Spam mails, junk mails, or unsolicited emails advertise products and services to a mailing list or newsgroup. Since the Internet is a free and open medium, it becomes difficult to completely prevent such spam emails from being sent. However, AOL's Terms of Service strictly prohibits unsolicited bulk/junk email. For more information, please read AOL's Unsolicited Bulk Email Policy.

Note: Your AOL password is the first line of defense for your Username and account. You can change your AOL password whenever and as often as you'd like by going to password.aol.com.

AOL honors the confidentiality of its members' private communications in private chat rooms, emails (including attachments), and instant message conversations. AOL also keeps members' profile information confidential. AOL does not read or disclose private communications except to comply with valid legal processes, such as a search warrant, subpoena, or court order, to protect the company's rights and property, or during emergencies when we believe that your physical safety is at risk. However, whatever you write or post in public or member chat rooms and message boards is available to everyone on the Internet.

FAQs


What are spam mails or junk mails?

Whenever you provide your personal information in a public forum, you may receive unsolicited emails. Some of the online activities that make your email address vulnerable to spammers include the following:

  • Chatting online
  • Registering on a website
  • Providing personal details on networking sites
  • Joining mailing lists that are not moderated
  • Providing personal details on your blog or website
  • Posting to message boards or newsgroups

Note: Never download and/or open any file attachments from an unknown or questionable source.


How can I ensure my friends never get blocked by the Spam Filter?

To ensure that none of your friends get blocked by the Spam Filter, add all of your friends to your Address Book or to your Buddy List. Usernames that are listed in either of those locations will never be blocked by your local spam filters.


What are AOL Mail and Spam Controls?

The AOL Mail and Spam Controls feature helps you block emails from Internet domains and email addresses that you specify. To set the AOL Mail and Spam Controls feature for any of the Usernames on your account, go to AOL Keyword: Mail Controls.

Note: This keyword can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop.


How do I report unsolicited mails?

If you haven't opened the email message, you can report the unsolicited email that you received by clicking the Report Spam or Notify AOL button at the bottom of your mailbox. If you opened the email message, these options are available at the bottom of the opened email window.

If these options are not available in your mailbox, you can forward unsolicited emails to the email address abuse@aol.com. Please forward the original mail and not a copy-paste in a new mail.

Note: Some junk emails provide a reply address where you can send a request to be removed from the mailing list. We recommend that you do not respond to junk emails. Any reply, even a removal request, helps confirm your email address and shows that you've read their message.


How do I avoid spam mails?

If you are receiving spam emails on your account and they do not stop, you can go to AOL Keyword: Names to create a new Username for personal use. You can share this new Username with your family and friends while you continue using your master Username in public areas such as member profiles, message boards, or websites. You can have up to seven different Usernames on your AOL account, so don't hesitate to create a new one.

Note: Keywords can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop.


Can I transfer Spam Filters to my other Usernames?

Unfortunately, at this time it is not possible to transfer your Spam Filters to other Usernames. Spam Filters must be set up individually for each Username.


How do I turn off the Spam Filters?

1. Sign on to the AOL service.

2. Go to AOL Keyword: Mail Controls.

Note: Keywords can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop.

3. In the Spam Settings for drop-down menu, choose the Username for which you wish to disable the Spam Filter, and then click Go.

4. In the Spam Filter section, select the Off option, and then click Save. Messages suspected as spam will be delivered to the mailbox of the chosen Username.


How do I create a custom words and phrases list?

You can create a custom words and phrases list to automatically move emails containing words or phrases you specify in the list into your Spam Folder. Each AOL username uses a separate Spam Filter. You can use wildcards (type an asterisk (*) before and/or after a word) in the Content Filter to allow partial matches to be moved to the Spam Folder. For example, if you add *berry to your custom words and phrases list, emails containing words ending in "berry" will be moved to the Spam Folder.

To create a custom words and phrases list:

1. Sign on to the AOL service.

2. Go to AOL Keyword: Mail Controls.

Note: Keywords can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop.

3. In the Content Filter, select the check box next to Send mail containing specific words and phrases to my Spam folder, type the desired words or phrases that you wish to block, and then click Save.

4. Close all open windows.


What do I do if my email is incorrectly identified as spam?

If you find an email that you did not identify as spam in your Spam Folder, simply select that email and click Not Spam. This will immediately update your Spam Filter. The mail that was wrongly marked as spam will move into your inbox. For more information on spam and junk mail, go to AOL Keyword: Junk Mail.

Note: Keywords can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop.


What are Spam Parental Controls?

Spam Parental Controls allow the master Username to read the titles of spam emails and allow or block spam from Teen and Kid accounts.


How can I view the spam on my parentally controlled Usernames?

1. Sign on to the AOL service.

2. Go to AOL Keyword: Mail Controls.

Note: Keywords can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop.

3. In the Spam Settings for drop-down menu, choose the parentally controlled Username whose Spam Folder you wish to view, and then click Go.

4. Click View Spam Folder for XX (where XX is your parentally controlled Username).

Note: This link will not appear if you have no parentally controlled Usernames.

5. The parentally controlled Username's Spam Folder will be displayed.


Can I read the contents of spam in my parentally controlled Usernames?

For parentally controlled Username, you can only view the subject of the suspected spam email and not the actual email content.


How do I manage spam in my parentally controlled Usernames?

You can choose to either delete the email or move it into the main mailbox (if you feel the message was incorrectly classified as spam). You can also allow your parentally controlled Username to view and manage the Spam Folder.

To delete a spam email:

1. Sign on to the AOL service.

2. Go to AOL Keyword: Mail Controls.

Note: Keywords can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop.

3. In the Spam Settings for drop-down menu, choose the parentally controlled Username whose Spam Folder you wish to view, and then click Go.

4. Click View Spam Folder for XX (where XX is your parentally controlled Username).

5. Select the check box next to the email that you would like to delete, and then click Delete.

6. Click OK

7. Close all open windows.

To move an email from the Spam Folder to the main mailbox:

1. Sign on to the AOL service.

2. Go to AOL Keyword: Mail Controls.

Note: Keywords can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop.

3. In the Spam Settings for drop-down menu, choose the parentally controlled Username whose Spam Folder you wish to view, and then click Go.

4. Click View Spam Folder for XX (where XX is your parentally controlled Username).

5. Select the check box next to the email that you want to move, and then click Not Spam. This will move the email into the Username's main mailbox.


Can I get notified of messages in my Spam Folder?

Yes, you can. The Spam Notification settings allows you to control the frequency of the notifications that you get about new messages in your Spam Folder.

To set the frequency of notifications:

1. Sign on to the AOL service.

2. Go to AOL Keyword: Spam Notification.

Note: Keywords can be accessed only within the AOL software. However, the Keyword feature is not available in AOL Desktop.

3. Choose the appropriate option from the ones displayed.

  • Remind me once each time I sign on
  • Remind me at most once every three days
  • Don't remind me again

4. Click Save.


How do I report multiple spam mails?

You can report all the junk email in your mailbox at once, instead of reporting each individual, unsolicited email. Simply follow the steps given below to do so.

1. Sign on to the AOL service.

2. To select a continuous block of email, click the first email, hold down the Shift key on your keyboard, and then click the last email in the range to report; all the emails between the two you clicked will be selected.

3. Click Report Spam.

Note: To select multiple email messages that are not next to each other, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard, and then click all the emails that you would like to report one by one.


How do I undelete spam emails?

Unfortunately, accidentally deleting messages from your Spam Folder deletes them permanently from your AOL mailbox and you will not be able to retrieve them.



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