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September 27, 2004

Issue No. 66

Table of Contents

Highlights and Features

Grokker at Stanford
CourseWork-Fall 2004
File-Sharing-Consequences
File-Sharing Myths
File-Sharing Resources
IT Open House October 28
Tech Help for Faculty
Essential SU Software
Desktop Computer Security
Security Self-Help Tool
Wireless Access-SU Visitors
SULAIR Home Page Update
SU Course Support Web Site copy

Library Resources

SULAIR Image Collections
SKIL Tutorial Enhanced
Scholars Workshops for Fall
Social Science Data
Literary Studies Database
New Lane Library Web Site
Firing Line TV Program
ArcGIS 9 Available
SSRC Past Events Online
BIOSIS Changes
HighWire Press-New Journals
EuroNews Web Site

Computing News

Accessible Web Pages
AFS Disk Quota Increased
Online Lecture Assessment
Teaching with Technology
Resources for SU Webmasters
ATS Program-New Projects
ATL Project Showcase
Spam Deletion Tool
ITSS Training Services
Training Registration
HelpSU Streamlined
New Webmail Is Here
Printing in Sweet Hall
Sweet Hall Consulting
Mac OS X Migration
PeopleSoft System Upgraded
Bookstore Computer Store
Courselets for SU Community
Sundial Calendar Changes
TeamSpace in Meyer Library
Meyer Classrooms
Meyer Tech Desk Update
Technology Help on Web

Stamp Out Junk Mail with the Spam Deletion Tool

To delete, or not to delete: that is the question: Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous spam, or to take arms against a sea of junk mail, and by opposing end it? Stanford has decided on the latter option.

During the summer, ITSS developed a Spam Deletion Tool that prevents most kinds of spam from entering your mail box. It's completely voluntary: you just go to a web page and activate the spam deletion service, and you can always turn it off again. But Stanford is betting most people will appreciate any service that helps reduce junk mail.

The Spam Deletion Tool is simple and easy to use. It works in conjunction with the Stanford spam filters. Incoming email is evaluated by the spam filters and given a score of one to six pound signs (#) if it qualifies as spam. One # sign means it "might" be spam. Six # signs means it's definitely spam. This score is placed in the Subject heading of your email ("[SPAM:###]") so you can identify and deal with spam as you wish.

The Spam Deletion Tool goes one step further. Instead of allowing tagged spam into your Inbox, you can delete it from the mail system entirely. You will never see it. It's as if it never existed.

The advantages are many. You don't have to delete spam by hand, nor review a folder full of junk mail that's been rerouted by your email program. WebMail becomes more usable because the Inbox will be relatively clear, filled with email, real email, not junk.

All this sounds good, but there are a few risks associated with deleting spam:

• As always, what one person regards as spam another regards as crucial information.

• The Stanford spam filters are not perfect: legitimate email can occasionally get labeled as spam. Because such mail usually earns a single or double # sign, these two levels are not available for

• deletion via the Spam Deletion Tool. But what if you're sent a perfectly good email that gets labeled with five # signs?

• Once spam is deleted it is gone for good. You cannot get it back. People who regularly get email that is incorrectly labelled as spam, or are afraid of having such email deleted, should not use the Spam Deletion Tool.

Again, opting to have your junk mail deleted is not a permanent choice. You can change the spam levels, or turn the service off if you desire. To give the Spam Deletion Tool a try, go to:

http://email.stanford.edu/antispam/