Spam Filtering and Virus Protection




How Spam Filtering & Virus Protection Works

 

Datarealm uses a Spam Filtering system based upon SpamAssassin and its rule sets. If you elect to activate Spam Filtering & Virus Protection on your domain, all mail to that domain will be sent through our spam and virus filters before it reaches the appropriate inbox. Mail identified as spam and mail identified as containing a virus are handled in two different ways.

 

Any message containing a virus will not be delivered to you. All virus-infected mail is quarantined on our servers. If a virus is not delivered, it will not be able to propagate when a user unwittingly opens an attachment, for example.

 

Any message identified as spam by our spam filters will be delivered to the appropriate inbox. If a filtered message is considered spam it is marked with a "***SPAM***" tag in the subject. As soon as you enable our filtering you should start to see messages with this clear tag in the subject. Below, we will show you how to set up filters in Webmail and/or your e-mail client, so that mail tagged as spam will go to its own directory. You can then choose to ignore, delete, or read through your spam folder. This way, none of your mail is inadvertently deleted. If a message is incorrectly tagged as spam, you can find it and take steps to try and prevent similar messages from being tagged as spam in the future.




Installing Email Protection

 

The first step in adding Spam Filtering and Virus Protection to an address or addresses is to Activate your domain for Spam & Virus Protection. To do this, log into your Control Panel (e.g. http://www.example.com/admin); click on the tab; then click on the Email Protection menu item. This page will display all of the domains and subdomains in your account. If you would like to add Spam & Virus Protection to a domain, simply check the Activate Protection box next to the domain you wish to activate and click the button. You will see a success message at the top of the page and your domain will be listed in the 'Current Spam & Virus Protected Domains' section if it was added properly.

 

Please Note: A $10 monthly fee will be applied to your account for each domain activated.





Configuring Email Protection

 

Once you have activated Spam & Virus Protection for a domain, you have the option to Configure Protection Settings. Clicking this link will take you to the default settings for all mail sent to all addresses under the activated domain. That is, the default behavior of your Spam & Virus Protection is for the same settings to be used for all addresses under the protected domain. For many of our users, this level of control will be more than adequate. Here is how to configure the default settings:



The Spam Score


The spam portion of your Spam & Virus Protection is based largely upon Spamassassin's scoring system. This works by passing each mail message through numerous small tests. Some tests add positive points to the message; others add negative points. Once all of the tests have been run, a final Spam Score is assigned to the message. The higher the Spam Score, the higher the probability that the message is spam.
When you set the Spam Score on the Protection Settings Configuration page, you are establishing the score a message must reach in order to be classified as spam. Once you set a Spam Score, any message sent to you that achieves or surpasses your set Spam Score will have an extra header added to the message, identifying the message as spam. If a message is scored below your set Spam Score, it will be delivered to your inbox as usual.


The important thing to remember is that even legitimate mail that should come through to your inbox will often carry some kind of positive Spam Score. For this reason, we suggest plenty of testing before settling on a desired Spam Score. If too much spam continues to get through to your inbox, consider lowering your Spam Score. If too much legitimate mail ends up getting tagged as spam, you probably need to raise your Spam Score. Two great tools to use in conjunction with your Spam Score setting are Whitelists and Blacklists...

 

 

The Whitelist


A Whitelist is a list of addresses that should always be allowed to send mail to you. Whitelists work with our Spam Filtering software in the following way. When the spam portion of your Spam & Virus Protection is determining a message's Spam Score, if the message came from an address in your whitelist, the Spam Score is automatically dropped by 50 points. So, if you want to be sure you always receive mail from a certain address (i.e. 99.9% of the time the message is not marked as spam), add that address to your Whitelist.

 

Please Note: You can whitelist individual addresses (e.g. user@example.com) and/or entire domains (e.g. @example.com). If you wish to whitelist a domain, it will not be added unless you remember to begin the entry with an '@' (e.g. @example.com).

 


The Blacklist


As you may have guessed by now, a Blacklist is a list of addresses who should never be allowed to send mail to you. Blacklists work with our Spam Filtering software in the following way. When the spam portion of your Spam & Virus Protection is determining a message's Spam Score, if the message came from an address in your blacklist, the Spam Score is automatically increased by 50 points. So, if there is an address that constantly sends you mail you do not want (or want to be marked as spam), simply add that address to your Blacklist.

 

Please Note: You can blacklist individual addresses (e.g. user@example.com) and/or entire domains (e.g. @example.com). If you wish to blacklist a domain, it will not be added unless you remember to begin the entry with an '@' (e.g. @example.com).

 

For those users who prefer or require finer-tuning for specific addresses under a Spam & Virus Protected domain, please continue on to Address-Specific Settings...






Address-Specific Settings

 

When you add Spam & Virus Protection to a domain, all POP accounts and Forwarding Aliases under that domain receive protection. Furthermore, all of the protected e-mail addresses share the same Spam Score, Whitelist and Blacklist settings. Sometimes, however, you need more control. Mail sent to one address under your domain may be considered spam, but a second address may not want that same message marked as spam. For this reason, we allow you the freedom to create separate, unique settings for all individual e-mail addresses that fall under your Spam & Virus Protected domain. And the best part? It does not cost you anything extra to configure individual addresses!

