Junk Mail and Spam

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This page covers information related to Spam and Junk Mail. You should also check out our page describing Phishing Scams and how to avoid them.

Junk email, also known as spam or unsolicited commercial email (UCE), frustrates and annoys most email users. The junk email process starts when a commercial entity (or several) learns of your University email account. The mass mailers then sell your email account to other commercial entities and before long, dozens of mass mailers are sending you spam. It becomes a daily chore to separate the good email from the bad, but there are steps you can take and steps the University is taking to make it easier.

  1. University email servers are configured to block junk email from the worst known sources. This method catches only the most flagrant mass mailers. It prevents close to half of the junk email sent to the University from ever reaching your mailbox. However, the University continues to receive more junk email than what the email servers can safely block without the risk that some valid emails will be blocked too.
  2. Don't give out your University email address to non-trusted sources (i.e.: free promotions, website registrations, sales people, contests, etc.). If you must provide an email address on a web form, establish a separate email account (e.g., Yahoo Mail, GMail, Hotmail, etc.) or read the provision of the website's privacy policy about distributing email addresses. Generally speaking, reputable companies do not sell or distribute email addresses.
  3. Think twice about using the "opt-out" option that many junk emails offer in their messages. Clicking the "opt-out" button tells a mass mailer that the email address is valid and that someone is reading it. This encourages them to continue sending mail to that address and to sell the address to other mass mailers. An "opt-out" option is generally only effective when the message comes from a reputable company.
  4. Use junk email filtering. Junk email filtering is now available to all University email users on an "opt-in" basis. Junk email filtering does not block junk email, but delivers it to a special folder in your mailbox. This allows you to periodically check the junk email folder for messages that may be spam.

    To filter your junk mail on Exchange, do the following:

    1. Log into your email via Outlook Web Access.
    2. Click Options.
    3. Check the Filter Junk E-mail box under Privacy and Junk E-mail Prevention.
    4. Click Save and Close.