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Pepperdine Spam Filter FAQ


If you want to learn more about spam filtering in Pepperdine Google Workspace, then you have come to the right place! The answers to the following Frequently Answered Questions (FAQ) will help explain more about:

  • What options are available to block or allow messages.
  • Any actions necessary to make arrangements for 3rd party service vendor deliverability to Pepperdine email addresses.



  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.

  What is the difference between a spam message and a phishing message?

A general definition of a spam message is any unsolicited message sent to multiple people. Spam typically entails unsolicited advertising, whether from legitimate companies or potential scammers. Spam messages are often annoying and can sometimes be dangerous. Please do not report spam messages as phishing; this will NOT get them blocked, just waste an analyst's time reviewing them. When in doubt, just delete spam messages.

A phishing message is a dangerous message sent by scammers to trick you into revealing your personal information, such as your login credentials, personally identifiable information, or financial information. A phishing message will pose as if it is coming from a legitimate source, such as a bank, utility, or employer. Learn more about phishing, how to avoid it, and how to report it at

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

Just delete them from your inbox, or you may report them as spam in Gmail. If the spam messages are from a consistent sender, you may unsubscribe (if the sender is a legitimate company) or filter them with your Google Mail filters.

  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 are running about 2.5 million per week, substantially stopping nearly all spam that we receive. However, some individual spam messages or spam campaigns may get through.

  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 and SecureConnect MFA code; then a criminal used your actual account to send his or her spam. If you think this may have happened, call 310-506-4040 to report to ISO.

Because 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 3rd party service vendor wants Pepperdine to "allowlist" their messages; how do I request that?

If your vendor has detailed email configuration instructions, you may forward them, well in advance of date needed, to ISO, along with the current/upcoming contract expiration date for this vendor. On receipt of both the instructions and contract dates, ISO will open a task to analyze the requested configuration. If the configuration is possible in our setup and advisable based on risk, ISO will implement it with a defined expiration date (because the explosion in such requests can exceed the system's capacity to configure them). Your department will need to contact ISO before the expiration to extend the configuration.


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