 

The first step for configuring an address under a protected domain is to Enable Address-specific Protection. To do this, go to the Email Protection page of your Control Panel and click on Configure Protection Settings for the domain of the address you wish to configure. You should now be on the Email Protection Configuration page for the domain of the address in question. The top section of this page is the Default Settings section detailed above (default Spam Score, Whitelist and Blacklist settings for all addresses under the domain). To configure a specific address, find the address in the next section on the page. If Address-specific Configuration is not yet enabled for the address in question, check Enable Address-specific Protection next to the address you wish to configure, and then click the button.

 

Your address should now appear in the 'Specifically Configured Addresses' section of the page with a Configure Address Protection link next to the address. Clicking on Configure Address Protection will take you to the Email Protection Configuration page for your selected address. This page will look very similar to the previous page. The only difference is you cannot select other e-mail addresses to configure from this page. All you need to do is set the Spam Score you want to use for this address, and then - if necessary - add e-mail addresses to the Whitelist and/or Blacklist for your selected address. Click the button, and your settings for this particular address will be set.

 

If, at any time, you wish to revert back to using the default settings for all addresses under your domain, simply go to the Email Protection Configuration page for your domain; check 'Disable Address-specific Protection' next to the desired address in the Specifically Configured Addresses section of the page; then click the button at the bottom of the page. Your address will now use the default settings for all addresses under the protected domain.

 





Adding Filters to Your Email Client

 

Now that your mail is being sent through Datarealm's Spam Filters, you will need to configure your Email Client to collect all spam in a folder separate from your inbox. Here are the instructions for configuring Datarealm's Webmail, as well as the basic information needed to configure your own Mail Client:



Webmail

The first thing you need to do is create a 'Junk' folder for collecting all mail marked as spam. To do this, go to http://webmail.datarealm.com and log in. Once logged in, click on the Folders link at the top of the page. In the text area below Create Folder, enter the name of your 'Junk' folder (e.g. INBOX.Spam); then, click the Create button. If the folder was created, this message should appear at the top: Created folder successfully! If you click the refresh folder list link below the success message, your new folder will appear in the left menu with the other folders in your Webmail account. Congratulations! You are now ready for step two...

 

Now, you need to create a filter that will send all incoming spam into your newly created 'Junk' folder. To do this, click on the Options link at the top of the page. Next, click on the link to Message Filters. At the top of this page, you will see What to Scan: 'Only unread messages' or 'All messages' - this determines if you want all of your message filters to be applied to all new, incoming messages or all messages currently saved in Webmail. We suggest setting What to Scan to 'Only unread messages'. However, if you use a third party Email Client to read your e-mail most of the time (and only occasionally use Webmail for checking e-mail), then you may want to set What to Scan to 'All messages'. Either way, choose one and click the Save button.

 

Now, click on the New link. Three fields should appear on the page. Under the 'Match:' field, select 'Subject'; in the 'Contains:' field, enter: ***SPAM*** ; and in the 'Move to:' field select your newly created 'Junk' folder. Click the Submit button, and you should now see your new filter displayed. It should read something like this:  

 

If Subject contains ***SPAM*** then move to INBOX.Spam

 

That's it! You are all set. Now all mail that Datarealm's Spam & Virus Protection marks as spam will be out of your inbox and saved in your 'Junk' folder. 

 

 

 

Other Clients

 

As in configuring Webmail, the key to setting up spam filtering in your Email Client is to:

 

1) Have a 'Junk' folder into which spam can go

 

2) Know how to identify messages our filtering system has marked as spam : Just look for ***SPAM*** in the subject

 

The first step should be pretty straightforward. In many of today's Email Clients, a 'Junk' or 'Spam' folder already exists. If not, or if you would like to create a separate 'Junk' folder to track mail marked as spam by Datarealm's Spam & Virus Protection, simply create a New Folder within your Email Client. If you are unsure how to do this, please consult your Email Client's documentation. We have included instructions for some of the more popular clients below. Once you have a 'Junk' folder ready to accept incoming spam messages, the next and final step is to create a filter. This can be a bit trickier, but your Email Client's help section and/or documentation should provide detailed instructions on creating a mail filter. The filter should check all incoming mail for your address, looking in the subject for :***SPAM***

 

If the subject contains the above tag, it should be moved into your 'Junk' folder. Optionally, your Email Client's filter may let you do other things to the message (e.g. set status to 'Junk', apply a Label to the message, etc). It is perfectly fine to apply other actions to the message after it has moved to your 'Junk' folder. If you would like to apply a Label to identify your message as 'spam' as indicated by Datarealm's Spam & Virus Protection, or if marking the message as 'Junk' helps your Email Client to better identify incoming messages that are spam, then go ahead. The important thing is to have your spam messages separate from your Inbox - and following the directions above will do that.

 

If you need help creating a junk folder or filter in your email program, please contact us. We will need to know what email program you are using to manage your email and we will do our best to help! 

 

 

 

Removing Email Protection

 

If, at any point, you wish to completely remove Spam & Virus Protection from a particular domain on your account, the process could not be simpler. Log into your Control Panel (e.g. http://www.example.com/admin); click on the tab; then click on the Email Protection menu item. Under the Current Spam & Virus Protected Domains area, find the domain for which you would like to remove Spam & Virus Protection. Check the Deactivate Protection checkbox and click the button. You should see a success message at the top of the page, informing you that Spam & Virus Protection has been removed for the domain you selected.

 

Note that the removal will be indicated on your next invoice, and you will no longer be charged for Spam & Virus Protection services on the deactivated domain.

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