Suddenly the flood of unwelcome spam is at the top of everybody’s list. It’s so awful, so overwhelming and gross, that everyone assumes they’re being uniquely singled out. Trust me – it’s everywhere and it has nothing to do with your online shopping habits or anything within your control.

If you’re using Outlook 2000 or Outlook 2002 (the Office XP version), here’s an article about a program that this columnist feels is effective. Warning: I have not tried this myself and I don’t vouch for it! But if you’re feeling brave and it sounds right, give it a try and let me know how it works for you.

Outlook has long had its Junk E-Mail filter, but the spam mailers are increasingly good at avoiding it. I have used the Rules Wizard to set up a simple rule: After a message arrives, look in the subject or the body for certain words and move the message to the Junk Mail folder if any of the words are there. “Viagra,” “teens,” offensive terms – you can take it from there. Good luck!

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