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Spam

Anti-spam software lightens staff e-mail load

(March 9, 2005)--For UTSA faculty and staff who are tired of wading through e-mail messages offering low mortgage rates, cut-rate software and prescription medicine -- help is on the way. The UTSA Office of Information Technology (OIT) implemented the Advanced Spam Defense (ASD) filtering software package to help manage unsolicited e-mail messages.

Read more at the UTSA anti-spam information Web site.

Additionally, a new e-mail system for UTSA students with spam control is in development with a planned release of fall 2005.

The new software system allows a user to control the types of messages that come into their Outlook e-mail in-box. In addition to a few basic restrictions that will handle well-known spam and bulk e-mail messages, users will have complete control to decide if a message is legitimate or spam.

In the next few days, UTSA faculty and staff will receive an e-mail "subscription" message that acknowledges their account has been created in the ASD system.

ASD basic operation

All incoming email messages will be screened by ASD before being delivered to the user's Outlook mailbox. Those messages that ASD identifies as possible spam messages will be tagged with "[SPAM?]" in the subject line. Users may then set up Outlook rules to transfer these messages to their Junk Mail folder for further examination or to just delete them. For more information on how to create a rule in Entourage (for Macintosh users), go to http://moss.utsa.edu/faq/OSX/antispamrule.

Additional ASD functionality

ASD provides an additional level of functionality for users running Internet Explorer version 5.5 or later (all Microsoft Windows users at UTSA). Instead of forwarding all possible spam messages to your mailbox, ASD will hold those messages on its server and send you an e-mail message called a Quarantine Report. This report will be generated automatically approximately four hours after ASD captures your first suspected spam message.

The Quarantine Report will contain a list of messages that ASD has flagged as spam. Only messages that have been received since the creation of your ASD account will be screened. After you receive the report, review the list to see which messages have been marked for deletion. If you would like to send a message to your in-box or if you would like to preview a message, follow the directions below.

The ASD system "learns" your preferences quickly, and soon you will find that almost all of your incoming messages are going to the right place -- your in-box or your Quarantine Report. However, you should still check the Quarantine Report regularly to be sure you don't miss important e-mail messages. The flagged messages will be contained in the ASD system, and not your Outlook in-box, junk mail or quarantine folders. E-mail messages held in the ASD system will not count against your Outlook in-box space quota.

Approve icon

If a message in the Quarantine Report is from a legitimate sender, and you wish to receive messages from the sender in the future, click the Approve icon at the end of the message subject line. This releases the message to the in-box and allows messages from this sender in the future. Clicking on "Approve" requires you to log in to the ASD system.

Release icon

If you want a closer look at the message before determining if it is spam, click the Release icon. The message will be sent to your Outlook in-box, but future messages from this sender will be considered spam until you "teach" the software they are not spam.

To log directly into the ASD system and manage your e-mail messages, click the Policy Manager icon. Then, simply log in with your UTSA network ID and password.

User Policy Manager

The Policy Manager application allows you to easily create/edit/delete personal spam rules, view the full contents of your Personal Quarantine and set preferences, such as how long to retain quarantined messages and how often you would like to receive a spam report.

The User Policy Manager requires the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser version 6.0 or later. For best results, and to ensure that you do not overlook important e-mail messages, check your Personal Quarantine regularly.

Recycle time

Currently, quarantined messages are retained for a maximum of 21 days. You can reduce the recycle period via the Settings tab within the Policy Manager tool, but you cannot extend the time period. When a message's recycle time has been reached, it is automatically and permanently deleted. Please note that deleted messages are not recoverable, so be sure to check your quarantined messages often.

Your responsibilities

Don't forget -- you are responsible for reviewing your quarantined messages. It is important to review your quarantined messages to ensure that legitimate messages are not quarantined as spam and eventually deleted.

For more information, contact the OIT Help Desk at (210) 458-5538.

--Alex Morones

University Communications
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