Emerson IT Help Desk

How to Fight Back Against Spam

Fighting Back Against Spam

Spam is not simply a nuisance and a waste of your time, it can also introduce security vulnerabilities. It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the seemingly nonstop influx of unwanted messages, but you can fight back! While Emerson's email filters do an excellent job of blocking spam from your inbox, spammers constantly look for ways to outsmart them. You can help our filters keep up by reporting spam and blocking senders following the directions below.

Update our filters by reporting the spam

Our spam server uses definitions from a company called Sophos to determine what is and isn't spam. When you report a spam message that has made it to your inbox, Sophos will roll it into their detection algorithm to prevent similar messages from getting through in the future.

To report the spam, attach it to a new email and send it to is-spam@labs.sophos.com, the Sophos spam reporting address. Sending this as an attachment ensures that critical metadata are included that simply clicking "Forward" would leave out. Here's how to attach a spam email to a new message in major email programs:

Outlook 2016

Both the Windows and Mac versions of Outlook 2016 have a convenient button in the Home section of the ribbon for forwarding email as an attachment.

  1. Select the offending email in your Inbox.
  2. In Outlook for Mac, click the Attachment button:
    Outlook 2016 for Mac home ribbon
  3. In Outlook for Windows, click the More button, and select Forward as Attachment from the popup menu:
    Outlook 2016 for Windows home ribbon
  4. A new composition window will open with the email you had selected already attached. Address this message to is-spam@labs.sophos.com and click Send.

Outlook Web App, Apple Mail, or other mail clients

Not all email clients have a button for forwarding an email as an attachment. Luckily, drag-and-drop comes to the rescue!

  1. First, select the offending email in your inbox (this is especially important in the Outlook Web App).
  2. Click the new mail button.
  3. Drag the offending email from your inbox into the email composition window to attach it to the new message.
  4. Address the message to is-spam@labs.sophos.com and click Send.

Drag to report spam in Outlook Web App
Reporting spam in the Outlook Web App.

Drag to Report Spam in Apple Mail
Reporting spam in Apple Mail

Sophos add-in for Outlook

If you use Outlook for Windows, you can download and install an add-in that puts a Report As Spam button in the ribbon, reducing spam reporting to a one-click affair.

Reporting as Spam in Outlook

A bonus to this add-in is that you can use it to encrypt emails you send from Outlook.

Manage spam with MailSafe

Your Emerson email account has a spam-management web interface at https://mailsafe.emerson.edu. Log in here to manage spam filtering settings and to view messages that have been blocked from entering your inbox.

Block and approve senders

If an email address repeatedly sends you unsolicited marketing emails or other spam, you can use MailSafe block them from ever reaching your inbox. Click Blocked Senders in the left-hand menu, enter the offending email address, and click Add Sender. You can always come back to this section to add or delete email senders from your block list.

Blocking senders in Mailsafe

Alternatively, to make sure certain senders' emails never get blocked, add them to the Approved Senders section.

Review blocked messages

The Blocked Messages section shows you messages that have recently been blocked by MailSafe. You can review these messages here and choose whether to release them to your inbox. By default, MailSafe will email you summaries of recently blocked emails. You can turn this feature off in the Options section.

We're all fighting an uphill battle when it comes to spam, and sometimes it's hard to keep up. We hope the tools we've shown you here can help you deal with the problem and keep your inbox only as cluttered as you want it!

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