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SPAM E-mail

What is C&C doing to help its clients deal with incoming SPAM?

C&C has implemented two levels of SPAM filtering, recognizing that its effectiveness will have to be monitored and adjustments made as spamming methods evolve.

Level one: Server level filtering (Ongoing)

Server level filtering has been used by C&C for some time. It targets particular sites that are known to send SPAM. We reject e-mail from those sites.

Level two: Client level filtering

We are using a software package called SpamAssassin to evaluate incoming SPAM messages. This software scores incoming e-mails, based on a set of spam criteria, to determine how likely it is to be SPAM. Anything scoring above eight is automatically deleted. Anything scoring between four and eight is marked "xxSPAMxx" and is delivered to the INBOX. Users can ask for their SPAM filter to be set to four.
C&C will check incoming e-mail and tag any suspected SPAM before forwarding to the recipient. We will evaluate probable SPAM as "xxSPAMxx" in the subject line of suspected e-mail. Evaluating e-mail for possible SPAM should allow for easier identification and filtering. The recipient can continue to review those messages and delete them manually or use a filter to delete the e-mail automatically or move it to a separate folder for future review or deletion.

Note:

No SPAM filtering system is 100% accurate, thus there will be false-positives (e-mail that is marked as SPAM but is not) and false-negatives (e-mail that is not marked as spam but should be). Keeping this in mind, it is the end user's responsibility to manage his/her e-mail appropriately. C&C recommends checking your INBOX and all other e-mail folders regularly.

Users may choose to opt out of auto-deletion of SPAM, or they may choose to set a lower threshold.

Recommendations:

If you receive large amounts of SPAM, you may set a filter to redirect these tagged e-mails. Through our internal testing we did encounter several cases where mail was incorrectly tagged. (Mailing list announcements are prime candidates).

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What can I do to reduce the amount of SPAM I receive?

  1. Do not reply to SPAM.

    A lot of the SPAM that we get comes with instructions on how to "remove you from our list". Yet, more often than not, the instructions don't work. In fact, clicking on the link to unsubscribe will simply verify that your e-mail address is valid, so that the spammer can put it on the premium CD where it can be distributed to other spammers. You end up getting lots of SPAM instead of a little.
  2. Just delete it

    Once you have received SPAM e-mail, you have already wasted system resources and your valuable time. If you suspect an e-mail to be SPAM (e.g., the sender's name is not familiar or the subject is suspicious), just delete it. Don't even bother reading the e-mail.
  3. Reduce your exposure to "harvesting"

    Don't display your e-mail address in public more than necessary. Internal web pages and mailing list archives are prime targets for spammers. If you publish web pages, don't put your address in a "click-to" e-mail. This means that people will have to cut-and-paste your address rather than e-mailing you with a single click, but it can spare you from getting a lot of SPAM. Rather than putting your e-mail address on every page of your site, it may be better to have it on only one page, with links to it.
  4. Reporting spam

    Chain letters and other reports of local abuse of system resources should be sent to: abuse@mun.ca.
  5. SPAM-proof e-mail address

    Another way to reduce the amount of SPAM you receive is to spam-proof your published e-mail address by adding NOSPAM to your e-mail address (user@mun.ca.NOSPAM). But note that the anti-SPAM addition must be added ONLY at the end of the address and that it is not appropriate to completely remove your posting identity from your postings.

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How do I set up my e-mail client to filter incoming SPAM?

Filters

A filter is a program which sorts and processes incoming e-mail based on patterns found in the e-mail headers. There are three pre-existing filters (or rules) already created in webmail.mun.ca which you can activate if you choose: Blacklist, Vacation, and Whitelist. You can also create new filers (or rules) to filter your mail based on patterns you choose.

For assistance with activating pre-existing filters (rules) or setting up new filters (rules) - click on the Filters icon on the menu bar on the bottom of your screen. A window will open which display the various rules/filters. To learn more about the individual rules/filters click on the Help icon or to activate or create a new rule - click on the particular rule icon.

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