Spam is unsolicited email. Spammers collect email addresses from chatrooms, websites, customer lists, newsgroups, and viruses which harvest users' address books, and are sold to other spammers.
What are some examples of spam?
Examples of spam include:
- Chain letters
- Pyramid schemes (including Multilevel Marketing, or MLM)
- Other "Get Rich Quick" or "Make Money Fast" (MMF) schemes
- Ads for pornographic websites
- Offers of software for collecting email addresses to send unsolicited, commercial email (UCE)
- Offers of bulk emailing services for sending UCE
- Stock offerings for unknown start-up corporations
- Quack health products and remedies
- Illegally pirated software ("Warez")
Why is spam a problem?
What can I do to reduce spam?
How do messages get labeled as spam?
BCM enterprise spam detection tools check each message coming into the College and apply an extensive set of tests to determine if a message is spam. These tools then assign a score to each message. A message that has a score that exceeds a certain limit is considered possible spam. Messages flagged as possible spam by enterprise spam detection tools will be delivered directly to your Junk Email folder.
A spam message got through the filter. How can I report this?
If you receive spam email that was not flagged as spam, you can report this message by forwarding it to email@example.com.
Please note that the message header must be forwarded along with the message. If you need information on sending the header, please contact the OIT Help Desk at 713-798-8737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I received an unsolicited, inappropriate email. What should I do?
The best option for most spam you receive is to immediately delete it. Your email address has been added to a spam list and the lifecycle of these lists is typically two to three weeks. After two to three weeks, you should see the volume of spam decrease.
Particularly offensive or pornographic email can be reported by forwarding the message to email@example.com. The information submitted is reviewed, and when patterns are found and a bulk mailer identified, their addresses are blocked. Please be aware that due to the volume of email sent to this address, not every email sent reporting spam will be responded to directly. Please also note that the message header must be forwarded along with the message. If you need information on sending the header, please contact the OIT Help Desk at (713) 798-8737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WARNING: If the spammer is using tracking images, opening the email will verify your email address is active. The spam you receive will increase for a period of two to three months. Your best option is to delete the email.
What should I do if I find items in my Junk Email folder that are marked as possible spam but are really legitimate?
First, if the message has been labeled as "BCM Possible Spam" in the message subject, you can manually move the message out of your Junk Email folder and into one of your Inbox folders simply by dragging and dropping the message from the Junk Email folder to the desired folder. While this action moves this specific message into the desired folder, future similar messages may still be delivered to the Junk Email folder.
Next, forward the message to email@example.com. The message will be reviewed and consideration will be given to the possibility of having future messages from the same source not flagged as spam. Please note that only email related to the missions of the College will be considered for this action and not personal email.
Why are some messages in my Junk Email folder labeled as "BCM Possible Spam" and others are not?
This is because there are two primary ways mail gets delivered to your Junk Email folder. First, all mail is filtered through BCM enterprise spam detection tools. If a message is identified as potential spam by enterprise spam detection tools, the message will be delivered to your Junk Email folder, and the words, "BCM Possible Spam" will be added at the beginning of the message subject. In addition to enterprise spam detection, your email program also has spam detection filters, which will vary for each person, depending on items you have marked as "junk/not junk" over time.
If you see a message that contains "BCM Possible Spam" in the subject, but the message is indeed legitimate, you can manually move the message out of your Junk Email folder and into one of your Inbox folders as described in the question/answer above; however, because the BCM enterprise spam detection tools have flagged this message as possible spam, future similar messages may still be delivered to the Junk Email folder. If this message is not spam, you can forward the message to firstname.lastname@example.org for review by the Office of Information Technology.
If you see a message that has been delivered to your Junk Email folder but does not contain “BCM Possible Spam” in the subject, it has been delivered there because the spam filters set in your email program have flagged the message as spam. In this situation, you can review the spam filters set within your email program and make adjustments as needed so that future messages from the same source will be delivered to your Inbox. You can also select one of these messages and mark the message as “Not Junk.”