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Dartmouth uses a product called SpamAssassin to help filter spam in e-mail accounts. The new Blitz system, BlitzMail or third-party e-mail applications 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.

Setting up BlitzMail for Windows to Use SpamAssassin

Note: SpamAssassin is available for BlitzMail version 2.6.3b13 or higher. If you are using an earlier version, you can upgrade your version of BlitzMail or use your web browser to configure SpamAssassin for your e-mail account.

BlitzMail for Windows users should:

  1. Select BlitzMail from the menu bar, then Preferences, then the In Box tab.
  2. Click the Enable Spam Filter field so a check appears in the box to the left of the field.
  3. Next, drag the slide bar in the Sensitivity field to the sensitivity strength you want.
  4. Finally, set the Send Spam to Folder field to the folder within your e-mail account where you want all spam messages to be delivered. If you haven't already done so, you should create the folder to hold the spam. Then, click OK. Note: spam cannot be directed to a default folder in BlitzMail, such as the Trash folder. You have to create a unique folder in BlitzMail, and direct spam to that folder.

Monitor the e-mail messages that go into your designated spam folder over the next few days. If you are still getting too much spam delivered to your In Box, try setting the filter to a lower number and monitoring what goes into your spam folder.

If you are getting too many valid messages going directly into the folder designated for spam, try setting the filter to a higher number. You may need to make a few adjustments to the filter sensitivity level for the types of spam you receive.



Last Updated: 9/13/11