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Spam Protection

Do you provide spam protection for email?

Absolutely. As a supplement to the excellent spam protection included in a standard CPanel hosting package we use an open source filter called MailScanner. MailScanner is powerful and configurable. The following questions and answers will provide more information on this service.

Will spam be deleted before I retrieve my email?

By default no email is deleted from your mailbox, unless you configure Mailscanner to do so. Any email reported by the system as spam will have the subject line modified and header records added (tagged) to indicate them so that you can automatically filter them from your inbox and place them in a separate folder so that you can check them at a later time. You can configure Mailscanner to delete email marked as Spam and/or Definitely Spam for you, but beware of the issues in the following answers to spam related questions.

What do I do if email is incorrectly tagged as spam?

If this is someone you receive email from regularly, you can add them to the whitelist box in your Mailscanner Configuration tool in your control panel. Another option would be to add an extra inbox rule in your email client to keep email from this person in your inbox.

Will all spam be detected?

No. All the email is scanned and assigned a score based on the likelihood that an email is spam. Thresholds are used to determine whether an email should be tagged as spam: it is important that this is done to help avoid false-positives and false-negatives. However, you will be surprised by how little spam will go undetected.

Is all email tagged as spam, spam?

Not necessarily. The system is not foolproof and there may ocassionally be instances where legitimate email is tagged as spam and where spam is not tagged as such. This is why all email is delivered by default, so you can filter messages in your email client and check through the spam to ensure there is no email that you actually need.

I don't need (spam/virus) checking, can I only have email scanned for one?

Yes, in your control panel you can configure the service to either scan for viruses, spam or both. The configuration is for all email accounts on your domain.

Will viruses be deleted before I retrieve my email?

Yes. All emails and file attachments are scanned for viruses. If one is found, the virus is removed from the email before it is delivered to your mailbox. You can also configure the software to delete any emails that have virus attachments, rather than receiving the cleaned email.

Will all viruses be detected?

No system can guarantee 100% detection, though nearly all infected files and dangerous file attachments should be caught using this service.

Do I still need a virus scanner on my computer?

Yes! Not only can the service not guarantee that all email viruses will be detected, there are many other ways that your computer can become infected. You should always install an anti-virus solution on every computer and ensure that it is constantly kept up to date.

How do I know whether an email has a virus or is spam?

There are two methods used to identify these emails to you. Firstly, the subject line of the affected email will be prefixed with one of the following:

  • {Virus?} - indicates that the email contained a virus and has had the attachment removed.
  • {Spam?} - indicates that the email is likely to be spam - you should filter these emails into a separate folder in your email client.
  • {Definitely Spam?} - indicates that the email is almost definitely spam because it got a very high detection score - you should filter these emails into a separate folder in your email client.

Secondly, additional headers are added to the email:

  • X-WTTW-VirusCheck: Found to be clean - indicates that the email passed the virus scanning tests.
  • X-WTTW-VirusCheck: Found to be infected - indicates that email contained a virus which has been removed.
  • X-WTTW-SpamCheck: spam - indicates that the email is likely to be spam and contains information on how the score was reached.
  • X-WTTW-SpamScore: ssssss - indicates the spam score for the email. Each s represents 1 point, so sssss indicates a score of 5. The service has a threshold of 5 for {Spam?} and 20 for {Definitely Spam?}

Can the system simply delete all email marked as spam?

Yes, although there is a small chance that legitimate email will be deleted and the sender will never know that you didn't receive it. We have found, though, that MailScanner has very few, if any false positives.

If you're happy that email marked as {Spam?}, and/or {Definitely Spam?} is always accurate, you can configure MailScanner to delete the messages before they are delivered to your mailboxes on the server. This is managed in your control panel. Go to the Mail panel and click on the MailScanner Configuration link . Choose the 'Delete' setting for low scoring spam (that marked {Spam?}) and/or High Scoring Spam (that marked {Definitely Spam?}). Click the "Change" button. This changes the settings for all email accounts on the domain. You might start with at least deleting high scoring spam.

Another alternative is to have all email marked as {Spam?}, and/or more suitably {Definitely Spam?} delivered to a specific email address. The default address is spam@yourdomain.com. You would need to create that PoP account first, then configure Mailscanner. If you want spam forwarded to a different address you would do this by clicking on 'Other Settings' and entering the email address where you wish the spam to be forwarded.

How do I configure my email program to filter messages that are tagged as spam?

This varies from program to program. However, the basics apply across most programs. This description is for Outlook Express:

  1. With Outlook Express open, click on the Folders icon in the left hand column of the Outlook Express window. Go up to the File menu and select Folder -> New.... Name the new folder Junk or Spam - something recognizable where you want spam email sent.
  2. Now go to the Tools menu item and select Message Rules -> Mail. Click the New button. You should see a window with 4 sections.
  3. In Section 1 select "Where the Subject line contains specific words". In Section 3 click on the blue text that says "contains certain words". In the new window that pops up type {Definitely Spam?} to filter email that Mailscanner has tagged as almost certainly spam. Then click the Add button. If you want to, you can add the phrase {Spam?} to filter out mail that Mailscanner has tagged as probably spam. Again, be sure to click the Add button. When you're done, click OK.
  4. In Section 2 select "Move it to the specified folder". Now in section 3 click on the blue text that says "specified". In the new window that pops up, click on the folder you just created in step #1. Click OK.
  5. In window #4 you can leave the default name of the rule or you can rename it something like "Spam Filter". Whatever you do, click OK again. Review your rule in the bottom window. Edit any part by clicking on the blue text if it needs it. When satisfied, click OK. That's it. You might have to quite Outlook Express and then start it again for the rule to take effect.

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