Spam System Use

Quick Start for Spam Identification and Filtering

The best way to filter spam is to request and enable a quarantine inbox, which will prevent spam identified email from being delivered to your inbox.

If you want to filter any email identified as spam into one spam mailbox, test the subject line beginning for the text [spam, including the square bracket.

If you want to filter spam identified email into separate mailboxes based on spam score:

  • Test the beginning of the subject line for [spam-medium] to filter email that is possibly spam and
     
  • Test the beginning of the subject line for [spam-high] to filter for email that has a high probability of being spam

CCIT default spam identification and filtering system

How does it work?

What user capabilities will it provide and how do I use them?

Subject line tagging
 
Quarantine inbox option (Request a quarantine account by submitting a request to the Mines Help Center. )

Enabling/disabling quarantine

Reviewing and managing your quarantined messages

Spam filter option

Whitelists/blacklists

Changing your password

Initial/default configuration for new quarantine inbox accounts

How to setup filtering in popular email programs

How it works

All email sent to user@mines.edu addresses from outside the campus, and some email from inside the campus, will first pass through a system that analyzes the messages for spam characteristics. (This system can be configured to block or reject messages based on a list of known spam sources, or if  they contain virus or other malicious files. CCIT will use these features cautiously because they must be implemented on a site-wide basis.) Once an email is received, characteristics of the email are analyzed and the message is given a score based on the probability that it is spam. If a message does not appear to be spam, it is delivered to the user's inbox. Messages determined likely to be spam are given a high spam score and messages exhibiting some characteristics of being spam are given a medium score. If a message receives a medium score, additional headers, known as "x-headers" are inserted into the mail with additional information, and the subject line is modified to start with [spam-medium] to warn the recipient that this message may be spam. If the message receives a high score, the same action can be taken (except the subject line is modified to start with [spam-high]) or the message can be quarantined in a special inbox on the spam filter server for later review by the recipient.

User capabilities (A quarantine inbox account is required to access most of these features. Get one by submitting a request to the Mines Help Center.)

Once you establish a quarantine inbox account, you can control a variety of options to help control or manage how the system deals with spam. Those capabilities include:

These capabilities are described in greater detail below. To request a quarantine inbox account submit a request to the Mines Help Center.

What is subject line tagging and how do I use it? (subject line tagging does not require a quarantine inbox account)

Subject line tagging is simply the insertion of additional text at the beginning of the subject line of an email message in order to provide you with additional information. Most email programs have the ability to sort and filter messages based on content found in the subject line, sender, recipient, or other parts of a message. CCIT's default spam identification system will tag a subject line at the very beginning with one of the following text strings:

[spam-medium]
[spam-high]

so a message you received from a junk mailer that had a subject of

BUY STUFF CHEAP

may be changed to look like one of the following based on the spam "score" received when the message was analyzed by the spam filter system. A medium score indicates the message could be spam but the system will always deliver it to your inbox so you can make that decision. A message marked spam-high has a high probability of being spam and is eligible to be quarantined on a separate system if you choose to not have [spam-high] messages automatically delivered to your inbox. (To activate this, you must request a quarantine inbox account.)

[spam-medium] BUY STUFF CHEAP
[spam-high] BUY STUFF CHEAP

You use this information by creating a filter in your email program to look for these tags and then give the email program instructions about what to do with the email if it is delivered to your inbox.

Quarantine Inbox option

A quarantine inbox will prevent the automatic delivery of messages determined to be [spam-high] to your inbox. You must request a quarantine inbox account on the spam filter system by submitting a request to the Mines Help Center. Only email addresses of the form user@mines.edu, not user@othersystem.mines.edu, are eligible for these accounts. Once the account is created for you, an email message will be sent to the registered address with a password that will allow you to access the spam filter system, manage your quarantine inbox, and set other preferences. Note that your quarantine inbox account username will be your full email address.

  • Logging in to your quarantine inbox account (a quarantine inbox account is required to have access to this feature).

    To request a quarantine inbox account, submit a request to the Mines Help Center.


