When you check your email each morning, you are most likely greeted by advertisements for discount medication, home loans, and other services you never inquired about. Unfortunately, these messages are not merely annoying; they also pose a security threat to you and your computer. Many spam emails come armed with attachments containing hazardous viruses or spyware. The former can damage your computer, while the latter can be used for identity theft. UC Davis takes these threats seriously and, in its continuing effort to curtail spam, has recently enhanced the spam filtering service first implemented in May 2003. What's more, the recent addition of Allow/Deny Lists permits users to customize the service by specifying certain email addresses from which they always or never want to receive email.
Activating the Spam Filter
UC Davis provides a spam filtering service that will help you contain the number of unwanted messages you receive. What's more, the spam filtering site presents information and instructions for using additional anti-spam resources. The filter takes just moments to activate: simply visit security.ucdavis.edu/spam.cfm and follow the instructions listed under "Campus Spam Filtering." According to your preference, the spam will then either be tossed out immediately or rerouted to a spam folder housed on UC Davis Web-based email (aka Geckomail). Note that this folder will always be kept at the UCD server, so if you use another email client to check your email (e.g., Eudora, Outlook), you will need to visit the UCD email site if you wish to access your spam folder.
Protecting Your Listserv from Spam
You can help protect your listserv subscribers from receiving spam through the mailing address by setting up a spam filter for your listserv. To establish spam filteri ng on lists you own, visit email.ucdavis.edu/spamlistowners.html for instructions.
Eudora, Outlook, and Other Email Client Users
If you check your email using Eudora, Outlook, or some other email client, you can set up the spam filter as mentioned above, but you should also visit your client home site for instructions on spam filters they provide. These should be employed in addition to, not as a substitute for, the UC Davis spam filtering service. You stand the best chance of limiting unwanted email by attacking the spam from many angles.
Allow/Deny Lists: Refine Your Spam Filtering Service
If in the past you disabled your campus spam filter because messages you wanted were mistakenly regarded as spam, the new Allow/Deny List service--accessible through the Spam Filtering Web site (security.ucdavis.edu/spam.cfm)--will take care of this problem by permitting you to designate email addresses that should make it to your inbox (allow). Conversely, if you consistently receive unwanted messages from a particular address, you can now specify that this address be blackballed (deny), thus sending those emails into your spam folder. Please note that the Allow/Deny Lists can be used only if you indicate that you'd like your spam sent to a spam folder. If you want your spam to be trashed, rather than sent to a MyUCDavis folder, you will not be able to employ the Allow/Deny Lists feature.
Since its creation, the campus spam filter has prevented more than 126 million spam emails from entering the inboxes of faculty, staff, and students across campus. While no single spam filter will eliminate unwanted messages from crossing your desk, implementing this and other such filters will help reduce the number of pesky intrusions into your work day.