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Spam

"Spam" is the popular term for unsolicited email (some systems including Outlook refers to it as "Junk Email"). On the whole, at least 85% of Internet traffic is spam. At Roosevelt, our anti-spam appliance blocks something on the order of 45,000 spams per day.

Tips on Avoiding Spam

  • Do not respond to spam. Doing so only indicates the validity of the email address.
  • Do not give your email address out when filling out online forms.
  • Sign up for a free email account from Yahoo, MSN, etc., and use that account for web regsitration forms, software registration, newsletters, etc.
  • Treat your Roosevelt email address as you would your home phone. Give it only to people you want to hear from.

If you’ve seen a sudden increase, it may be because of some Web site you recently visited or provided an address to. Or a "zombie" may have harvested your address.

The University uses Proofpoint, a dedicated spam and virus filter to minimize the amount of spam that reaches faculty and staff inboxes. For more information on using and customizing Proofpoint to meet your needs, please visit the user guide Blocking Spam with Proofpoint. The student email system, myMail, contains its own internal junk mail filters.

Outlook (Entourage on the Macintosh) and many other email clients contains their own anti-junk mail tools. These systems operate on messages that have already been passed along by Proofpoint and their configuration is completely independent of the action of Proofpoint.

Remember that some spam is engineered to avoid being filtered, so you’ll never get it all. Also, fighting spam is not an exact science. Antispam tools are design to detect the most obvious examples of spam, but spammers are expert at working around the filters and some junk mail will always get through. It is possible to increase the power of a spam filter, but that inevitably results in the trapping of legitimate mail that happens to look like spam to the filter (for example, mailing list messages). This is the common problem of "false positives" -- collateral damage that results when messages you want to see are identified by the system as spam. Most spam filters, including both Proofpoint and Outlook, provide ways to create safe and blocked senders lists (sometimes known as whitelists and blacklists) as an additional way to increase the precision of the antispam application.