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Client and Networking Service - Spam Filter

ProofPoint: KCC's SPAM Protection System for KCC E-mail Accounts

We have implemented the second phase of our new SPAM control system, this system will now send you every morning an email message listing the SPAM that is in the quarantine as of last night.  The email will come from spammanager@kcc.cuny.edu. Below is a detail explanation of how the system works. 

How the system works (Brief Overview of ProofPoint)
A KCC server scans incoming e-mail messages for spam properties and quarantine the messages that are scored as spam. Each weekday morning you will receive an e-mail message that contains a digest of the latest quarantined messages addressed to you. The subject line will read "End User Digest". If you take no action regarding these messages, they will be deleted from the quarantine in 14 days. However, you may examine the digest list in case a message was marked as spam incorrectly ("false positive"). See the section below on how to suspend your receipt of end user digests.
The digest lists 2 options next to each message:

(1) Release - delivers the quarantined message to your inbox.

(2) Safelist - delivers the message to your inbox and ensures that no e-mails from that sender will be blocked in the future.

Based on our use of the software, we have achieved settings that appear to yield an accurate distinction between spam and real e-mail.

If you are interested in knowing more about the anti-spam software we are using, here is a link to the vendor's web site:http://www.proofpoint.com/products/spam.php


Instructions for to ProofPoint Spam-blocking System

Your End User Digest displays a list of your email messages that are in the Quarantine. Your email administrator controls which actions you can apply to the messages, and which messages are included in your Digest. You may not see some of the links described in this Help in your Digest, or the links may have different names.

Release or Safelist: Actions on Messages in the Digest


The actions that you apply are sent as email requests to the administrator. Here are some examples of the actions you can apply to the messages in your Digest:

  • Release a message from the Quarantine. The message is delivered to your email box.
  • Release a message and add the sender of the message to your personal Safe Senders list. Future messages from this sender will not be sent to the Quarantine.

To apply an action (Release or Safelist) to a message in your Digest:

1. Click Release or Safelist. For example, click Release for a message to release it into your mailbox.
2. A new email message appears in your mailbox . Click Send to send the request to your email administrator.
3. Check your email box for the response to the request and your released message.
Other Digest Requests

You can also click the links in your Digest for other management requests. These requests are sent to the administrator by email. Here are some examples of requests that you can make:

  • Ask the email administrator to send you an updated Digest of recently blocked e-mails.
  • The updated Digest includes messages that have been placed in the Quarantine since your last Digest was sent.
  • Ask for your personal list of Safe Senders and Blocked Senders.


To request a new End User Digest (list of recent blocked e-mail) or your personal list of Safe Senders or Blocked Senders:

1. Click the link in the Digest for the request. For example, click Request New End User Digest.
2. Click Send to send the email request to the administrator. An email message appears with your request.
3. Check your email for a response to your request.

Manage My Account
The Manage My Account link is a special link that starts a web browser on your system. It allows you to make changes to your Digest from a web browser instead of using email to send requests to the administrator.

Examples of what you can do by clicking Manage My Account (using the web browser):

  • Add and delete email addresses from your personal Safe Senders and Blocked Senders lists.
  • Choose a Spam Policy from a list of policies the administrator has already set up. A Spam Policy is how your email is filtered for spam.
  • Choose whether or not you want to receive a Digest even when you do not have messages in the Quarantine. This is an "Empty Digest".


To launch a web browser to manage your Digest:

1. Click Manage My Account in your Digest. A web browser appears on your screen.
2. Click Settings on the left side to determine if you want to receive an empty Digest and to select a Spam Policy. Select the check boxes on the right side or click the radio buttons to make your selections.
3. Click Account or Profile on the left side to view your email aliases, if you have any. You cannot make changes to this list.
4. Click Lists to view and make changes to your personal Safe Senders and Blocked Senders lists.
Use the New, Edit, and Delete buttons on the top of the page to add, change, or delete entries to your lists.
5. Click Save or link to save your changes.

To suspend your receipt of digests:
1. Click Manage My Account in your Digest. A web browser appears on your screen.
2. Click Profile on the bottom left of the window.
3. Under My Settings click the box in front of "Send digest with new messages in my End User Digest."   This should uncheck the box.
4. Click Save at the top left of the window. The message "Successfully saved settings" should appear in the top right of the window.
5. Close the browser.

Manually block e-mail from specific senders
Users can manually block specific e-mail addresses.

Blocking senders is often ineffective against most spam because spammers change their identities very often, usually after each batch of spam they send out. They change their identities, and e-mail addresses, because they know spam from any specific address will be blocked.

That said, users may wish to block e-mails from specific companies or people who e-mail them from a particular, constant e-mail address.  To do so, users should click Manage My Account -> Blocked Senders List -> New -> [e-mail address to be blocked] -> Save.  Then close the browser.  All messages from the address entered will be blocked.

