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Managing Your Spam

By Claudia Lynch, Benchmarks Online Editor

The idea of "managing" spam may seem ridiculous at first, but due to the tireless efforts of a number of people in the CITC over a number of years, it really has come to the point that we all need to take an active role in managing what is defined and, perhaps more important now, not defined as "spam" by various systems in place here at UNT.

Spam, an overview

Before we get into the nitty-gritty of managing spam, lets talk about what, exactly, spam is. Spam, for the purposes of this article, is defined as "unsolicited or undesired electronic messages." The wikipedia entry where that definition came from states that there are many types of electronic spam, including:

  • E-mail spam, unsolicited e-mail.
  • Mobile phone spam, unsolicited text messages.
  • Forum spam, posting advertisements or useless posts on a forum.
  • Spamdexing, manipulating a search engine to create the illusion of popularity for webpages.
  • Spam in blogs, posting random comments or promoting commercial services to blogs, wikis, guestbooks.
  • Newsgroup spam, advertisement and forgery on newsgroups.
  • Messaging spam ("SPIM"), use of instant messenger services for advertisement or even extortion.

We're only concerned with E-mail spam in this article*.

How can I manage my spam?

First of all make it a habit to check your spam, or junk mail folders every few days. You might be surprised what gets put in there. You also need to check messages quarantined by the UNT anti-spam/anti-virus system, IronPort.

Outlook

The campus is progressing in our move from GroupWise to Microsoft Outlook. If you click on Help at the top of the Outlook screen and then search on Junk the following items (as of 2/14/08) will come up:

UNT Spam Quarantine

No matter what e-mail system you are using, you will need to check for messages that have been quarantined by the UNT mail host system at least once every two weeks. This is because of the anti-spam/anti-virus software system that was installed last November. To view your quarantined messages, go to http://spam.unt.edu and log in with your EUID and password. If a legitimate e-mail message was quarantined, check the box next to the message and then indicate that the message should be released for delivery by choosing an action - options include Release, Release and add to Safe List, or Delete - from the "Select Action" area and then clicking the Submit button. For example:

 
Displaying 1 — 25 of 59 items. Page 1 of 3
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From Subject

If you receive a spam message in your regular inbox, forward it, as an attachment, to spam@access.ironport.com and IronPort will tweak their spam detecting rules to block that kind of message in the future.

More information about using UNT Spam Quarantine can be found by clicking on the word Help in the top left-hand corner of  the spam.unt.edu screen and then choosing Online Help after you log-in to spam.unt.edu.

If you want to read up on UNT Spam Quarantine without logging-in, you can visit: https://spam.unt.edu/help/enduser_help .

If you need further information with regard to the UNT E-mail gateway, please contact Bahram Paiani at postmaster@unt.edu.


*By the way, did you know that spam is not new? In fact, spam delivered via the Internet or other electronic means will celebrate its 30th birthday this May. Really. Oh, and the term spam comes from the Monty Python Spam sketch which was first televised in 1970. See Brad Templeton's article Origin of the term "spam" to mean net abuse for further details.


Internet Alert: St. Valentine’s Day E-Card Carries Storm Worm Virus

See also: Storm Worm Sends Trouble for Valentine's Day  and Google News.
 

 

 

Please Note: The University of North Texas will never ask for personal information by e-mail.  If you receive an e-mail purporting to be from the University that asks for personal information or account passwords, do not respond.  If there is any question regarding the authenticity of an email, please contact UNT Information Security at (940) 369-7800.

 

 


Originally published, February 2008 -- Please note that information published in Benchmarks Online is likely to degrade over time, especially links to various Websites. To make sure you have the most current information on a specific topic, it may be best to search the UNT Website - http://www.unt.edu . You can also search Benchmarks Online - http://www.unt.edu/benchmarks/archives/back.htm as well as consult the UNT Helpdesk - http://www.unt.edu/helpdesk/ Questions and comments should be directed to
benchmarks@unt.edu

 

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