Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Join the Fight Against Spam

Nobody noticed, but at 2pm on Wednesday we switched from spam protection delivered by a third party system, Cisco Ironport, to the native spam protection integrated with Gmail.

Google spam filtering works on a different model in which definite spam is destroyed before it gets near the University, but probable spam is delivered but placed in your spam folder. Your spam folder can be found by clicking the More link at the bottom of your left-hand list of email labels. It will change to a Less link and reveal four hidden folders including your spam folder.

For the first few weeks you should check your spam folder to see if any messages are incorrectly identified as spam. In Gmail you can use a button to mark a safe message as Not spam and this will ensure similar messages do not get falsely identified as spam in the future. In Thunderbird, in the message list, click the dot by the message to produce a flame or recycle icon, a new Not Junk button will appear in your message pane - click this to mark this and similar messages as being safe.

One big advantage of this system is that you can now actively join the fight against spam! If you receive any spam or fraudulent messages into your inbox you can use a button to mark these as spam. This will alert the Google processes which can then identify and flag up similar spam messages in future. In this way the University community can join the millions of Gmail users already fighting spam in this way and make it increasingly difficult for the spammers to get through.