Some people and businesses indiscriminately send large amounts of unsolicited commercial e-mail (UCE), also known as “spam,” meant to promote a product or service. Spam is the electronic equivalent of junk mail sent to ‘Current Resident.’ In recent years spam content has expanded to include offensive advertising, malicious content and computer viruses.
What steps has the University of Idaho taken to reduce unwanted e-mail?
The University of Idaho uses border e-mail anti-spam gateways, from the company ProofPoint, to filter spam before it even reaches our system. While these servers are very effective you may want to create your own personal block and safe lists where recipients are blocked automatically or will bypass all spam filtering.
How do I create block and safe lists?
To use the functionality you will need to be a UI employee with an @uidaho.edu email address and you must be setup as a “digest” user. To become a “digest” user contact the ITS Help Desk via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have more than one @uidaho.edu address be sure to include it in the request. Once the digest is setup you will receive a daily message with information about the messages blocked along with a link to modify your own personal safe/blocked list.
Note: The student e-mail system, @vandals.uidaho.edu, uses Microsoft’s Hotmail system which has built in spam controls. Please contact us if you need assistance.
How do I report incorrectly identified messages?
What spam classification system is the UI using?
We are using multiple Proofpoint Protection Software (PPS) servers from Proofpoint, Inc. The PPS system has complete enterprise-grade message control that provides protection against spam and viruses using their proprietary Machine Learning (MLX) technology and the F-Secure anti-virus engine.
How will this affect legitimate mass mailings from my group, department or college?
Extra care needs to be taken if you are sending out mailings to large numbers of users. It may be possible for legitimate messages to be blocked depending on how the messages are formatted, the text they contain, and the number of recipients. Here are some steps we recommend to ensure your mailings are not affected:
- Make sure a copy of the message you send out is also delivered to your email account and/or others in your office. This is a good way to ensure the messages went through the system properly.
- Send a test message to yourself prior to sending it out to everyone. Each message will contain an X-SpamDetails: header that includes information about how the message scored by the anti-spam software.
- If you have a very large number of recipients (over 2000), contact ITS for assistance in sending out the message.
- Report to ITS any legitimate messages that are blocked. Please send an email to email@example.com and include the entire received message including complete headers. You can find instructions on how to obtain email headers through our header recovery tutorial.
What steps can be used to keep my address safe?
- Do not provide your e-mail address to any companies or web pages you do not trust. It is a good idea to read their “privacy statement” as well to see how your contact information will be used.
- Make sure your e-mail address doesn’t appear on any web pages (e.g. search the web for your address).
- Start using spam filtering by following the instructions provided above.
- Delete spam messages without reading them. Many messages include web links to “phone home” to track active accounts.
- Do not respond to removal links or reply with “remove” to these messages. This is another technique used to verify e-mail addresses.