New anti-spam system kicks in Nov. 29

The campus will step up its ongoing fight against spam on Nov. 29 when it implements spam filtering changes designed to reject hundreds of thousands of spam messages each day before users ever see them.

The changes are described in a Nov. 16th directive from Pete Siegel, vice provost for Information and Educational Technology.

The campus scores each email message according to factors that typically define spam. Starting Nov. 29, messages that score extremely high will not be delivered. Unless an email user changes his or her own settings, items that earn a moderate score will be sent to temporary holding folders (UCD-spam folders), where the recipient may read or retrieve them. After two weeks, messages left in the folders will be discarded too.

Email messages that score low on the spam scale will reach the user as usual.

Users who want to customize their spam threshold can do so by adjusting their settings.

There are two key reasons for these changes, Siegel said.

"The first is to give users more control and flexibility in defining their own spam filtering and deletion settings," he said in the directive. "The second is to reduce the increasing amount of spam processed through the campus email servers and delivered to users' mailboxes."

The campus email system processes more than 2 million email messages daily. Based on the scoring system, about 25 percent is spam. Another 50 percent is probably spam.

The directive includes specific advice for UC Davis email users, more details, and where to find help if needed. The changes apply to everyone who receives email from the campus email system.