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Unsolicited emails typically fall into two categories: (1) those that can be deleted, and (2) those that should be saved for possible reference later. Of these two, hopefully most will be identified as spam and automatically go directly to your junk mail folder.

Spam You Can Delete

Most of the junk mail we receive is relatively harmless. Someone is trying to sell something. You don’t want what they are selling. You can delete those messages. They take up room and will unnecessarily get in the way when you are searching for legitimate emails.

When to Unsubscribe

Rather than repeatedly deleting emails from the same senders, you should unsubscribe from any legitimate lists. For senders you know and trust, and particularly ones you remember having subscribed with, be sure to unsubscribe to have a cleaner inbox.

Spam You Should Keep

Some junk mail is designed to trick you into providing login information, and some are more crafty in attempting to gain your trust. It’s a good idea to keep these for reference, as long as you are very careful to not display images from those messages or click on any links. The goal is to try to identify how these people got your name and email address. These can be an indication of a compromised account. Learn more by reading, “Spam Analysis Junk Mail Folder.”

Check Your Junkmail

Some systems will remove junk mail after 30 days. For this reason, it’s good to review your junk mail folder once a week, or more frequently to avoid having them pile up. Make sure no important emails have been discarded.

There are a variety of reasons why legitimate emails get marked as junk. Learning more about the process can be helpful.