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Whitelisting BULK: Mail Using GroupWise Rules

By Jason Gutierrez, Network Computing Services Messaging Specialist

Bulk E-mail or Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE) - SPAM by another name - is a growing concern at UNT and across the nation/world. The Network Computing Services Team provides bulk E-mail filtering to help you manage this type of mail better. E-mail that is likely unsolicited now includes the word "BULK:" before the subject of the message. 

This E-mail filtering has been going on for some time now and you should be familiar with the spam filter that actively evaluates messages based on their content to determine if they are likely to be undesirable bulk mail. There is a tutorial, called GroupWise "BULK:" E-mail Filtering , that will teach you to create a rule to filter this mail out of your main inbox and redirect it to another folder. You will need to take this tutorial before attempting to Whitelist your GroupWise mail (described below).

As some have noticed, the process of defining mail as BULK: is not a foolproof endeavor. On occasion, E-mail that comes from a legitimate source is mistakenly labeled as BULK:. Legitimate mail that is mistakenly marked BULK: is known as a "false positive." The question is now, how can I make sure that false positive E-mail is not filtered into my BULK mail folder or sent to the trash (which ever location you have decided to redirect your BULK: tagged mail)?

Whitelisting your E-mail, a tutorial

The answer is to "whitelist" your E-mail. Whitelisting E-mail is the process by which you tell GroupWise that even though a message is tagged as BULK, it belongs to a trusted group of E-mail senders and should not be filtered along with undesirable mail.

NOTE: This tutorial is a companion to the GroupWise "BULK:" E-mail Filtering tutorial. Complete this tutorial only after completing the BULK mail tutorial or it will not work. This tutorial is also available on the NCS Website here.

Step 1) Create the rule to identify legitimate E-mail.

  • From the Tools menu, select Rules.
  • In the Rules window, click "New..."
  • Name the Rule "Whitelisted BULK Mail"
  • When event is... New Item, mark the checkbox labeled "Received" (should be the default).
  • If conditions are ... make sure none of the boxes are checked.

Step 2) Define the filter

  • Click the "Define Conditions..." button and refer to the image for an example and explanation below.

define conditions screen shot

Your filter definition should follow this example. I'll explain:

A) The first line of the filter should read exactly like the example above.

Subject |->(begins with) BULK: End Group

This line tells GroupWise to look for mail that is tagged BULK: in the beginning of the subject line.

B) After you enter End Group at the end of the first line, a drop down menu appears centered below.

And - This will begin a second series of filter parameters.

From [] (contains) E-mail@ddress.com Or/End

This second series of parameters is the list of E-mail addresses that you want to whitelist. In the first line I have entered '@domain.com' which tells GroupWise that mail from this E-mail domain fits my description of legitimate E-mail. This of course could be substituted with "@aol.com", "@charter.net", "@thisorthat.org", etc. By using a generalized E-mail domain you will allow all mail from this domain to pass, regardless of who sent it.

In the second line I have narrowed my criteria down to a specific person in a specific E-mail domain.Why? You may find it desirable to let some @yahoo.com users to E-mail you, but not ALL E-mail users from @yahoo.com to E-mail you. You should use your best judgment as to which type of filter to adopt for each whitelisted entry.

NOTE: It is important that when identifying multiple E-mail addresses to whitelist that you separate each line with the "OR" argument. If you use "and" then ALL criteria must be met for the rule to work, and this is not the effect you want for this rule.

C) At the end of your last E-mail filter entry, select End.

Later when you are editing this rule to add more entries to your white list, change the End statement in the last line to Or. Changing the last argument to Or will spawn a new line.

D) Click OK to complete the filter.

Step 3) Define the Action

  • From the "Add Action" drop down menu, select "Move to Folder".
  • A window will appear that allows you to browse your GroupWise account, mark the checkbox next to your mailbox then click "Move."

Move Item to Folder screen shot

  • Return to the "Add Action" menu and this time select "Stop Rule Processing."

    This will prevent the BULK mail rule (that you should already have) from acting upon whitelisted BULK mail.

  • Click the "Save" button. You are now finished with creating the Whitelist rule.

Step 4) Place the Whitelist rule above your Bulk Mail rule.

  • Click on the Whitelist rule you have just created and drag it above your BULK mail rule. (Absolutely necessary)

Rules screen shot

You should see a gold arrow appear to the left of the rule indicating the order you are placing it.

Step 5) Add more names to the rule. (optional)

  • If you need to add more addresses to your whitelist, return to the Rules window, select the Whitelist rule, and click the Edit... button.
  • Click the Define Conditions rule and add more E-mail addresses/domains to your list.