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Spam Trap

What is Spam Trap?

Spam Trap is ODU's anti-spam system designed to protect all "@odu.edu" email addresses from unwanted emails. This is an "opt-in" system activated and managed online at www.spamtrap.odu.edu. Access to Old Dominion University's Spam Trap requires authentication with your MIDAS user name and password.

How Spam Trap Works

How Spam Trap Works
Email that comes into campus goes through Spam Trap before it gets delivered to the user in Microsoft Exchange. Spam Trap uses special software to assign a score to the email; this special software is routinely updated to reflect the latest trends and techniques used by spam senders. The email is examined and points are accumulated for each element that may qualify as spam. For example, the use of the word Viagra gets a point or two. Add those points with other points gained through the analysis of the email, and you get the total spam score for the email. The higher the score, the more likely the email is SPAM.

Spam Score Guidelines
  • Emails that score above 20 points are spam 99% of the time.
  • Emails that score above 10 points are usually spam, but occasionally can be things like newsletters, list-serv messages, or foreign correspondence.
  • Emails that score between 5 and 10 points are often spam, but occasionally can be things like newsletters, list-serv messages, foreign correspondence, messages sent from common free email systems, or emails with a lot of images & HTML in them.
  • Emails that score under 5 points are usually not spam.

Spam Trap & Outlook

Outlook will automatically filter any emails tagged with "[SPAM:"] into the Junk E-mail folder. Messages delivered to the Junk E-mail folder are retained for 30 days and then deleted automatically.

To activate spam trap go through the following steps:

  • Visit midas.odu.edu
  • Click 'Log In to MIDAS' and type in your username/password
  • On your MIDAS "My Services" page, locate Spam Trap on your list of available services and click the Activate command to integrate your MIDAS account information with Spam Trap.

After you activate spam trap you have to configure it before it will start filtering your email.

Using the Spam Trap Simple Interface

Access the Spam Trap website at www.spamtrap.odu.edu.

  1. Login with your MIDAS username and password.
  2. Select the level of spam filtering that you prefer. See table below for details on filtering levels.
    (Note: For most people, we would recommend using either the "Medium+Tag" or the "Low+Tag" settings.)
  3. Click on the 'Set Spam-Scanning Level' button
  4. Click on the 'Log Out' button

Your selection can be changed as often as you like. Changes will only apply to new e-mail being processed, not to email that has already been processed.

The available pre-set antispam selections are:

High This will reject any email that scores above 7 points.
High+Tag This will reject any email that scores above 7 points. Emails that score between 4 and 7 points will be tagged with [Spam:] in the subject line and filtered to your Junk e-mail folder.
Medium This will reject any email that scores above 12 points.
Medium+Tag this will reject any email that scores above 12 points. Emails that score between 7 and 12 points will be tagged with [Spam:] in the subject line and filtered to your Junk e-mail folder.
Low This will reject any email that scores above 20 points.
Low+Tag This will reject any email that scores above 20 points. Emails that score between 10 and 20 points will be tagged with [Spam:] in the subject line and filtered to your Junk e-mail folder.
Tag Only Agressive No emails will be rejected. Emails that score above 4 points will be tagged with [Spam:] in the subject line and filtered to your Junk e-mail folder.
Tag Only Conservative No emails will be rejected. Emails that score above 4 points will be tagged with [Spam:] in the subject line and filtered to your Junk e-mail folder.
Opt Out Completely turns off antispam filters in Spamtrap.
Opt In Rejects any emails that scores above 8 points.

Using Simple Interface Levels With White/Black List
You may find that you like a particular spam-scanning Level, but it always flags email from a sender you wish to receive email from as spam. On the other hand ,there may be a few spam messages that always manage to end up in your mailbox. SpamTrap allows you to configure custom "while lists" and "black lists" and still use one of the predefined spam-scanning Levels. In order to do so, follow these steps:

  1. From the Simple Interface "Spam-Scanning Level" page click on "Enable Expert Interface",
  2. Click on "Rules/Lists"
  3. Click on "Senders"
  4. Type the email address that you want to always accept (white list) or always reject (black list) into the field labeled "Enter a specific Sender's e-mail address', then
    Click on the 'Go' button
  5. A new screen will appear showing the email address you just entered. From the 'New Action' drop down box, pick 'Always Allow' or 'Always Reject'.
  6. Click on the 'Submit Changes' button
  7. Once you have configured your "white list" or "black list" click on "Simplified Interface"
  8. Click on the radio button for the Spam-Scanning Level you had or would like to use
  9. Click "Set Spam-Scanning Level"
  10. Click on "Log Out"

You now have your personal "white lists", "black lists", AND a predefined Simple Interface Spam-Scanning Level.

The 'Expert Interface' for Spam Trap provides much more flexibility on how to deal with potential Spam. It includes many features like 'White List', 'Black List' and more precise control over what to do with email that scores at different levels.

Enable Expert Interface

Once you have enabled the 'Spam Trap' service in MIDAS, you may log into Spam Trap using your MIDAS ID. Once logged into Spam Trap, click on the 'Enable Expert Interface' button to enable the expert interface. If you ever want to return back to the simple interface, click on "Simplified Interface" from the expert interface screen. Your previous selection on the simple interface will be lost.

Using the Expert Interface

Within the expert interface, there is a lot that you can configure. The two most important sections are under Rules (for whitelisting senders & domains) & Preferences (for setting the tagging & rejection levels).

  • To set your tagging & rejection levels, click on Preferences, then Stream Settings.
  • On the Stream Settings page:
    • "S-100 Automatically reject messages scoring more than this amount": this controls the score above which emails will be automatically rejected.
    • "S-300 Spam threshold": this controls the score above which emails will be tagged as spam in the subject line.

Whitelist a Sender
You may find that messages from a particular email address occasionally get caught or flagged as Spam. In order to always accept email from a particular email address, you can "white list" that email address so the Spam trap will always deliver the message. In order to do that, follow these steps. Log into Spam Trap with your MIDAS ID.

  1. Click on "Rules/Lists"
  2. Click on "Senders"
  3. Type the email address that you want to always accept (white list) or always reject (black list) into the field labeled "Enter a specific Sender's email address', then
    Click on the 'Go' button
  4. A new screen will appear showing the e-mail address you just entered. From the 'New Action' drop down box, pick 'Always Allow' or 'Always Reject'.
  5. Click on the 'Submit Changes' button