When was the last time you checked your spam folder?

A spam filter is a software program that is designed to identify and mark unsolicited email messages, also known as spam, as separate from wanted messages (e.g., personal or business emails).

The goal of a spam filter is to reduce the amount of spam that a user receives in their inbox, by automatically moving or deleting messages deemed to be spam.

Spam filters work by using various techniques to identify and classify emails, such as:

  • Keyword analysis
  • IP address analysis
  • Sender reputation analysis
  • Content analysis

The filter then uses rules or algorithms to determine if an email should be marked as spam or allowed into the inbox.

The accuracy of a spam filter can vary, and some filters may mistakenly mark wanted emails as spam or allow unwanted messages into the inbox. To minimize this, many email providers allow users to customize their spam filter settings and to mark emails as spam or not spam to improve the filter’s accuracy over time.

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How do I find my spam folder?

The location of your spam folder depends on which email service provider you use, but they’re all pretty similar. Spam folders are typically located in the lefthand navigation bar, and you might have to collapse arrows to shorten the list of inboxes and make your spam folder easier to find.

To find your spam folder in:

  • Yahoo Mail: Click ‘more’ beneath your ‘sent email’ folder.
  • AOL Mail: Scroll down right beneath ‘IMs’ and above ‘trash.’
  • Gmail: Scroll way down past ‘all mail’ and right above ‘trash.’
  • Outlook: Scroll right past ‘sent mail’ to a folder marked ‘junk.’
  • Hotmail: Beneath ‘inbox,’ find a category called ‘folders;’ the ‘junk’ folder should be first.
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To avoid missing any important emails that may have been misclassified as spam, it’s advisable to periodically review your spam folder.