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Anti-Spam Efforts at UCR

Spam poses a serious threat to productivity and Computing and Communications is therefore committed to providing effective solutions aimed at reducing the amount of unsolicited and unwanted e-mail that arrives at the e-mail inboxes of UCR faculty, students and staff.

During the past several years, UCR has utilized spam tagging as its primary defense against e-mail spammers. Spam tagging works by checking all incoming mail and rating the mail with a number; when this number reaches a certain level (determined by the campus) the e-mail is tagged as spam. This tagging process makes it easy to create a filter allowing an e-mail client (e.g. Eudora, Outlook, Webmail) to automatically move these messages to a spam (or trash) folder.

Unfortunately, great care must be taken to select the point at which e-mail is tagged as spam. Setting the threshold too low results in "false positives" (legitimate e-mail tagged as spam). Setting the level too high allows spam to avoid the tagging process altogether. Moreover, spammers (those responsible for sending spam mail) have become increasingly effective disguising spam as legitimate e-mail, thus avoiding campus tagging efforts.

As a result, Computing and Communications (C&C) has adopted additional measures aimed at further reducing the impact of spam at UCR. The latest initiative to control spam is SMTP authentication. SMTP authentication requires users connecting to UCR's e-mail servers to send mail from outside the campus network to possess a valid set of UCR credentials. Spammers, who frequently attempt to send mail with a fictitious @ucr.edu e-mail address, lack these credentials, and their e-mail is rejected by the system. UCR users on campus will be unaffected by these changes, but those who send mail from home, the road, or a personal handheld device should learn about changes they may need to make to their systems. More information on all of UCR's antispam initiatives can be found by clicking on the left hand menu.


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University of California, Riverside
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Computing & Communications

Computer Support Group
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Tel: (951) 827-3555
Fax: (951) 827-4541
E-mail: helpdesk@ucr.edu

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