Pile on the Spam Filters

Last summer, as you were shedding extra layers of clothing that protected you from the cold winds and whipping rains of a Davis winter, the campus was working hard to add extra layers of protection to the campus spam filtering system.

Those of you with a discerning eye have since noticed that several new "UCD-quarantine" folders appear weekly in your MyUCDavis (aka "Geckomail") navigation bar. These folders represent the latest feature to help remove unwanted commercial emails (spam) from your inbox.

Quarantining Suspicious Emails
The quarantine system diverts messages that are most likely spam to these folders. Like the UCD-spam folders, quarantined folders remain live for four weeks. Every week, the oldest folder and the messages it contains are automatically deleted, thus minimizing the chances that your email account will exceed its space quota. To further free up space, you can delete the UCD-quarantine and UCD-spam folders yourself by using the "Manage Folders" option.

Each email message diverted to the quarantine folder contains many characteristics of spam, so it's unlikely a legitimate message will end up there. Nonetheless, you can open these folders and explore their contents to be sure. You'll likely see emails with headers like "Eoghan Zaragosa Mediwctions" and "SuperShares Investor."

Spam Filtering Options
The UCD-quarantine feature is part of a larger campus spam filtering system. Unlike the quarantine feature, the standard spam filtering service requires that you sign up, but the service is free and flexible. You can instruct the filter to perform any of the following options for you:

  • Filter as much spam as you can from my inbox, deleting it as it arrives.
  • Filter as much spam as you can from my inbox. Put it into my UCD-spam/UCD-quarantine folders and email me the Weekly Spam Digest, summarizing the folders' contents.
  • Filter only the messages that are most likely spam. W ith this option approximately the top 10 percent of all spam hitting campus servers is filtered.

To set up spam filtering, visit http://email.ucdavis.edu/secure/spamfilter.pl. There you can also turn off the quarantine feature if you want to receive those messages.

Allow/Deny Lists
Once you've set up spam filtering, you can customize the service by adding allow/deny lists. These are email addresses specified by you from which you will always or never receive mail. Email originating from an address you've put on your "deny" list is deleted before it reaches your inbox, and that originating from addresses on your "allow" list will be permitted to reach your inbox, even if they would otherwise have been filtered out. This is especially useful if the filter incorrectly identifies your mailing list or magazine subscriptions as spam. Visit email.ucdavis.edu/secure/adlist.pl to set up allow and deny lists.

Spam Filtering in Third Party Email Clients
If you use an email program like Eudora or Outlook, you may have additional spam filtering options at your disposal. Instructions for setting up spam filtering in UC Davis-supported programs are available at http://security.ucdavis.edu/spam.cfm. Select your program from the list on the right. Once you sign up, spam filtering shouldn't require much tending to, but if for some reason you run into problems, feel free to contact IT Express at 754-HELP, ithelp@ucdavis.edu, or by visiting them in 182 Shields Library.