Spam and Virus Filtering

Overview

The launch of My Pitt Email in July 2014 brings with it a new spam and virus filtering service called Exchange Online Protection. The service automatically scans all email messages sent to your University email address. It will block messages that contain viruses and quarantine those that are suspected of being junk mail.

One benefit of the new spam and virus filtering service is that you can manage all of your spam right from your email client (Outlook or Outlook for Mac) or from Outlook Web App. You will receive a weekly email summarizing all of the spam messages that have been quarantined. This weekly summary email makes it easy to quickly review quarantined messages and deliver any legitimate messages to your inbox. You can also approve a sender or block a sender directly from your inbox.

If you prefer, you will still be able to view and manage all of your quarantined messages in an online Message Center that you can access through My Pitt (my.pitt.edu), just as you do today.

Review Your Quarantined Messages

Each week you will receive an email summarizing the spam messages that have been quarantined. You can manage your spam right from this email.

  1. Open the spam summary email.
  2. For each message, you can choose Release to Inbox or Report as Not Junk.

Weekly summary email

Release to Inbox sends the message to your My Pitt Email Inbox. If you report the message as "Not Junk", then it will send a copy of the message to Microsoft for analysis so that spam filtering settings can be refined.

Report a Message as Junk Email

You can report junk email messages directly from your Outlook email client by downloading and installing the Microsoft Junk Email Reporting Tool. Once it has been installed, select a message in Outlook, click the "Junk" button in your toolbar, and confirm that you want to report the message as junk. Doing so will help improve the effectiveness of the spam filter for the entire University of Pittsburgh community.

Approve or Block Senders

You can add email addresses or domains to your list of approved senders to make certain messages from that address are never quarantined by the spam filter. You can also add email addresses or domains to the blocked senders list to ensure that messages from that address never make it to your Inbox.

Approve or Block Senders with Outlook (Desktop Email Client)

  1. Right-click the message in Outlook and select Junk.
  2. Choose whether to block the sender or never block the sender. You can also choose to block the sender's domain.
  3. Your list of approved/blocked senders will be updated accordingly.

Block sender in Outlook

Approve or Block Senders with Outlook Web App (via My Pitt)

  1. Log in to My Pitt (my.pitt.edu) and click the My Pitt Email link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
  2. Click the gear icon in the upper right-hand corner of the screen and select Options.
  3. On the left-hand side of the screen, click block or allow.
  4. Enter email addresses or domains into your safe senders or blocked senders list and click Save.

Safe Senders and Block Senders

 

Managing Spam Through Your Message Center at My Pitt (my.pitt.edu)

If you prefer, you can also manage your spam through your My Pitt Message Center instead of through your email client.

Review Messages

  1. Log in to My Pitt (my.pitt.edu).
  2. Click Spam/Virus Message Center Login in the right-hand column on the main page.
  3. Your Message Center will display.

Message Center

Quarantined messages are listed in the center of the page. Click a column header to sort the list of messages by sender, subject, date of receipt, or date of expiration. Click an individual message to select it. The details for the message you select will display in the right-hand column under message status.

The icons in the upper left-hand corner of the screen allow you to manage your quarantined messages.

Release message ( Release ): Delivers the quarantined message to your My Pitt Email Inbox.

Edit ( Edit): Enables you to either release the selected message or release it and report it as a false positive.

Advanced search (Advanced search ): Enables you to search for specific messages. This can be useful if you were expecting to receive a legitimate email and suspect it may have been quarantined. For example, you could search for messages from a specific email address, as shown below.

Note: Advanced search does not return partial search results. So if you would like to search for messages from a specific email address, you should enter the full email address rather than just the username or the "@address.com".

Advanced search options

Refresh (Refresh ): Refreshes the list of quarantined messages and brings it up to date.


Frequently Asked Questions

Will my current list of approved and blocked senders be moved automatically to the new spam and virus filtering service?

Yes. You will not need to re-enter your approved and blocked senders. We will migrate them from the current spam and virus filtering service to Exchange Online Protection.

Why are fewer messages being quarantined in the new Spam Filter?

Microsoft actively blocks known Spam sites. Spam messages are automatically stopped even before they get to Pitt.

How do I manage my Spam filter settings from a Webmail (IMAP) account?

Use Outlook Web Access to manage your filter settings.

Why can't I read the mail messages that have been quarantined?

You need to release these messages from the Spam filter in order to read them in your email inbox.

How do I delete the spam messages that have been quarantined?

You cannot delete these messages. They will remain in quarantine for 15 days and then expire.

Are spam messages deleted from my Message Center after I release them and report them as not junk?

No. Spam messages will remain in quarantine for 15 days, even after you release them. They will then expire automatically and be removed from your Message Center.

Can I re-release a message from the Spam filter?

No, once a message has been released from the Spam filter, it's delivered to your email inbox. It cannot be released again. You will receive an error message if you try to do so.

Why did I still see new messages in the old (Postini) Spam filter?

Earlier this week, spammers were still connecting to the old service even after the switch to the new spam filter. New messages have now been stopped from going to the old filter and are sent to the new Spam filter. You can disregard the messages you see in the old filter.

How long will quarantined messages remain in my Message Center?

Quarantined email messages will remain in your Message Center for 15 days, unless you choose to release them earlier.

I forward my University email to another address. Will the weekly spam summary be sent to my forwarding address?

Yes.

I forward my University email to another address. If I release a quarantined message, will it also be sent to my forwarding address?

Yes.

I don't want to receive a weekly email summary of spam. Can I turn it off?

No. It is not possible to turn off the summary email for individual students, faculty, or staff. However, you may create a rule in Outlook that automatically sends these messages to your Deleted Items folder (or another location). For details, refer to our help sheet Creating Rules in Outlook.

Can I customize how strict or lenient my spam filtering settings are?

No. You do not need to manage individual spam filtering settings in Exchange Online Protection. If you receive a spam message that should have been quarantined, you can report it to Microsoft.

How do I report a spam messages that did not get quarantined (i.e., a false negative)?

There are several ways to do this. If you logged in to your My Pitt Email through My Pitt and are using the web interface, you can report spam by simply right-clicking the message you want to report, selecting Mark as Junk, and clicking Report. You can also send the email to junk@office365.microsoft.com. To do this, create a new, blank message and attach the spam message to it. Paste the original subject from the spam message into your Subject line and leave the message body blank. For more details on reporting spam, refer to Microsoft's Web site at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/jj200769(v=exchg.150).aspx.

After the upgrade to My Pitt Email, what happens to the email messages that are quarantined in the current spam and virus filtering service?

The messages that are quarantined in the old spam and virus filtering service will continue to remain available for a period of time after the upgrade so that you may review them. You will be able to access your old Message Center through My Pitt (my.pitt.edu). On August 15, any quarantined messages that still remain in the old spam and virus filtering service will be expunged.