How to Stop Phishing Emails in Microsoft Outlook, Gmail, Etc. | Tech Tips

Stop phishing emails before they become a threat. Learn more about the tools at your disposal and how to spot an attack early.


4 minute read

Feb 23, 2024

At this point, everybody who uses technology daily has encountered those emails that give us a strange feeling. Something feels off about the message, the sender’s address, the strange images (or lack thereof), or maybe it’s just the timing.

It’s irritating to get constantly bombarded by people trying to scam you out of your money or information, but knowing what to look for and how to identify these attempts at phishing is half the battle. The other half is knowing how to use the tools available to you from your email provider to eliminate them from ever reaching your inbox.

In the video below, one of our security experts will walk you through these tools and show you step-by-step how to report and block attacks, use your spam filter effectively, and use email rules to keep the attacks from appearing. 

  1. How to Identify a Phishing Email
  2. Blocking Email Addresses
  3. Creating Custom Rules to Stop Phishing Emails
  4. Reporting Spam

How to Identify a Phishing Email

The key to spotting phishing attack emails and knowing how to stop phishing emails is to know the common elements of them. Keep your eye out for these signs of a suspicious email:

  • A sense of urgency
  • Emails you aren’t expecting
  • Grammatical errors
  • Hiding link destinations behind shortened links or URL encoding
  • Asking you for sensitive information or to click a link
  • Email addresses that are off, even if my just a little (ex. Having a sender email from rather than

While it’s possible that you’d find some of these in real emails, they’re a sign to stop and investigate further. It’s better to be safe than sorry and taking some time to look around could save you big in the long run.

Blocking Email Addresses

To stop phishing emails in your email provider (Outlook, Gmail, etc.), you have the power to block the address that’s sending them. While the hackers can just make new addresses, blocking is easy to do and is a good start.

To block a sender, go to the header of any email, click on settings (three dots or a gear symbol), and then, on Outlook or Gmail, you’ll see an option to block the sender.

For some other email providers, you may have to set up custom rules to get this done. We’ll cover that in the next section!

Creating Custom Rules to Stop Phishing Emails

You can set up, delete, or edit custom rules in any email client at any time to filter messages based on things like sender address, language in the email, or other criteria.  

This is like blocking email addresses, but it gives you a bit more power to tell your email provider exactly what to look for when blocking emails.

In Gmail, click on the “show search options” button on the right side of the search bar. From there, you can set up your filters. When you’re happy with it, click "create." That will take you to a screen that lets you choose what you’d like the filter to do, including automatically deleting the messages.

Outlook has a very similar process, just set up the other way around. Start by going to “File,” then “Manage Rules & Alerts,” then click on “New Rule.” Select a template for what you would like to happen with the emails in this rule, create a description for it, and select the conditions for filtering using this rule, then review and click “Finish”.

Reporting Spam

Reporting phishing emails as spam is one of the best ways you can combat these scams. And, best of all, it’s very easy to do no matter what email client you use. All you have to do is click “report as spam” (or “report as junk” in Outlook). Afterward, you can even specify that the email was true spam or a phishing attack.

This option is so strong because it not only gets rid of dangerous emails, but it also helps train your email provider on what a dangerous or spammy email looks like and what to avoid.  

About Impact’s Tech Tips

Access step-by-step tutorials to fix some of the common issues users face on Mac and Windows machines, as well as Apple and Android phones. Each video features one of Impact’s specialists leading the walkthroughs.

You can access the rest of this series on YouTube, or on our content resource center!

Phishing is not the only scam out there! Learn more about vishing (voicemail phishing) and other common social engineering scams in this blog post: What is Vishing? A Look at Modern Cybersecurity Threats


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