Postini – SPAM Filtering Service
WHY A SPAM FILTERING SERVICE?
The Office of Innovation and Information Technology has developed several measures to stem the onslaught of junk e-mails (i.e. SPAM). A list of known spammers’ IP addresses were blocked at the firewall, and firstname.lastname@example.org was created for users to forward junk e-mail, so that we can report offenders to authorities. These measures have helped, but not enough. Spammers continue to change their methods of attack so often that it becomes impossible to keep up with without dedicated manpower. Reports come in daily from our campus users regarding all types of SPAM (get-rich-quick schemes, offensive or obscene content, hoaxes and viruses). SPAM is costly affecting bandwidth, storage, and e-mail servers not to mention the lost productivity dealing with SPAM messages.
The SPAM problem has become so pervasive affecting thousands of corporations, educational institutions and government entities. President Bush recently signed into law anti-SPAM legislation which regulates the sending of unsolicited commercial e-mail messages, more commonly known as “SPAM.” The law took effect Jan. 1, 2004. The legislation sets fines and prison terms for sending unwanted commercial e-mail. The Texas Attorney General also signed into law anti-SPAM legislation which became effective on Sept. 1, 2003 under H.B. 1282, making it illegal to send unsolicited commercial e-mail that uses misleading subject lines or obscene material without required labeling.
HOW IT WORKS
Someone out in the world sends mail to email@example.com. Before it is delivered to Lee College it is evaluated at Postini. If it passes the filters for viruses and the filters for junk mail it goes on to Lee College to firstname.lastname@example.org. If it fails either test it waits at Postini. Periodically a single message is sent to email@example.com saying: “We have stopped x number of suspicious e-mails. Come on out to Postini with your web browser and check out your mail that we are holding for you.” You can safely review it there, choose to have it delivered or delete it that time. Postini will hold it for fourteen (14) days before deleting it.
Your legitimate e-mail messages are delivered to your e-mail inbox, just as they always have, but junk and virus-infected emails are routed to your Message Center. You can remove unwanted messages and deliver the ones you want from the Message Center. The service provides regular reminders to check your Message Center and review quarantined e-mail.
All quarantined messages are held for 14 days and then are automatically deleted. Valid emails are not stored or written to disk, nor are they physically accessed by any persons other than the recipient.
We are hopeful that this new service will save time and the frustration of junk e-mail. However, this is not a solution to all e-mail SPAM problems. Please continue to exercise caution especially with opening e-mail attachments from known and unknown sources.