- What is SpamAssassin?
SpamAssassin scans ALL your email and when it finds potential spam, prepends “*****SPAM*****” to the subject line allowing your mail client to filter *****SPAM***** to a specific mailbox.The main advantages of SpamAssassin are that it captures a higher percentage of spam than other measures and does not reject potential spam.The main disadvantage is that you must confirm the email identified as spam actually is spam because SpamAssassin can label legitimate email (e.g., daily news and special offers) as spam if it has the same attributes as spam.
- Can SpamAssassin be applied to E-mail that is not hosted by Skyway West?
Yes, SpamAssassin can be applied to E-mail hosted by Skyway West or E-mail hosted elsewhere.
- What if everybody using our domain (e.g., @ourcompany.com) does not want SpamAssassin?
Ask email@example.com to move your email accounts to a mail server that does not use SpamAssassin.The change normally takes 24 hours.
- What if some email accounts using our domain (e.g., @ourcompany.com) need SpamAssassin and others do not?
Ask firstname.lastname@example.org to “white list” the individual email addresses that do not need SpamAssassin. “White Listing” is only available if Skyway hosts the email accounts.
- What if SpamAssassin mistakenly labels email as spam because the email has spam attributes?
Ask email@example.com to “white list” the sender’s email address so email from them is not identified as spam.At this time, the sender’s email address will be “white listed” for every domain using SpamAssassin and not just your email address.
- How does SpamAssassin work?
SpamAssassin works on a scorecard basis. It examines many aspects of each E-mail and gives the message a score reflecting its probable “spamness”.
If a message’s total score exceeds a preset threshold, the message is altered to make it obvious that SpamAssassin considers it to be spam.
The message is not blocked or rejected.If SpamAssassin considers a particular message to be spam it will be altered in the following ways:
- The subject line of the message will have “*****SPAM*****” prepended to it.The sender did not put that there, SpamAssassin did.
- A number of X-Spam-* headers will be added to the message showing the tests that matched and the overall score of the message.
In particular, a header that will always match the pattern “X-Spam-Status: Yes” will be added, and you can use your mail reader’s filters to match it if desired to automatically file suspected spam in a separate folder, or simply delete it.
- A section will be added to the beginning of the message that looks like:
SPAM: ——————– Start SpamAssassin results ———————-
SPAM: This mail is probably spam. The original message has been altered
SPAM: so you can recognise or block similar unwanted mail in future.
SPAM: See http://spamassassin.org/tag/ for more details.
SPAM: Content analysis details: (13.41 hits, 8 required)
SPAM: Hit! (1.2 points) From: does not include a real name
SPAM: Hit! (0.5 points) Subject has an exclamation mark
SPAM: Hit! (2.37 points) Invalid Date: header (timezone does not exist)
SPAM: Hit! (2.77 points) BODY: Information on mortgage rates
SPAM: Hit! (0.01 points) BODY: Asks you to click below
SPAM: Hit! (1.56 points) Contains phrases frequently found in spam
SPAM: [score: 21, hits: click here, give you, home] SPAM: [loan, mortgage rates, your credit] SPAM: Hit! (1 point) spam-phrase score is over 20
SPAM: Hit! (1 point) Received via a relay in orbs.dorkslayers.com
SPAM: [RBL check: found 188.8.131.52.orbs.dorkslayers.com.] SPAM: Hit! (3 points) Received: says mail bounced all around the world
SPAM: ——————– End of SpamAssassin results ———————The above section details exactly why the message was flagged as being spam.
The entire section was added by SpamAssassin, not by the sender of the message.
The E-mail is then delivered to your mailbox as usual. Any filtering you wish to do on these messages must be done in your E-mail package (all modern mail readers provide filtering tools which can operate on the headers that SpamAssassin adds).
Very importantly – do not complain to the authors of SpamAssassin if you receive a message that is flagged as being spam when in fact it is not spam.
Please send complaint to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will take the appropriate action.
- What to expect when migrating your mail to SpamAssassin
- Background Changes
To make SpamAssassin work Skyway West must move your mailboxes to another server. This means that incoming mail may stop working for a brief time.
One day before the move Skyway West drops the Time To Live (TTL) on your domain to ten minutes. This means that the DNS information for your domain updates every ten minutes. Once the TTL is lowered we migrate the mailboxes to the SpamAssassin server. WITHIN TEN MINUTES, the new information is broadcast and incoming mail is captured.
You WILL NOT LOSE MAIL. Mail servers try for up to four days to send mail. The sender may be alerted that the message could not be sent. It will arrive once the TTL expires and is updated.
- Changes to your mail client
DO NOT make any changes to your mail client?
Skyway West makes the migration of your mailboxes seamless. The changes to SpamAssassin do not require any changes to the incoming POP3 or outgoing SMTP server you are currently using.Reminders:
SMTP – If you connect directly to Skyway West you use either mail.yourdomain.com, .net or .ca OR mail.skywaywest.com. If you connect to the internet via an alternate Internet Service Provider (ISP), you use the SMTP server assigned to you by that ISP.
POP3 – Regardless of your domain configuration in Skyway West’s DNS, you will not have to modify your incoming POP Server record. If the incoming mail is not working, find the entry in your configuration for the incoming POP3 server setting. For information on where to find this entry please consult the Email Software Guides. Once you have found the entry examine the contents of the setting and make sure it is typed correctly. This data is case sensitive. Now try your mail again. If you are still unable to receive mail please call technical support (604-482-1212). Your account name and password also do not change. *Note: please see the next section for information on a potential problem in Microsoft Outlook.
- Possible problems and troubleshooting
You are Running Microsoft Outlook and you can not receive mail.
Have you done something wrong? Probably not. It is not uncommon for Microsoft Outlook to “ignore” changes. You may need to remove and recreate your email account within your program. For help with this see Email Software Guides.
You are NOT Running Microsoft Outlook and you can not receive mail.
What else could be wrong?
Ensure that your username and password have been entered correctly according to the documentation supplied by your system integrator or by Skyway West. User names and passwords must be entered exactly and are case sensitive.If you can not find a problem please contact Skyway West technical support for further assistance at 604 482 1212 or email@example.com
- Background Changes
- Can the SpamAssassin threshold be changed for a particular email account or domain (e.g., @ourcompany.com)?
No. We have set the threshold to capture the majority of spam and unfortunately some legitimate email looks very much like spam.
Please consider the options described in questions 2, 3 and 4 above.
- Does SpamAssassin change the email in any other way?
No, we do not defang HTML messages by changing the Mime type of the message.
- Can SpamAssassin be used if my E-mail address is @skywaywest.com?
No, @skywaywest.com E-mail is hosted on the mail server that does not offer spam protection.We can provide SpamAssassin if you have your own domain (e.g., @ourcompany.com).Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance obtaining a domain name.
- How can I find out more about SpamAssassin?
Visit the SpamAssassin site at: http://spamassassin.apache.org/
- How can I find out more about spam and how to report or fight it?
Visit the Skyway West Support Centre and click on the SPAM Category. You will find further information at the Support Centre on bounced email and open relay mail servers.
- Who should I contact about a specific anti-spam issue?