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Spam Filtering at MSRI

Our SpamAssassin filter is set to mark spam by inserting "[SPAM]" into the subject line, as well as insert various informational headers that indicate the "Spam score" the message received, and what particular features of the mail added to this score. You can keep marked spam out of your mailbox by a number of ways. You can create a filter/rule in your mail client, such as Thunderbird, Outlook, Eudora, or Mac Mail, or you can create one via webmail.

In order to create a filter on webmail, based on the "[SPAM]" label, follow these steps:

  1. Log in to https://webmail.msri.org.
  2. Click on the "Filters" link at the top of the screen.
  3. Click on the "Add a new rule" button to add a new rule.
  4. In the "CONDITION" section, click on the first drop down menu that says "To: or Cc". Change this to "X-Spam-Flag".
  5. Type "YES" into the text box after the menu that says "contains". You can ignore the other Condition lines.
    If you prefer, you may choose to use the other spam-related headers such as "X-Spam-Level" and "X-Spam-Status" instead of the "X-Spam-Flag" line. This would give you a bit more control over exactly which spam you filter.
  6. Continue to the "ACTION" section.
    At this step, you can choose whatever you'd like to happen to your spam messages. You can choose to "Discard Silently", meaning the message will never be delivered to you. This is not advisable, as SpamAssassin is capable of making a mistake by tagging a real message as spam. Instead, you can choose to "Move message into" another folder, such as "Trash", "Spam", "Junk E-mail" or a new folder of your own choice.
  7. Make sure you have selected the ACTION you want to be taken with your spam, and continue to the "ADDITIONAL ACTIONS" section.
  8. Check the box next to the stop sign and "If this rule matches, do not check any rules after it."
  9. Click on the "Add New Rule" button.

Important: If you feel that you are not receiving some genuine e-mail and/or find genuine e-mail labelled as "[SPAM]", please do not hesitate to e-mail us at computing@msri.org and let us know. We can try to train our SpamAssassin to recognize your genuine mail in a number of ways, and we can help you with setting up filters to catch exceptions.