your Inbox.

Known spam Blocking might provide all the protection you need. And because it requires no action on your part, it's the easiest option. However, you might receive messages in your Inbox that you consider to be spam, even though spamBlocker hasn't classified them as junk email. If this occurs, you can activate Suspect Email Blocking.

Suspect Email Blocking

Suspect Email Blocking is disabled by default. You must activate it yourself if you wish to use it (Known spam blocking will continue when Suspect Email Blocking is turned on).

With Suspect Email Blocking, spamBlocker examines any message that Known spam Blocking has not intercepted. If the sender's email address or Company (Domain) (i.e., the portion of the email address after the @ symbol, such as appears in your Address Book, spamBlocker allows the message to reach your Inbox normally.

If the sender's address or Company (Domain) does not appear in your Address Book, spamBlocker does three things:

  1. Intercepts the message and stores it online in your Suspect Email folder.
  2. Automatically replies to the sender with instructions on how to ask to be added to your Address Book.
  3. Notifies you about the intercepted message in a summary you'll receive periodically via email (see spamBlocker Settings for more about email summaries)

Note: Messages in your Suspect Email folder remain on EarthLink's incoming email server and count toward your mailbox storage limit. spamBlocker automatically deletes Suspect Email messages that are more than 14 days old (to change the number of days before suspect messages are deleted, see spamBlocker Settings).

Suspect Email Blocking practically ensures that your inbox will be spam-free. To be effective, however, Suspect Email Blocking requires that you maintain a list of email addresses and Companies (Domains) you want to receive email from in your Address Book.

Suspect Email Blocking works in conjunction with Known spam Blocking. You cannot use Suspect Email Blocking by itself.

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