Auto-deleting server spam

Macworld forum visitor drr would rather not deal with spam on the road. He writes:

Sometimes when I am on the road, I use my laptop to dial up a server to check my email. Needless to say, downloading all of that junk mail off of the server can take more time than I would like. I am wondering if Mail could be set up on my home computer in such a way as when it is left on, it will periodically check my server, find the junk mail, and remove it but leave the non junk mail on the server for me to have access to when I dial in?

This is possible with a POP account. Before trying the following technique, however, be sure that Mail’s Junk Mail filter is well trained. If it’s not, some of your good mail may be removed from the server before you have a chance to read it on the road (though you’ll still be able to read it when you return home). Here’s how to go about it:

Select Mail > Preferences and click the General tab. In the Check For New Mail pop-up menu, choose how often you’d like Mail to check for new email.

Click the Junk Mail tab and, under When Junk Mail Arrives, enable the Move it to the Junk Mailbox (Automatic) option.

Now click the Accounts tab. From the list of accounts on the left side of the window choose the POP account you want to work with. Click the Advanced tab and enable the Remove Copy From Server After Retrieving a Message option and then choose When Moved From InBox from the pop-up menu below.

While you’re here, click the Mailbox Behaviors tab and choose an appropriate setting from the Erase Messages in the Junk Mailbox When pop-up menu. You don’t want Mail automatically trashing the items in your Junk folder until you’ve had a chance to look in there for good mail.

Your actions will cause any mail that Mail automatically moves to the Junk folder to be removed from the server. Note that it will also remove from the server any other mail in that account that’s moved out of the InBox. Therefore, if you’ve set up rules to shuttle your mail from the InBox to another folder, shut those rules off before you leave town. If you fail to do so, you won’t be able to access that mail from the road as its copy will be deleted from the server along with the junk.

Finally, when you return home, check Mail’s Junk folder to be sure that no good mail found its way in.

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