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Spam Filtering FAQ


These frequently asked questions pertain only to the Pepperdine spam filter at spamfilter.pepperdine.edu and apply to:

  • Inbound email before it reaches Pepperdine Google Mail (Gmail).
  • Outbound email before it reaches the Internet.

For spam in your Pepperdine Gmail inbox or spam folders, please refer to Google documentation.

How long does the Pepperdine spam filter hold my blocked messages?

Blocked spam messages are kept 30 days in case you want to review them, then automatically deleted.

How can I keep legitimate, work-related messages from being blocked by the Pepperdine spam filter?

Log in to https://spamfilter.pepperdine.edu to add the sender to the approved senders list.

I am receiving spam messages that are not being blocked. How may I keep these messages out of my Inbox?

  • If the spam messages are from a consistent sender, you may: unsubscribe, filter them with your Google Apps filters, with your email client's filters, or log in to https://spamfilter.pepperdine.edu to add the sender's email address to the blocked senders list.
  • If the spam messages are not from a consistent sender, just delete the spam messages as they appear in your inbox.

Why am I receiving more spam than usual that is not getting blocked? Why did I receive a message that is obviously spam?

Fighting spam is an "arms race" type of struggle, where sometimes the spammers figure out how to get a message or series of messages through.  When this happens vendors of anti-spam software, such as the spam filter, soon make adjustments to the tests they use to block the spam.  Yes, getting some of these spam messages is frustrating or even upsetting or revolting.  However, no spam filter is 100%. Blocked messages may run about 2.5 million per week, substantially stopping nearly all spam that we get.  However, some individual spam messages or spam campaigns may get through.

Are Alumni email accounts included in the Pepperdine spam filter?

The @alumnimail.pepperdine.edu accounts are NOT filtered by the Pepperdine spam filter only the alumni mail for education Gmail.

I am getting hundreds of "Delivery Failure" bounce-back messages! What can I do about it?

In order of frequency, this may be the result of:

  1. A criminal chose your email address as the return address on his or her spam campaign.
  2. You responded to a phishing email with your Pepperdine NetworkID and password; then a criminal used your actual account to send his or her spam.

Since the actual delivery failures are legitimate, they can't be blocked.  IT Tech Central should be able to help you create an email filter in Google Mail, and help you use that to move the messages to the trash.

My mass-mail or service vendor wants Pepperdine to "allowlist" their messages with the SPAM filter; how do I request that?

Allowlisting is not an "on-request" service because it is overwhelmingly not necessary with the technology we are using and is a resource burden on the system.  You are required to catch a message in the Pepperdine spamfilter before allowlisting will be performed.  Have your vendor send you a test message; if you find your test message in your spamfilter inbox don't release it!  Instead, email infosec@pepperdine.edu with the exact "To:" address and "Subject:" lines and your contact information.  Information Security will research the email and contact you to begin an allowlist consultation.

Where do I report spam?

The spam filter stops 99.9+% of spam, but some messages get through every day.  Do not report spam: just delete it.

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