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SPAM Filtering on CedarNet using CedarNet WebMail

You can now use the CedarNet Mail Server to help deal with the SPAM that you recieve. Our mail server employs SPAMAssassin to score how probable a piece of email is SPAM or not SPAM based on its structure and the results of 8 tests that each piece of email is run through before it is delivered to your email box. Here are the steps to setting up and maintaining your SPAM filtering through CedarNet's WebMail Application.

Please read the following section completely BEFORE using these guidelines. There are considerations that you MUST be aware of before employing these suggestions.

If you are going to use these guidelines there are a few things you should know:

  1. Your mail quota is 20 MB. This quota encompasses all mail held on the CedarNet Mail Server. This is the total mail held in the INBOX, DRAFTS, SENT, TRASH, and all other folders that you create on the CedarNet Mail Server.
  2. The mail that gets placed in the TRASH folder is automatically deleted after it is 7 days old. No other mail is automatically deleted from any other folder.
  3. The SPAMAssassin server scores mail as probable SPAM according to the results of 8 tests that each message is run through. Some mail that is truely SPAM will pass through as non-SPAM (because it looks like a legitimate message according to the results of the tests and the message structure itself) and some non-SPAM will be marked as probable SPAM (because of the results of the tests and the message structure itself).
  4. This filtering process only happens when you first review your mail through CedarNet's WebMail Application. It does not filter it if you do not first sign into CedarNet's WebMail pages.
  5. CedarNet will not be held responsible for mail messages lost because of your use of these mail filters. We have no control of the way you employ these filters and therefore cannot be held responsible for your actions.
    Use these guidelines at your own risk!

Step-by-step Instructions

  1. To start with, sign into CedarNet's WebMail Application. Point your browser to
  2. Log on using your email address and your email password.
  3. Create a folder for your messages that you decide are SPAM to be moved to. To do this click on the Folders link to the right of the CedarNet logo.
  4. Under the heading "Create Folder" type in "Marked as SPAM", leave the "as a subfolder of" as "[None]" and click the Create button.
  5. Now get the header from a "spammy" message that you can use to filter with. Click on INBOX in the left frame to list the messages in your inbox. Click on a message that you are fairly certain is SPAM.
  6. Once the SPAM message is open, click on the "View Message Details" link.
  7. Once the new window is open, find the line that starts with "X-Spam-Level:" and make sure that at least 1 "*" is showing. This will be the basis of your SPAM filter.
  8. Highlight/select the line that says "X-Spam-Level: *", right click your mouse, and left click on Copy. (If you are unable to find this line in the message or if you have no message to copy this from please be VERY careful how you format the text in the next step. This must be set perfectly or your filtering will not work. It must be typed in exactly as shown above, the same case, the same spacing, the same everything; except for the number of *'s, that varies depending on how you want your mail filtered. More on this a little later.)
  9. Next, Click the "Close Window" button at the top of your "Message Details" window.
  10. Click the "Options" link to the right of the CedarNet Logo.
  11. Click on the "Message Filters" link on the next page.
  12. Now on the "[New]" link.
  13. Change the "Match:" field to "Header".
  14. Click into the "Contains:" field, right click, and click Paste. (If you were unable to copy the header from the previous step, you can type it in yourself. Make sure that you type EXACTLY "X-Spam-Level:(space)*" without the quotes and putting a space where the (space) is. If you do not type this exactly right, your filtering will not work properly.)
  15. At this point, we have to decide on what to call SPAM. This is a difficult concept, but please try your best to understand it. The fewer stars you put in this field, the more messages that you are going to catch, conversely, the more stars you put in this field, the less messages you are going to catch. This is because the more stars that are present in this score, the more "Spammy" the message probably is. The way the score and the filter are designed, a filter of "X-Spam-Level: ***" will catch all messages that have a header of "X-Spam-Level: ***", "X-Spam-Level: ****", "X-Spam-Level: *****", "X-Spam-Level: ******", etc. So if you set the filter for a score of 3 stars, it will catch all messages with 3, 4, 5, 6, or more. The operations volunteers suggest a filter of 5 and working with it from there. Once your filter is set up, sign in to CedarNet's WebMail Application and review the contents of your SPAM folder, review the SPAM score of the messages that you want to keep, move them out of the SPAM folder, and adjust your filter so that the messages that you want to keep don't get moved into your SPAM folder. If you are getting too many SPAM messages in your INBOX, increase the number of stars on your SPAM filter as needed.
  16. Change "Move to:" to "Marked as SPAM"
  17. Click "Submit" to register your new filter with the server.
  18. Click "Sign Out" in the extreme upper right hand corner of the WebMail web page.
Now CedarNet's WebMail Application will sort through your mail according to the filter that you set up every time you sign into CedarNet's WebMail Application. As described above, make sure to review your "Marked as SPAM" folder so that you do not go over quota and so that you know you are not missing any messages that you would rather recieve.

As a final note, once you are sure that you have your filter set just right, you can go in and edit the filter to move the messages to "Trash" instead of "Marked as SPAM" so that the script is self-maintaining. But I strongly suggest you do this only once you are sure the filter is acting the way you expect it to. CedarNet cannot be held responsible for mail deleted using these scripts as these are actions that are done by your own hand and outside of our knowledge. Please use these extremely powerful settings with great care.

Good luck and we hope this helps to make your CedarNet experience a more trouble free one!


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Last updated Thursday, September 30, 2004

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