3 Critical Reasons to Check Your SPAM Folder

Kathleen Mills of PracticeMentors.us

This Week's Poll

Email has been with us for almost 30 years now. One of the communication skills we all need to master is maintaining an ever-present awareness of our SPAM folder. And regularly check your SPAM folder. Why is that important?

Ever sent an email to someone, an email that did NOT bounce back, only to hear them tell you, "I never got it"? Email doesn't just vaporize into the ether. It either a) arrives in their/your Inbox, b) bounces back to the sender, or c) winds up in the recipient's SPAM folder.

What Does SPAM Mean?

It's just a silly name given to a folder where all junk mail goes. The name came from a Monty-Python skit back in the '80's but don't worry, that's not going to be on the test. It's like that drawer you have in your kitchen where everything goes that doesn't really have a place of its own in your home. Can't find it anywhere else? "Look in the junk-drawer."

How Does Email End Up in My SPAM Folder?

Your email provider has filters in place ('algorithms' for you purists) that attempt to identify junk e-mail and route it to the SPAM folder. Sometimes you have some control over how strict those filters are, sometimes you don't. It just depends on your email provider.

Those filters are scanning your email for certain 'key' words that junk emails usually include, or it's looking for ip addresses from known scammers, stuff like that. If the filter finds a word, a combination of words or other offending elements that qualify it as junk then that email is routed into your SPAM folder. That's a good thing, though, right?

Check Your SPAM Folder

Have you ever accidentally thrown away (or shredded) a check because the envelope had you thinking it was junk mail? I have. That's why, as I'm standing over the trash-can (I am my own algorithm!), I always look at each piece of snail-mail I get before I drop it into the can. Every home in America does that. Sounds like a Norman Rockwell painting.

You should do the same thing with the contents of your SPAM folder. First of all, if you're not even maintaining an awareness of your SPAM folder then that's Step 1. Look at your email account as if you have TWO Inboxes from now on; one for the good email and one for what your provider thinks is junk mail.

Step 2 is to check your SPAM folder periodically. Once a day is good just like you do with your snail-mail. Scan the folder to make sure there are 'no checks' in there before you delete them all.


Maintaining a mind-fullness of your SPAM folder is going to help you on several fronts. It'll keep you from missing and/or deleting important, misfiled emails. It's also going to save you a lot of time and embarrassment by not ever again having to tell someone, "I didn't get it", only to have to confess the next day that you found it in your SPAM folder where you should have looked first!

And now you know.

Plan Smart. Be Safe. Serve Others.

Kathleen Mills, LPC-S, CEAP

check your SPAM folder | PracticeMentors

Got An Opinion?

This post is my opinion based on almost 30 year practice as a mental health provider. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to leave your civil, constructive comments below. You do not need to be logged in to leave a comment.

About Kathleen Mills

Kathleen Mills is a fire-breathing, 30+ year veteran of the counseling world. A tireless warrior for the profession, her goal with PracticeMentors.us is to bullet-proof the counseling profession so that what happened to her doesn't happen to you!

Leave a Comment