Email (spam) Filtering
order to reduce the amount of junk mail (spam) reaching your
Inbox every day, Computing and Networking Services (CNS) has installed
Anti-Spam Filtering software at the UTORmail postoffice. The
software will redirect suspected spam from your Inbox to a folder
named junk-mail, which will be automatically created for you. Messages
older than seven days will be regularly deleted from your junk-mail
folder. You must regularly check your junk-mail folder for misclassified
good messages and move them to your inbox.
Here's How It Works
By default, the anti-spam filter has been turned ON for all UTORmail
With the anti-spam filter turned ON, messages that are suspected
of being spam are automatically delivered to your junk-mail folder
instead of your Inbox. Some spam messages may still be delivered
to your Inbox - anti-spam filtering is not perfect.
You can set anti-spam filtering to be very strict or less
strict depending on your tolerance for good messages being filtered
into your junk-mail folder. This is done by selecting one of four
spam filter risk levels: Low, Moderate, High or filtering OFF.
Low risk means fewer good messages may be detected as spam
means a few more good messages may be detected as spam
risk means even more good messages may be detected as spam
means all spam will be received in your Inbox
default, the filter has been set to Moderate.
Whatever risk level you choose, you must regularly check your
junk-mail folder for misclassified good messages that are captured
by the filter and move these messages to your Inbox or other folder.
Messages older than seven days will be regularly deleted from your
junk-mail folder. We encourage
you to delete messages from junk-mail once you have confirmed they
are all spam.
To change your
filtering level, here's what you do:
to Faculty and Staff: If you have
someone in your department responsible for maintenance of your computer
(installing software, fixing hardware and software problems, handling
network connectivity, etc), please check with them before making
to the UTORid account
management site, login with your UTORid password and select
the modify option
Option 4: change the risk level of junk email filtering
the option appropriate for you.
Click the "submit the modification request" button.
The change will be in place the next day. You can alter your anti-spam
settings at any time by returning to the UTORid account management
Each UTORmail customer can add email addresses to their accept list. Messages from senders on your personal accept list are always sent to your Inbox. Such messages will never be incorrectly identified as spam (also known as false positives).
In general, it is not necessary to add everyone who sends you messages to your accept list. False positives in such cases are rare. However, some newsletters have characteristics of SPAM, and the sender email address should be added to your accept list if you want to ensure delivery. (The technology used limits each person's accept list to 100 email addresses.)
The following describes how you can create and add email addresses to your accept list,
- Login to UTORwebmail at
- If you have an email message from the address you would like to add to your acceptlist, in the message index, click the checkbox in the left column next to the message. Then click acceptlist below the UTORwebmail toolbar.
It is also possible to directly manage the accept list,
Your changes should take effect within the hour.
- Click the Filters icon on the Webmail toolbar to go to a list of already existing rules.
- In the "Existing Rules" column, click the work acceptlist.
- An Accept List page will appear, where email addresses can be added or removed, one per line.
- When done editing the list, click the Save button at the bottom of the panel.
- After saving, click the Return to Rules List button at the bottom of the panel. Verify there is a green checkmark in the "Enabled" column next to the accept list rule. If not, click the red X to enable it.
Note that even though customers must use UTORwebmail to manage accept lists, the list applies to your messages no matter how you later access UTORmail e.g. UTORwebmail, Thunderbird, Outlook, Outlook Express, etc.
UTORmail Rejects Worst SPAM
Because of the massive volume of useless messages, beginning January 29, 2008, UTORmail is rejecting all mail from other post offices with a spam score equal to or greater than 99%.
is spam and where does it come from?
See the original
Spam FAQ - the time before filtering.
can't find my junk-mail folder!
The junk-mail folder should appear and require no additional intervention.
Should that not be the case, you may need to subscribe to junk-mail
in order to see it. Please consult with an advisor at the Information
Commons Help Desk for assistance in subscribing to the junk-mail
folder. Call 416-978-HELP.
my other email addresses also be filtered?
anti-spam filter function only works on email handled by UTORmail.
At present, only email arriving to addresses ending in @utoronto.ca
can be filtered.
Some departments run their own email systems independent of UTORmail.
Messages going directly to such systems are not affected by this
I forward mail from my UTORmail address to another address, will
my email be filtered?
If you forward email addressed to any non-UTORmail account, the
spam will not be filtered. The anti-spam filtering only works if
you are reading your email directly from the UTORmail postoffice.
happens to anti-spam filtering when I go on vacation and set my
When the anti-spam filter and the auto-reply function are on at
the same time, anti-spam filtering will happen first. This means
the vacation message will only be sent in response to messages that
get past the anti-spam filter. This is good since responding to
spam often just produces more spam and delivery failure notifications.
you will be away for more than seven days (remember messages
older than seven days will be regularly deleted from your junk-mail
folder), you may want to turn the anti-spam filter off or reduce
your risk tolerance setting to Low Risk. This will reduce the risk
that good messages which filter to your junk-mail folder will be
deleted in the seven day cycle.
email be delayed as a result of the filtering?
There will be a moderate delay.
happens if I accidentally delete my junk-mail folder?
Beginning in July 2005, the first time there is a message to be
delivered to the junk-mail folder, it will be recreated.
What if I really want spam in my INBOX?
Turn the anti-spam filtering off
anti-spam filtering also mean viruses are being scanned for?
http://www.utoronto.ca/ns/antivirus for details.
am technical staff, technically advanced or just curious about how
the anti-spam filter works - where can I find more information?
Please visit our advanced explanation
a good idea for POP email programs
Most people use email programs that read messages directly from
the central email servers using a technique called IMAP. Some people
use a method called POP which usually downloads your entire Inbox
to your local computer when you first connect to the email server.
POP has never been supported or recommended for UTORmail.
the anti-spam filter may seem to work when you use a POP email program,
it is not recommended because such email programs often do not give
you a simple way to check your junk-mail folder for any good messages
you might want to save.
you continue to use a POP email program and the anti-spam filter,
the suggested compromise is to use the Low Risk setting via the
UTORid management page.
Low Risk will minimize the chances that good messages will get into
your junk-mail folder.
wish to thank the University of Washington and the University of
Ohio for sharing their anti-spam documentation. We also appreciate
the technical expertise that the Unversity of Washington shared
Feb 1, 2008 updated for Jan 29, 2008 rejection of SPAM 99% and higher
Feb 1, 2008 replaced no virus scan with link to http://www.utoronto.ca/ns/antivirus
May 5, 2008 updated for inclusion of Accept Lists