There is a problem with "web bugs" that Outlook 2002 Service Pack 2
can fix. Normally when you open an HTML message, Outlook will fetch any images stored on remove servers, download them, and display them. If the image is given a name that corresponds to your email address, that means that someone can track whether you've opened a message or not.
If a spammer can tell if you've opened a message, that means that they
know that your email address is "live" -- so you will probably get
even more spam.
Outlook 2002 Service Pack 2 has a feature where you can display
all messages as plain text -- rendering web bugs harmless. If
you can't get or use Outlook 2002 Service Pack 2 for some reason, I
have heard recommendations for Zone Alarm: use
its Internet Lock feature when reading email.
If you don't want to bother with a rule for "unrecognized address", but
don't want messages with no category to show up before all the categorized
messages, alphabetize your groups backwards (e.g. z-Spouse, y-Boss,
w-Family, v-Payroll, ... a-Spam) and then sort your groups backwards. This
will put messages with no category at the end.
Putting a postscript (e.g. "P.S. I got the job!") after a signature is
usually a bad idea. So many people include the previous message after the
signature that people view the signature as a signal that they can stop
There is yet another way that spammers are now getting your email address:
they guess. They guess based on common names and words in the dictionary,
so if you choose the address jwilliams or greenheart at aol.com or yahoo.com,
you are likely to get spam regardless of what steps you take.
The spammers are most likely to guess addresses when there are a lot
of people at that domain -- e.g. hotmail.com, yahoo.com, aol.com, pacbell.net,
and so on.
Thus, when you choose an email address, you should choose an address
that is hard to guess -- like j2williams or green2heart or even
jakdsfj. You might also want to choose an Internet Service Provider that
isn't very popular!
Some people really like coloring their messages by modifying the
View. (Go to View->Modify Current View->Automatic Formatting.)
In Outlook 2002 (I haven't tried it yet in Outlook 2000), there are some
bugs. For example, I haven't been able to color all messages that have a
given category, even though it looks like it should work.
Assigning special formatting to messages with a given importance does work,
so if you really want to color messages for a given category, do this:
(Thanks to Larry Magid for this
- Make a rule that clears the importance for ALL messages.
- In rules that give messages a VIP category, give the message high
importance as well.
- Create a View that colors all messages that have high importance (see
page 51 for how to change importance).
If you are using Word as your default email editor (as mentioned on
page 205), you can right-click on
a misspelled word to get a list of probable corrections.
While typing in the TO line, you can type Control-k to
make Outlook 2000/2002 complete the address for you. If there are several addresses
that are possible completions of what you typed, Outlook will give you a
pop-up menu of possible completions.
You can create new contacts from a message easily. There are two
ways to do this:
- Drag the message to the Contacts icon in the Outlook 2000/2002 bar (the left-most bar
in the window)
- Open the message in its own window, right-click over From or
To, and select Add to Contacts from the pop-up menu that
If you determine that a correspondent uses an email program that doesn't understand styled text (see p.172 to figure out which email program they use),
you can set Outlook 2000/2002 to only send plain-text messages to that person.
If you are using Outlook 2000 in Internet Mail Only, open that correspondent's
Contact page. Under the email address box, there will be a little text box
that labeled "Send using plain text."
If you are using Outlook 2000 in Corporate/Workgroup mode, there will be no box
on the main contact page; you need to double-click on a resolved email address.
(Note that Outlook 2002 does away with Internet Mail Only mode.)
Next time you choose an email ID for yourself (e.g. the fred in
firstname.lastname@example.org), try to make it hard to guess. Apparently
spammers are now guessing email addresses based on dictionaries and
Putting anything, like a "P.S.", after your signature is a bad idea.
People frequently think, "Okay, I'm done now" when they reach a signature.
They might not scroll down to see your postscript.
Outlook 2002 can autocorrect your spelling for you in plain text or
RTF messages (but not HTML messages). Select
(Thanks to Sue Mosher. Again.
See more details on this and other hidden Outlook 2002 features at