Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Implementation of SPAM Management System at Ball State Reduces Volume of Junk e-Mail

In March 2007, Ball State University implemented an enhanced spam filtering service that has dramatically reduced the amount of e-mail spam that was otherwise delivered daily to students, faculty, and staff.

Before the anti-spam solution was implemented, personnel in the University Libraries reported receiving as many as 500 or more junk e-mail messages each day. Now, it is unusual to see more than a half-dozen spam messages come through in a week.

Ball State’s University Computing Services reports that the Ball State domain e-mail address was receiving 2 million e-mail transactions every day. An analysis of these messages revealed that more than 90% were spam or junk e-mail.

The problem of receiving spam messages seemed to grow in intensity, flooding the Libraries’ staff’s inboxes. While much of the unwanted junk e-mail was routed to the Microsoft Outlook “Junk E-Mail folder,” the folder’s contents counted against the overall mailbox space quota (50 MB) and caused a staff member’s e-mail account to run out of space. The result was that Libraries’ staff had to spend time once or twice (or more often) each day just to manage the unwanted mail in their Junk E-Mail folder.

The enhanced spam filtering service provides a safety net for the staff member to review messages that have been identified as junk e-mail before the messages are permanently deleted. This is accomplished by the staff member going to a Web site where his particular messages are held for a two-week period. The experience of staff in the University Libraries is that the system for identifying spam e-mail is working so well that they do not even think about spam at work anymore.

The spam filtering management service is from a company named FrontBridge, which is owned by Microsoft. Ball State e-mail users can find instructions for checking messages handled by the enhanced filter at

For more information, contact Bradley D. Faust, Ball State University Libraries’ Assistant Dean for Library Information Technology Services, BFaust@bsu.edu, (765) 285-8032.

This newsletter article first appeared in The Library Insider 5(5): 11; May 2007.

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