We all receive some amount of unsolicited email (spam). Some, more than others.
Here are some of the ways we keep spam from your inbox.
Each message is parsed by the incoming server for:
- Content: A database of just about every word and the frequency of that word being in a message previously classified as spam is used.
- Links: This is known as "intent" in tech jargon, since the intent is to lead you somewhere bad. The list of known phishing or virus laden sites is updated several times every day.
- Source: Where the message originated. Every day, thousands of new computers and user accounts across the world are compromised and used to send out spam (it has even happened here!). This list is also frequently updated.
Many other metrics are used, including the color and size of text, apparent attempts to disguise the sender and more.
So far this year, we received a daily average of about 35 thousand messages from outside the Lab School, over 77% of which were blocked by our filter. Imagine 3 more messages for every one you do receive and they are all spam! Yuck.
You can help reduce the amount of spam attempting to reach your inbox by limiting the places you give out your school email address. It is worth reading "Can I use my school e-mail account for personal business?" in our tech support center at http://www.ucls.uchicago.edu/labnet/tech-support-center/KnowledgeBase — John Krug