There is a way to edit the chat settings. Personally, I have different tabs for the different channels I use and I have Zone Chat disabled 100% of the time.
To open up the chat settings window, all I do is rightclick on one of the tabs like CHAT or NPC.
It'll bring up a window that allows you to filter certain channels, create new tabs, etc.
So what i've done is disabled Zone for all the them, and made a seperate channel for SubspaceRP and STORP because STORP spams sometimes when there is a lot of people and I switch to SubspaceRP to filter it in only seeing RP or general text.