Looking after your inbox

Greg Jennings
Tuesday 7 September 2021

We are all familiar with the challenges that owning an email account and mailbox comes with. These can range from keeping your inbox decluttered to being vigilant when it comes to opening and engaging with phishing emails. This blog provides you with tips for managing your mailbox (both personal and organisational). We’ll look at marking mail as junk and blocking sender addresses, and how to deal with unpleasant mail you may receive.

Dealing with unpleasant mail 

At some point, you may receive emails that are unpleasant, offensive, or that go against your personal beliefs. Although we can block some, others may slip through that do come with this distasteful manner. 

Emails that may include some form of hate crime are more common than a targeted activity. Report these messages to the police when necessary for further investigation.

Managing your inbox

Below are some ways you can manage your inbox, as well as methods of dealing with emails much like those described above.

Blocking sender addresses 

Most users aren’t aware of what happens when you block an email address. Once you block them, they can still message you. By blocking them, you’re telling your mail client to move them to your Junk folder.

Why do we need to block certain sender addresses?

  • You are receiving a high volume of spam or junk from this address which is impacting your mailbox. 
  • A cybercriminal used the email address to spoof a person or address you are familiar with in something. If this happens as part of an organisational attack, the IT Security Team will handle this on your behalf.

Managing unwanted junk or spam email 

Everyone will receive spam or unwanted junk at some stage so it’s important that we know how to deal with them. 

What is spam?

Bulk emails from commercial organisations containing harmless but unwanted adverts. Phishing emails are often disguised as spam. 

Spam is usually sent via something called a botnet but constructed mailing lists are also used. 

Unfortunately, spam and junk mail are difficult to prevent. As a result, ‘mark as spam’ features won’t block them from arriving, but move them out of your main inbox once they do. Most modern mail clients such as Outlook or Mac Mail are intelligent and can pick up which type of messages you don’t want to read. This means if you mark a certain newsletter as spam once or twice, future newsletters from that sender will go to your junk folder. Deleting these emails should have the same effect and emails will move to ‘Deleted items’ automatically in future.

Inbox rules 

Use inbox rules if you like to keep your inbox decluttered by storing emails in labelled folders. They can be used to redirect emails to a specific folder, change the priority level of emails, or even delete them based on certain factors. How you set up inbox rules depends on what mail client is being used. You can find out how to apply them in Outlook Online on the Microsoft website. 

Don’t forget… 

If you think that anything you receive might be a hate crime… Find more information on how you can report hate crime below on the Police Scotland website.

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