Glossary

Term Definition
blocklist A list of email addresses or domains (e.g., spamking@loser.com or spammer.com) which should never be delivered to you.
digest A daily email summary of your quarantined emails.
disposition The defined setting options for managing filtered mail. These include quarantine and digest, tag and pass, and do nothing to my mail.
filter Analyze individual messages for spam content.
pps-cmd The "sender" or from address in digest and other vumailguard system email.
quarantine The system storage location where emails likely to be spam (spam score is 70 or higher) are isolated.
release The command used to remove a message from the quarantine and deliver it to you.
report Notifying Proofpoint when an email is incorrectly indentified as spam. Reporting helps Proofpoint refine algorithms used to score email.
Safe Senders List See safelist.
safelist A list of email addresses or domains (e.g., kelly.t.user@vanderbilt.edu or welcome.com) which should always be delivered to you.
score The numeric rating assigned to an individual email on the basis of its spam likelihood. Messages with scores higher than 70 are considered spam.
spam Unsolicited electronic mail.
tag and pass The disposition option that delivers suspect emails instead of quarantining them. These emails have a tag and spam score in the mail header. It is best to set your mail client to filter tagged emails to a separate mailbox.

What is the Quarantine?

The Quarantine is a location on a server where email messages are stored temporarily because they might contain spam, a virus, or inappropriate content. If the message is infected with a virus, the virus is removed. You can release your messages from the Quarantine if you determine that they are not spam. Messages that are not released from the Quarantine are automatically deleted after a designated period of time.

What is an End User Digest?

If email messages addressed to you were sent to the Quarantine, you will receive an email notification, called an End User Digest (or Digest), in your mail box. The Digest provides you with a list of the messages addressed to you that are stored in the Quarantine. You can look at the message subject headers to determine their content and as a result what actions you want to apply to the messages.
You may also receive an empty Digest, which is simply an email message indicating that you have no messages in the Quarantine. You may want to receive a Digest even if it doesn’t contain any messages, so you can continue to manage certain aspects of your email.

How is the Digest implemented and managed?

The content in your Digest and the operations you can perform on your messages may vary greatly. You may see different sections or headings that represent the modules that filter the incoming email messages. Or you may simply see a list of messages with no indication which filtering module sent them to the Quarantine.
Links may be provided to perform certain operations, like releasing a message, reporting a message as spam, or requesting an updated Digest.
If you have web browser privileges, you can manage additional aspects of your Digest from a web browser, like requesting an empty Digest or selecting your own spam policy.

Why would I want to release a message from the Quarantine?

Sometimes, the Proofpoint Protection Server designates a message as spam even though it's a legitimate email. If you decide you want to read the message, you can release it. Releasing the message removes it from the Quarantine and delivers it to your mail box.
For example, you may be on a mailing list that sends you notices about new movies available on DVD. You want to receive these notices, but the Proofpoint Protection Server takes a conservative approach and scores these messages as spam and sends them to the Quarantine. When you look at your Digest, you will see that these are messages that you indeed want delivered to your mail box.

What happens to my messages in the Quarantine?

If you do not releasea message from the Quarantine, it will automatically be deleted after a designated period of time. So if you look at the messages in your Digest, and determine that all of them are spam, you do not need to do anything. The messages will automatically be deleted from the Quarantine.

What is a Safe Senders and Blocked Senders list?

There are two types of Safe Senders lists: the Global Safe Senders List and your personal Safe Senders List. Both are simply lists of legitimate senders of email.  The email administrator controls the Global Safe Senders List, which applies to everyone in the organization. You control your personal Safe Senders List to which you can add the addresses of people, organizations, and mailing lists from which you do want to receive mail.
If a sender's address is included in the Safe Senders List, the Proofpoint Protection Server filters the message for a virus or inappropriate content, but does not filter for spam.
There are two types of Blocked Senders lists: Global Blocked Senders List and your personal Blocked Senders List. These lists contain addresses of people, organizations, and mailing lists from which you do not want to receive “junk email.” The email administrator controls the Global Blocked Senders List, which applies to everyone in the organization.
If a sender's address is included in the Blocked Senders List, the Proofpoint Protection Server filters for viruses and inappropriate content, but does not filter for spam before sending it to Blocked folder in the Quarantine.

What is a false positive?

A false positive is an email incorrectly identified as spam. If an email message is scored as spam and sent to the Quarantine, but it really is a legitimate message from a legitimate sender, you can report it as a false positive. 
In the future, messages that have the same characteristics as the message you reported will not be placed in the Quarantine for containing spam.

What is a false negative?

A false negative is an email incorrectly identified as not spam. An email message that is incorrectly delivered to your mail box because it was not identified as spam can be reported as a false negative.
Spammers are very clever and are always finding ways to trick products like the Proofpoint Protection Server into delivering spam to your mailbox.  Proofpoint sends frequent updates to our organization in an attempt to stay one step ahead of the spammers. 

What is a spam policy?

Spam policies determine how the spam sent to you will be processed. For example, your spam could be deleted or quarantined. You can only select your own spam policy if you have web browser privileges. 

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