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Email Filtering FAQs

This page explains how to work with our spam filtering system to glean out unwanted emails.

Email Security FAQ’s

– The below are links to different sections of this page.
– Click on a link to jump to that section.
– Below each section is a link to jump back to this area.

Introduction to Email Security
How does e-mail scanning work?
What is the Quarantine?
What is the Quarantined Mail Digest?
How do I release an email message from the Quarantined Mail Digest?
What are the Safe Senders (Safelist) and Blocked Senders Lists?
How do I send release an email and add the email address to the Safelist?
What happens to my email messages in the Quarantine?
What is a false positive and a false negative?
How do I request a new Quarantined Mail Digest
How do I request my Safelist and Blocked Senders Lists?
How do I Manage My Account?
Where can I go if I need more help or have further questions?

Introduction to Email Security

To protect the University community from virus attacks and you from receiving hundreds of spam messages, IT Services scans all incoming email with an email protection server. Outside email is scanned while internal email is not.

How does email scanning work?

All incoming email is scanned by the email protection server. Messages that contain a virus, or spam, or inappropriate content are “scored”. If the messages score high enough, the messages are sent to the Quarantine, where you can “take a look”at them without having them in your mailbox.

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What is the Quarantine?

Quarantine is a location on the 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 14 days.

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What is the Quarantined Mail Digest?

If email messages addressed to you are sent to the Quarantine, you will receive an email notification periodically called a Quarantined Mail 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 email addresses and the message subject headers to determine their content and as a result what actions you want to apply to the messages. (See below for an example).

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.

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How do I release an email message from the Quarantined Mail Digest?

Sometimes, the email 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 email box.

For example, you may be on a mailing list which sends you notices. You want to receive these notices, but the email protection server takes a conservative approach and scores these messages as spam, then sends them to the Quarantine. When you look at your Digest, you will see these are messages you indeed want delivered to your mail box.

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What are the Safe Senders and Blocked Senders Lists?

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 and manage your personal Safe Senders List to which you can add and remove 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 email protection server scans the message for a virus or inappropriate content, but does not scan for spam. If the message passes the scan then the message from this sender will be sent to your inbox.

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. You control and manage your personal Blocked Senders List to which you can add and delete the addresses of people, organizations, and mailing lists from which you do not want to receive mail.

If a sender’s address is included in the Blocked Senders List, the email protection server scans for viruses and inappropriate content, but does not scan for spam before sending it to the Quarantine.

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How do I send release an email and add the email address to the Safelist?

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In the example above, future messages from this sender will be sent directly to your inbox and will not be sent to the Quarantine.

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What happens to my email message in Quarantine?

If you do not release a message from the Quarantine, it will automatically be deleted after 14 days. 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.

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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 add it to your Safe Senders List. 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 unwanted email incorrectly identified as not being spam. An email message incorrectly delivered to your mail box because it was not identified as spam can be reported as a false negative to itworkorder@shepherd.edu.

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How do I request a new Quarantined Mail Digest?

Click on Request New Quarantined Mail Digest to receive messages that have been placed in Quarantine since your last Digest was sent.

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A browser window will open to let you know the request is being processed. It may take a few minutes to receive the new Quarantined Mail Digest in your inbox.

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How do I request my Safelist and Blocked Senders Lists?

Click on Request Safe/Blocked Senders List.

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A browser window will open to let you know the request is being processed.

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It may take a few minutes to receive the Safe/Blocked Senders List in your inbox. Click Delete to remove a sender from the list. Click Add to enter an email address to the list.

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When you click on add or delete, it will take you to your account.

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How do I Manage my Account?

The Manage My Account link allows you to:


Click on Manage My Account in your Digest.

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If your Safe Senders and Blocked Senders lists do not appear in the left column, click on Lists in the bottom left corner.

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Click on the list you wish to look at.

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You can add a safe sender to the list by clicking New. You can also Edit or Delete an existing address.

To choose whether or not you want to receive a Digest even when you do not have messages in the Quarantine, click on Profile in the bottom left corner.
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Click on Settings. Next click the check box by Send digest even when I have no messages in my Quarantined Mail Digest. You will receive your quarantine every day whether or not you have any quarantined messages.

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Where can I go if I need more help or have further questions?

If you need more assistance or have further questions, please contact the User Support Desk by phone at 304-876-5457 or e-mail us at itworkorder@shepherd.edu

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