Fighting Spam with MarkAsJunk, Safelists and Blocklists

Spam is a common problem that can be frustrating to deal with. Fortunately, there are several effective and proven tools to help you control what messages are marked (or not marked) as spam including MarkAsJunk and address rules also known as safelists and blocklists.

Safelists are lists of email addresses or domains that you trust and want to receive emails from. Emails from these addresses will not be marked as junk. Blocklists, on the other hand, are lists of email addresses or domains that you do not trust and do not want to receive messages from. Emails from these addresses will be automatically marked as junk.

Manually marking an email as junk is a way to tell your email provider that the email is unwanted. This helps the provider to filter out similar emails in the future. MarkAsJunk is available in many webmail programs and typically includes Junk/Not Junk buttons for each message.  Using these buttons for messages either missed by the spam filter or false positively marked as junk helps to train your email hosting service.

MarkAsJunk configurations vary by provider. Greatmail has MarkAsJunk integrated with mailbox address rules. Clicking Not Junk adds the sender’s address to your safelist. Conversely, clicking Junk adds an address to your blocklist. You can access your mailbox address rules through Greatmail webmail settings under Settings / Junk / Address Rules.

The admin panel allows the administrator to manage the address rules for individual mailboxes and also includes an option add safelists and blocklists at the domain level.  An individual’s address rules will take precedence over domain level entries.

Using address rules, you can easily add an entire domain to a safelist or blocklist using wildcard syntax.  For example, entering * for a user’s safelist will tell the server to accept all messages sent from addresses at the domain

By using these tools, you can ensure that your messages are properly filtered and that you only receive emails that you want to receive. In addition to these methods, email providers use autolearning and dynamic rulesets to recognize recurring patterns ever changing trends in spam. Providers also use real-time blocklists to identify spam sources when mailboxes or servers are compromised or sending unwanted emails. There are useful tools to check the reputation and status of an email server like MXToolbox’s Email Blacklist Check.

Finding an email hosting provider with spam filtering tools like MarkAsJunk and address rules can improve the email experience for your users and ensure that messages are properly filtered. It is important to use a service that allows administrators to manage these spam settings at the domain and mailbox levels and also enables users to self-manage their safelists and blacklists.