All mail arriving at our servers from outside will be passed through a set of filters which attempt to classify it as spam or non-spam. You can customize your SPAM setting by following the instructions here.

Once the classification has been made, special headers are inserted into the mail message, and the mail is delivered as usual. Note that all mail will continue to be delivered. You are responsible for filtering the incoming mail and doing with it what you will. The computer support group will not make decisions about the content of your mail or what to do with it other than to add these spam classification headers.

The only exception to this rule is when mail is found to be infected by a known virus. In this case, the virus is removed from the mail (or attachments) and the mail is delivered along with a notification of what was removed.

For the foreseeable future, we do not recommend simply throwing away messages filed as spam. We expect to be trying new filters from time to time, and while we test these filters extensively before we add them to the system, we cannot be sure that they always lead to the desired result. Check your spam regularly, just in case…

In our filtering system, a tag will will be added to each message. The tag is as follows:


This tag will be added to the subject line of each message so you can easily setup a filter to move all your SPAM messages to a separate e-mail folder that you check once a day or so.

Each message will have information about why the system marked it as SPAM and then the original message will be an attachment to the SPAM notification. To read the original mail simply click on the attachment.

Instructions for Various Mail Readers

In the following, you will be instructed to move all spam to another mail folder. Most mail readers provide an option for throwing away mail. We strongly recommend that you do not throw away your spam, at least not for a few months until you are confident that the classifier is doing what you want. Periodically check the mail classified as spam. Once you have done this, you can bulk delete the entire contents of the spam folder, confident it will soon fill up again.

Here are instructions for setting up your mail reader for filtering spam based on the special headers introduced above.

Note that this is not Outlook Express (see below).

  1. Go to Tools->Rules Wizard…
  2. Click ‘New…’ (on the top right)
  3. Choose ‘Check messages when they arrive’
  4. Click ‘Next’.
  5. Check ‘With specific words in the message subject’.
  6. Click on ‘specific words’.
  7. Type in: ***SPAM (three asterisks on each side of the word SPAM)
  8. Click ‘Ok’.
  9. Click ‘Next’.
  10. Check ‘Move it to the specified folder’.
  11. Click on ‘specified’.
  12. Choose an existing folder (such as Deleted Items or Junk E-Mail) or create a new folder to which you would like mail classified as spam to be moved (e.g. Spam)
  13. Click ‘Ok’.
  14. Click ‘Next’.
  15. Click ‘Next’. (Again, unless you want to add exceptions.)
  16. Give the rule a name. (The default is what you typed for specific words above.)
  17. Check ‘Turn on this rule’. (You may or may not want to check ‘Run this rule on my Inbox now’.)
  18. Click ‘Finish’.

Outlook Express:

  1. With Outlook Express open, move to the Tools menu and select the
    Message Rules option, then Mail
  2. If the “New Mail Rules” window does not appear, click on the New button in the upper right of the “Message Rules” window;
    the “New Mail Rules” window is displayed.
  3. Respond to 1.) Select the Conditions for your rule by checking the box next
    to “Where Subject line contains specific words.”
  4. Respond to 2.) Select the Actions for your rule by checking the box adjacent to “Move it to the specified folder”.
  5. Respond to 3.) Rule Description (Click on an underlined value to edit it) by clicking
    the highlighted words “contains specific words”; the “Type Specific Words” window will appear.
  6. Type ***SPAM and click the Add button and the OK button
  7. Click on the highlighted word “specified”; the “Move” window will appear.
  8. Choose a folder to which you would like mail classified as spam to be moved, or create a new one, then click OK.
  9. Respond to 4.) Name of the Rule by highlighting the words “New Mail Rule #1” and typing Spam Filter.
    Click the OK button.