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Spam Protection

For those with a e-mail address, the University E-mail system works very hard to stop spam (unwanted e-mails) from reaching your inbox (via a system called Proofpoint). Most of the time, the spam is obvious and easily caught (unless you really wanted that cheap "Rolex" watch). However, occasionally, an unwanted e-mail will make it into your inbox because it has cleverly disguised itself as looking legitimate. Luckily, there are tell-tale signs that can help you to identify whether an e-mail is legitimate or not.

Proofpoint End User Digest

Proofpoint End User DigestTo ensure that a genuine e-mail is not entirely blocked by the spam protection system, your e-mail account should occasionally receive an e-mail containing a list of all the messages that have been blocked by Proofpoint: the End User Digest. This list displays the e-mail address that sent the message, the subject, and a score out of 100 for how spam-y the system thought the e-mail was (100 is complete certainty that the e-mail is not legitimate).

The links to the left of each message allow you to View the message in a safe environment, Release the message from Proofpoint so that it gets delivered to your inbox, Safelist the sender so that their e-mails do not get blocked in the future, and mark the e-mail as Not Spam so that Proofpoint can improve its artificial intelligence on what is and isn't an unwanted message (this will also move the e-mail into your inbox).

Protecting Yourself from Spam

There are several steps you can take to avoid getting bombarded with unwanted messages.

  1. Do not respond to spam. Any kind of response, whether you intend to unsubscribe or complain, informs the sender that the address is valid and a real person is reading the email.
  2. Do not buy anything offered via spam. Doing so simply supports the spam industry, and an increasing percentage of spam is fraudulent. If you want the product that you see, try buying it from a related web site, but don't click on any links in the email.
  3. Filter Incoming E-mail. Those with a account are able to set a blacklist of unwanted e-mail addresses. Third-party mail systems should also provide black-listing abilities; consult their help sections for more information.
  4. Use the delete key. Simply delete that pesky e-mail. Please do not forward the e-mail to IT Support - we can not globally block an e-mail address as it may be "legitimate" information to someone on campus.
  5. Use a temporary e-mail address. If you are using an online system, and you feel like they may give your details to a disreputable company, then consider using a tool like 10 Minute Mail. This will provide you with an e-mail address you can enter and receive mail with, but it only lasts for 10 minutes. Alternatively, some people set up fully working e-mail accounts that they give to anybody that they don't want to know their main e-mail address.
  6. Report Illegal Messages. It is very rare, but occasionally a spam message will contain illegal content that should be investigated by a law enforcement agency. Contact details for those who investigate these matters:

If you have any questions about spam, and identifying illegitimate messages, please contact IT Support.

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