    Once your quarantine inbox account has been setup, login to http://cardea.mines.edu/ with the username and password provided to you. Note that your quarantine inbox account username will be your full email address.
     
  • Enabling/Disabling Quarantine

    Press the Preferences tab and then press the Quarantine Settings button. To activate a quarantine inbox, select Yes. This will prevent the automatic delivery of [spam-high] messages to your inbox. Press the Save Changes button. Press the Quarantine Notification button next.


     
  • Quarantine Notification

    Press the Quarantine Notification button and select whether you want to receive quarantine inbox notification messages. If you select Daily or Weekly, you will receive a single email once per day or once per week with either a summary list of quarantined messages or a link to remind you to login to the spam filter server to review and manage your quarantined messages.Quarantined messages older than 30 days will automatically be deleted, but could be deleted sooner to conserve or free up disk space.


     
  • Review your quarantined messages and managing your quarantined messages

    Press the QUARANTINE INBOX tab, if it is not already selected. A listing similar to the following will appear, if you have quarantined messages. Note that there may be multiple pages of messages. When you review your messages and identify false positives, you will probably want to add those addresses to your whitelist so they will not be quarantined again. You can manage your messages by pressing the individual Deliver, Whitelist or Delete links to the left of the message, based on what you want to do.  You can also manage them by  selecting the checkbox to the left of the message and pressing the Deliver, Whitelist or Delete buttons at the top of the section under the words Quarantine Inbox. You can review the first 50 lines of any message in text form by clicking on the Date From or Subject of the message.


     
  • Spam Filter Enable/Disable

    This option allows you to enable or disable spam scanning for your email address. Press the Spam Filter Enable/Disable button. If you select yes, messages will be scanned. By default, all @mines.edu email accounts are set to yes. If you have not enabled a quarantine inbox, spam email will be tagged with either [spam-high] or [spam-medium] and delivered to your inbox. If you have enabled a quarantine inbox, [spam-high] email will be quarantined on the spam filter server and [spam-medium] email will be tagged and delivered to your inbox. If you select No for the Spam Filter Enable/Disable option, messages will not be scanned and all email (except for system-wide blocked email) will be delivered to your inbox without any tagging.


     
  • Whitelist/Blacklist

    Press the Whitelist/Blacklist button under the Preferences tab. This option lets you create lists of email addresses or domains that are always allowed or always blocked. If you always want to accept mail from any user at Colorado State, you can enter colostate.edu in the appropriate box, under Allow Email Address, and press Add. All email coming from any CCIT-managed mail server will be accepted unless you explicitly block it. Most internal email (mines.edu) will not go through the spam identification and filter system so, is not a reliable way to disallow email from another mines.edu user.


     
  • Changing your password

    If you do not know your current spam filter system password, simply enter your e-mail address in the username field on the main login screen and click the "Create New Password" button. A new password will be mailed to your account.

    If you are logged into your spam filter account, press the Password button under the Preferences tab. Use this option to change your password to manage your quarantine inbox and preference settings on the spam filter system.

     
  • Changing your spam scoring levels

    Press the Spam Settings button under the Preferences tab. Use this option to change your spam scoring levels on the spam filter system.




    The default system levels are the spam filter levels applied to all @mines.edu addresses. Having a spam filter account allows you to change these settings to meet your individual spam filtering requirements. To change the settings for your account, check the No button then the Save Changes button.



    You can then change the scoring level by typing in a number in the box to the right of the Tag Score, Quarantine Score, and Block Score. Changing this scoring level will affect how the spam filter scores any new messages to your Mines e-mail account.
     
    • If the message score is lower than the Tag Score, the message subject is not rewritten and the message is delivered to your inbox
       
    • If the message score is between the Tag Score and Quarantine Score then the message will be marked as [SPAM-MEDIUM] and delivered to your inbox.
       
    • If the message score is between the Quarantine Score and Block Score, the message will be marked as [SPAM-HIGH] and will be held in your spam filter quarantine box OR delivered to your inbox, depending on your spam filter preferences.
       
    • If the message score is higher than the Block Score, it will be automatically discarded.

 

 

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Last Updated: 05/31/2017 14:30:50