A reader is getting fed up with spam and junk mail:

“I tend to use Comcast (Xfinity) webmail by logging into their interface
I am getting more and more aggravating spam, which I can shift to junk, but it never learns. Is there a way I can block the bad stuff?  Seems like I get more and more outrageous stuff every day.”

Keep on flagging stuff as spam. It really does matter. The main issue is that spammers are working night and day to come up with ways to beat spam filters. Every once in a while, you’ll notice an uptick in spam because spammers have found a way to work around current spam-blocking technology. Usually, you’ll eventually see a slow-down.

If you use an email client like Outlook, you can activate additional spam-blocking and it’s possible some of the unwanted stuff will get sent to the junk folder. Many email services like Gmail and Outlook also offer the option to create specific rules for messages. You can flag certain subject lines or phrases in the body of the email to go into a junk or spam folder. Or you can create a folder specifically for reviewing those messages.

You can make a point of blocking messages from unwanted senders as well. The problem spam-blocking technology runs into is that spammers are smart enough to send from fake email addresses, fake domains, and even to often disguise which country their messages are coming from.

One thing that you shouldn’t do is to mark something you signed up for but are no longer interested in as spam. The proper protocol there is to click the unsubscribe link found in most newsletters or to contact the company and let them know you’re no longer interested. Marking something spam just because it’s ceased to interest you can seriously damage a business if their IP address gets blocked by a spam filter due to the reporting.