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How You Can Block Spam

Roosevelt uses Proofpoint which is a spam and virus filtering service that evaluates incoming email messages and determines whether or not they should be allowed into your inbox. Since spam checking is not an exact science the system applies a series of tests and assigns each message a score based on the results of those tests. Think of it as a measure of the probability that the message is spam. The minimum score is 0 (definitely not spam) and the maximum is 100 (definitely spam). Proofpoint releases valid messages to your inbox, throws away anything that is obviously spam, and temporarily quarantines all other messages so that you can review them.

Proofpoint has been set up to protect all faculty and staff (@roosevelt.edu) email accounts. The student email service, myMail, contains its own built-in junk mail filter.

Managing Spam with the End User Digest

The End User Digest is a daily email report listing messages that Proofpoint has identified as probable spam. This is your quarantine list. These messages have not yet been released to your inbox, and you have the opportunity to evaluate each one and decide how it will be handled. Each edition of the End User Digest includes only those messages that have arrived since the previous digest.  

You will see displayed in this list only messages with spam scores between 50 and 99. Messages that score less than 50 are considered safe and are delivered directly to your inbox, and messages that score 100 are deleted immediately.

For each message in the report the digest list displays the sender's address, the subject line, and the date, the spam score, plus a set of commands. For each message you have four different courses of action.

  • Release. Click this command to move the adjacent message from the quarantine list to your regular inbox.

  • Safelist. This option not only releases the message to your inbox, but it also adds the sender's address to the Safelist, your personal list of approved senders. Any future message from that sender will be allowed through to your regular inbox regardless of its score. (It's also possible to create a Blocklist, which does the opposite -- see below for details).

  • Not Spam. Use this option to release the message and at the same time let the system know that the message is not spam so that similar messages in the future are less likely to be quarantined.

  • Do nothing (don't click any of the options). If you don't click any of the options and simply ignore the message it will remain in quarantine for 14 days and will then be deleted.

Other Digest Actions

At the top of the End User Digest are several other links that provide additional spam management tools.

  • Request New End User Digest. Clicking this link instructs the system to generate a new digest message listing any additional messages that have been quarantined since the last digest report.

  • Request Safe/Blocked Senders List. This command tells Proofpoint to send you an email message listing all of your safe and blocked senders. This enables you to review your current profile and make any necessary changes.

  • Manage My Account. Clicking this option opens a new browser window giving you access to several additional system tools. From this screen you can manage your safe and blocked senders lists and change your digest delivery options. See the next section for details on using this utility.

  • Help takes you to a concise guide to using Proofpoint.

Manage your Account

When you click the Manage My Account link in your digest message a new browser window will appear connecting you to the Proofpoint server. Look at the bottom of the left panel for links to the two main sections of this interface, Lists and Profile. Clicking on each of these options opens up additional choices in the left column, and each of those allows additional settings on the right side of the screen.

Click Lists to display or modify your safe and blocked lists. To display the details of either list click its name in the left panel.

You can make changes to either list using the icons at the top of the screen to add, delete, or modify an entry. Be sure to click Save after making your changes.

  • Lists > Safe Senders List. List here the addresses of senders whose messages you want to protect against being quarantined or deleted. For example, if you're on a mailing list that has a tendency to get high spam scores, entering the sending address here will ensure that the message always gets through. You can enter a specific address (for example, sender@goodisp.com) to allow only a specific sender, or you can enter the domain by itself (goodisp.com) to allow all messages from that source.

  • Lists > Blocked Senders List. List here the addresses or domains of senders whose messages you never want to see. Note that blocking senders is often ineffective against spam because spammers constantly alter their sending addresses in order to defeat filters like this. This tool is useful for blocking messages from senders who use a particular, constant address.

Click Profile to display two additional choices at the top of the left column, Settings and Account.

  • Settings > Send digest with new messages in my End User Digest. If this box is checked you will receive daily End User Digest announcements. If you don't want to receive these announcements, uncheck the box, but remember that by turning off notification you have no ability to check for "false positives" -- quarantined messages that turn out to be valid.

  • Settings > Send digest even when I have no messages in my End User Digest. If you check this box you'll receive a daily announcement even if there is nothing to report. To skip empty reports, uncheck the box.

  • Settings > Preferred Language. This one is self-explanatory. Choose your preferred language for your digest messages.

  • Account. Selecting this option displays the name of your account and any aliases that may apply. There are no settings on this screen that you can change.