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Dartmouth uses a product called SpamAssassin to help filter spam in e-mail accounts. BlitzMail or third-party e-mail applications that are configured to use IMAP can use this filtering system. SpamAssassin does not stop e-mail from getting to you; it simply allows you to have most spam messages go directly into a folder within your e-mail account rather than cluttering up your In Box. You can then periodically review the messages in that folder and decide whether or not to delete them.

SpamAssassin works by assigning a "spam score" to each piece of incoming mail. It checks for a long list of characteristics that are associated with spam: for example, the word "viagra" in the Subject line; the sender information does not contain an actual e-mail address; the sender's IP address is on a blacklist of open relays; etc. Each one of these characteristics that the message contains increases the overall "spam score" of the message.

The higher the score, the more likely it is that the message is spam. A message with a score of 10 or more is very likely to be spam, a score of five is more tentative, and anything lower than that might be legitimate. For a more complete listing of the types of tests that SpamAssassin performs, see SpamAssassin.

See: to set up your account to handle the scores assigned by SpamAssassin.

Last Updated: 7/29/14