Help keep spam out of your Inbox in Outlook.com

Spam is any kind of email that you don’t want and didn’t sign up to receive. Some spam is annoying but harmless. But some spam might be part of an identity theft scam or other kind of fraud. You can get spam in instant messages, text messages, and on your social networking sites.

Learn how to reduce spam email in Outlook.com by adding people, companies, and domain names to your safe or blocked sender list, or to remove them from either list. To get started, sign in to Outlook.com using any Microsoft account, including those ending in outlook.com, live.com, hotmail.com, or msn.com.

Add people to your safe senders list or to your blocked senders list

When you add people to your safe senders and blocked senders lists, email that you want is delivered into your Inbox, and unwanted email is filtered into the Junk folder.

Add a person or domain to your safe senders list
  1. On the navigation bar, choose Settings Settings: update your profile, install software and connect it to the cloud > Options.

  2. Under Junk email, choose Safe senders.

  3. In the Enter a sender or domain here box, enter the email address, and then choose +.

    Note: If you no longer want to receive email from someone on your safe senders list, see Remove a person or company from your safe sender list.

Add an unwanted sender to your blocked senders list
  1. On the navigation bar, choose Settings Settings: update your profile, install software and connect it to the cloud > Options.

  2. Under Junk email, choose Blocked senders.

  3. In the Enter a sender or domain here box, enter the email address, and then choose +.

Remove a person or company from your safe senders list

If you no longer want to receive email from a person or company, you can remove their address from the safe senders list. This won't guarantee that their emails are filtered, however. To block their emails from reaching your Inbox, add the person or company to the blocked senders list.

To remove an address from your safe senders list
  1. On the navigation bar, choose Settings > Options.

  2. Under Junk email, choose Safe senders.

  3. In the Safe senders list, choose the email address or domain that you want to remove, and then choose the trash can to delete that address.

    Note: To guarantee that you don't receive any further emails from this address or domain, add the address to your blocked senders list.

Report junk mail

If you get an email that looks like spam or a phishing scam, report it.

  1. In your Inbox, select the check box next to the message in question.

  2. On the navigation bar, choose the arrow next toJunk, and then choose one of the following:

    • Junk for junk email.

    • Phishing scam to report email that asks for sensitive personal information like passwords, bank accounts, or your social security number.

    • My friend's been hacked! to notify your friend and Outlook.com that their email account may have been hacked

Note: Legitimate businesses (including Microsoft) don't send unsolicited email messages to request personal or financial information. If you're suspicious about an email message, don't open a link or call the number in the message. Get the contact information from the company's website if you want to inquire about a potential issue with your account.

Tips to reduce spam

If you're seeing an increase in spam, there are several tips you can use to reduce the amount of spam that lands in your Inbox.

Share your email address only with people you know

Avoid posting your email address on your social networking site, in large Internet directories, and in job-posting websites. Don't even post it on your own website, unless you disguise it as described in Disguise your email address.

Ignore junk email or instant messages

Spammers get rich (and build their contact lists, too) when people buy their "products." So don't reply to spam (even to unsubscribe), buy anything from an unfamiliar business, or agree to hold or transfer money for anyone. Beware of messages that appear to come from Microsoft and that ask for your password or threaten to close your account or expire your password. They're false.

Look for pre-selected check boxes

When you shop online, companies sometimes pre-select check boxes that indicate you agree that it's fine to sell or give your email address to responsible parties. Be prudent about when to subscribe to email newsletters and about what kind of email messages you're willing to receive. Make sure you clear the check box if you don't want to be contacted.

Read the privacy policy

When you sign up for web-based services such as banking, shopping, or newsletters, carefully read the privacy policy before you reveal your email address so you don't unwittingly agree to share confidential information. The privacy policy should outline the terms and circumstances regarding if or how the site will share your information. If a website doesn't post a privacy statement, consider taking your business elsewhere.

Disguise your email address

When you post to a message board, newsgroup, chat room, or other public webpage, spell out your entire email address, for example, kerimills AT example DOT com. This way, a person can interpret your address, but the automated programs that spammers use often can't.

Improve your computer's security

You can greatly reduce your risk from hackers, viruses, and worms if you have a firewall, keep your Windows and Microsoft Office software up to date, and install antivirus and antispyware software (and update all routinely).

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