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Spam Filter

Frequently Answered Questions for spamfilter.pepperdine.edu

These answers pertain only to the Sophos Email Appliances spam filtering at spamfilter.pepperdine.edu:

  • Inbound email before it reaches Google Apps.
  • Outbound email before it reaches the Internet.

These answers do NOT pertain to:

  • Mail found in your Google Apps Spam Label (folder).
  • Mail filtered into your Outlook or Apple Mail Spam/Junk folders.

Questions

Answers

 

How long does spam hold my blocked messages?

The default timeframe before the spam filter removes a blocked message from the quarantine is 30 days.

How can I keep legitimate, work-related messages from being blocked?

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 are from a consistent sender, either filter them with your Google Apps filters, or 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 are not from a consistent sender, just delete them 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 is frustrating or even upsetting or revolting. However, no spam filter is 100%. As of May 2016 spam and blocked messages are running about 2.5 million per week, nearly all spam that we get. However, some individual spam or spam campaigns may get through.

Are Alumni email accounts included in the spam filter?

Alumni accounts are included in the spam filter. This includes blocking inbound/outbound emails containing patterns that match Social Security or Credit Card numbers.

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. The Service Desk 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 some whitelisting with the SPAM filter; how do I request that?

Whitelisting 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 "Quarantined spam and bulk messages" digest email before whitelisting will be performed. Have your vendor send you a test message; if you find your test message in the digest or quarantine 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 the whitelisting consultation.

What are these strange email addresses for quarantine releases? Why do they show up in my contacts?

Each quarantine digest has its own email address for releasing messages, in this format: sea-auto-approve+259a51679ee7dab39b6d6ddf889eb6ed@spamfilter.pepperdine.edu

This is used by spamfilter.pepperdine.edu to identify which message to release from your quarantine. If your email client, makes a new contact for every email address you send a message to, you will end up with a long string of contacts in the format of the address above. To work around this, either turn that feature off, or use https://spamfilter.pepperdine.edu exclusively as your method for releasing messages from quarantine.

Where do I report spam?

The spam filter stops 99.9+% of spam, but some gets through every day. Do not report spam. Just delete it.

 

IT Service Desk

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