Heavy load, evolving technology make unsolicited e-mails tough to conquer
Out of 1.5 million messages received by CU’s e-mail accounts each day, Information Technology Services estimates 75 percent of those are spam.
Presently, CU’s e-mail accounts use the Barracuda Networks to filter spam. Each day BN sifts through close to a billion messages, blocking more than 900 million unwanted e-mails.
“The amount of spam over the last few years has exploded, from 2 million to 7 million messages per day. Spam messages are always changing and adapting to our systems, so they can be hard to block,” said ITS Communications Manager Greg Stauffer.
While scanning e-mails, the BN spam filter employs a set of rules to determine the likelihood of messages being spam on a scale of 1-10.
Messages between 4-8 are marked as “potential spam” and placed into the corresponding folder, while messages receiving a score higher than 8 are completely blocked.
Some students feel that even with the filter, CU e-mail accounts receive too much spam.
“I receive two or more spam messages a day, ranging from penis enlargement to credit card debt,” said junior architectural design major Ashley Adam.
Users can flag any messages they see as spam as well, thus blocking additional e-mails from that particular address.
To further reduce unsolicited messages, ITS has also enabled client-based filters. Under the ‘options’ link on CU Link, users can add personal filters to their own e-mail account and decide what conditions incoming mail must meet to reach the inbox.
Another way to avoid spam is to utilize the message forwarding option included in every CU Link e-mail account. With this feature, all mail can be forwarded to another mail server such as Gmail, which has superior spam filters. On the other hand, those who keep receiving unwanted calls from different companies or telemarketers may seek a service that helps stop spam calls.
“I was receiving an awful lot of spam until I decided to change the security settings on my e-mail. Since then, I have received less than two junk e-mails a week,” said Mickey Citarella, a sophomore marketing major.
Currently, ITS is changing the e-mail routing system to make it more difficult for spam to pass through CU’s many mail servers. To aid in this process, users should register any alternate CU e-mail addresses under their CU Connect account.
Helpful tutorials and FAQ are available on the Information Technology Services Web site, including step-by-step videos illustrating how to change spam filter settings.
Contact Campus Press staff writer Devon Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org