What is “spam”?
Spam is the name often used to refer to unsolicited commercial e-mail.
What is “spam flagging”?
Spam flagging is a process for identifying messages likely to be spam and marking them as such.
What e-mail will be scanned?
All incoming e-mail for all faculty, staff, and students with a stthom.edu address will be scanned, and all e-mail whose total score is equal to or greater than the threshold value will be flagged as spam. Only e-mail originating from outside UST’s e-mail server will be scanned.
What e-mail will not be scanned?
Internal e-mail (anything from one stthom.edu address to another stthom.edu address) will not be scanned.
How does it work?
The spam flagging software scans incoming messages and applies an extensive set of tests to identify messages as potential spam. Rather than filtering incoming e-mail, the server flags suspected spam messages so the recipients can determine whether they want to keep them or delete them. The tests used to identify messages as potential spam include message formatting rules as well as message content rules.
What does spam flagging not do?
Spam scanning and flagging will not filter or delete e-mail messages that appear to be spam.
Are there risks?
The problems with flagging suspected spam are the same problems that exist with any other way of identifying spam. The main problems are:
1) False Positives - Some legitimate messages may be flagged as spam.
2) False Negatives - Some spam messages will not be flagged.
Why do we need this?
Spam is a drain on the time, effort, and patience of faculty, staff, and students. It can create an unfriendly work environment, and it also consumes network bandwidth and computing resources. Although unsolicited bulk e-mail has existed for years, over the past several months, it has become more pervasive, more offensive, and more expensive to deal with it.
What do I need to do to activate it?
There is nothing you need to do. It is automatic.
Can I opt out?
Will it take longer for me to receive my e-mail?
Not noticeably. The scanning and flagging of incoming messages is actually performed by a separate server to prevent additional load on the e-mail server.
Will it take longer for me to send my e-mail?
No. Since scanning is only done on incoming messages, it will not affect your sending time.
Will this cause the e-mail servers to run slower?
No. The scanning and flagging is actually performed by a separate server to prevent slowdowns on the e-mail server.
How will I know if my e-mail has been flagged? What does a scanned message that was flagged look like?
The message will be flagged as spam by inserting the characters “*****SPAM*****” at the beginning of the Subject line in front of the original subject text. For example:
Subject: Get prescription drugs for less! becomes Subject: *****SPAM***** Get prescription drugs for less!
What do I do with my e-mail after it has been flagged?
Just because it is flagged as potential spam does not mean it is spam. If it is flagged with “*****SPAM*****” in the Subject line, you may still want to make sure it is not a legitimate message before deleting it.
To determine if it is a legitimate message, look at the sender’s address and the subject text. If you use a preview or reading pane, you may be able to view part of the message without opening it. If you cannot tell from that, you may need to open the message.
Messages can also be filtered based on flagging using features built in to many e-mail client programs. For more information, see the message filtering documentation.
What do I do with e-mail that is spam but was not flagged?
If you are sure it is a message you do not want, flagged or not, delete it.
If I am forwarding my e-mail to an address outside UST, will my e-mail be scanned?
Yes. When a stthom.edu address is forwarded to a destination outside UST, such as to a Yahoo or AOL account, scanning and flagging occur before the message is forwarded.
Why doesn't IT just block spam?
While it is possible (and tempting) to block spam at the server, the possibility of false positives always exists. The only way IT can guarantee delivery of legitimate e-mail messages that may be mistakenly evaluated as spam by the server is to not to block any messages.
Can I set up my Webmail to filter spam?
Does spam flagging also scan for viruses?
Log into Webmail
Click Options on the tool bar
Select "Mail Filter" left side bar
Create a new filter and follow the instructions on the form
No, but all mail going to the UST e-mail server is also scanned for viruses.