Spam is the electronic equivalent of junk mail sent to the "Current Resident" of a house. Some people and business indiscriminately send large amounts of unsolicited commercial email (UCE). In recent years, spam content has expanded to include offensive advertising, malicious content and computer viruses.
The University of Idaho uses border e-mail anti-spam gateways provided by Microsoft to filter spam before it reaches our system. Additionally, ITS actively engages in rouge spam messages, and you can set personal spam filtering to block senders.
Office 365 allows easy creation of block lists and safe-sender lists by clients. To add a message to your block list, simply right click on the message in Outlook or OWA to bring up a menu and click junk->Block Sender. This will automatically create a new rule to always block messages from this user.
From the same menu, you can select Never Block Sender to add them to your whitelist, meaning all messages from this sender will go to your inbox without being affected by spam filter rules.
You can report messages incorrectly identified as spam to the ITS Help Desk at email@example.com. Please include full email headers with your spam messages. The easiest way to do this is to send the spam email as an attachment.
ITS uses the Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) anti-spam and email filtering system.
Extra care needs to be taken if you are sending out mailings to large numbers of users. It may be possible for legitimate messages to be blocked depending on how the messages are formatted, the text they contain and the number of recipients. Here are some steps we recommend to ensure your mailings are not affected:
- Make sure a copy of the message you send out is also delivered to your email account and/or others in your office. This is a good way to ensure the messages went through the system properly.
- Send a test message to yourself prior to sending it out to everyone. Each message will contain an X-SpamDetails: header that includes information about how the message scored by the anti-spam software.
- If you have a very large number of recipients (over 2000), contact ITS for assistance in sending out the message.
- Report to ITS any legitimate messages that are blocked. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and include the entire received message including complete headers. You can find instructions on how to obtain email headers through our header recovery tutorial.
- Do not provide your email address to any companies or webpages you do not trust. It is a good idea to read their “privacy statement” as well to see how your contact information will be used.
- Make sure your email address doesn’t appear on any web pages (e.g. search the web for your address).
- Start using spam filtering by following the instructions provided above.
- Delete spam messages without reading them. Many messages include web links to “phone home” to track active accounts.
- Do not respond to removal links or reply with “remove” to these messages. This is another technique used to verify email addresses.