To help eliminate spam (junk) email messages, ITS announced Spam Trap, an optional spam filtering system for faculty, staff and student email accounts, in May 2003. We recently checked usage statistics and were surprised to find that only about 300 people (out of about 7500 IC community members) are using Spam Trap.
As an example of how effective Spam Trap is, our records show that on 2/21/05 the IC email system received about 93,000 messages from off-campus senders. More than 40,000 of those messages (about 44%) were identified as spam.
In order to reduce the processing load that spam messages cause for the email system, ITS has enabled a minimal level of spam scanning on all Ithaca College email accounts. This basic level of scanning will scan for messages which either contain a virus or are sent from known spam sites, and will reject such messages.
While this basic scanning level will help eliminate some of the more blatant spam messages, we’d like to encourage everyone who uses the Ithaca College email system to take advantage of Spam Trap’s more advanced scanning options to further reduce the amount of spam messages that are delivered to IC email accounts. Spam Trap allows users the option to either tag messages as spam (by a adding "[Spam:******]" to the beginning of the message subject, or to reject spam messages completely.
There are also options to create “whitelists” and “blacklists” to ensure that messages meeting certain criteria are always received (whitelisted) or never received (blacklisted), regardless of whether the system thinks the message is or isn’t spam.
Even if you don’t get many spam messages, it is still beneficial to use Spam Trap; the combined number of spam messages received by the people who don’t use Spam Trap adds up to a significant number of junk messages that the email system has to process and store (on the nightly backup tapes). The more spam that can be eliminated, the more efficient our system will be.
• To start using Spam Trap go to the Spam Trap website http://www.ithaca.edu/computing/quick_guides/spam/
• Spam Trap can also be accessed through Webmail, http://webmail.ithaca.edu/ (Options > Spam Trap)
We believe that you will find Spam Trap to be a very helpful tool in fighting the battle against email spam.
Contact the ITS Helpdesk at x4-3282 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.