Alabama's Public Liberal Arts University

Technology Services

Frequently Asked Questions
Regarding the Antispam/Antivirus Gateway

 

If you have any questions about the Antispam/Antivirus Gateway that are not answered on this page, please contact the Technology Services Help Desk at (205) 665-6520 at any time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or via email at helpdesk@montevallo.edu.

 

Current FAQ's:
What is this new Antispam/Antivirus Gateway?
What happens to emails found to have a virus?
What happens to emails recognized as SPAM?
What is this greeting message I get from the “Barracuda Spam Firewall”?
What is this “Spam Quarantine Summary” email that I am getting?
How do I access my quarantined messages?
How many and how long can items stay in the quarantine?
What do I do with message tagged as “[SPAM?]”?
Can I change the way my messages are handled by the Antispam/Antivirus Gateway?
How do I change my password on the Antispam/Antivirus Gateway?
I still get SPAM.  What can I do?
Where can I find additional information about the Antispam/Antivirus Gateway?

 


 

What is this new Antispam/Antivirus Gateway?
One of the biggest problems facing email use today is the proliferation of SPAM (unsolicited emails) and viruses. Usage statistics of emails arriving to University of Montevallo servers indicate that SPAM and virus-related emails can account for at least 90% of the messages received. After a careful review of the many commercial services and hardware solutions available to help with this problem, the Barracuda SPAM Firewall by Barracuda Networks was chosen because of its many features, flexibility, and high end-user satisfaction. This device sits between the Internet and the University’s email servers as a gateway that reviews each message as possible SPAM and/or virus infected emails.
 

What happens to emails found to have a virus?
Virus definitions are updated on an hourly basis on the gateway device.  When an email message is found to have a virus, the email is immediately blocked before it reaches the University’s email servers.
 

What happens to emails recognized as SPAM?
The gateway device is updated on a daily basis with descriptions, or signatures, that indicate an email as being potential SPAM.  As an email is analyzed it is given a score depending on how many characteristics an email contains that indicate the possibility of the email being SPAM.  Based on the score received, an email can be blocked, quarantined, tagged, or simply passed on.  Emails with the highest potential of being SPAM are blocked.  Emails with an above average SPAM potential are quarantined and the intended recipient is notified of the quarantine.  Those message with an average indication of being SPAM are passed on to the recipient but labeled in the subject line, or “tagged”, as [SPAM?] thus allowing the recipient to see the message and decide what to do with the message immediately.  All other messages are merely passed through the gateway to the recipient.
 

What is this greeting message I get from the “Barracuda Spam Firewall”?
Shortly after the first message intended for an individual is quarantined, a greeting message is automatically sent from the gateway device.  The greeting message looks similar to the one below and gives instructions and a web link similar to http://posideon.montevallo.edu:8000/... that provides access to your quarantined message that is stored on the gateway device.  Once you login to the gateway device, you can choose to mark the message(s) as SPAM, “white list” the item(s) (i.e. mark it(them) as non-SPAM), delete the message(s), and/or deliver the message(s) to your mailbox.

 

What is this “Spam Quarantine Summary” email that I am getting?
Periodically, as long as you have messages quarantined, you will receive a summary outlining the messages quarantined.  From this summary, you have links to access the quarantined messages as well as to select many of the same options as if you were already logged into the gateway device.

 

How do I access my quarantined messages?
In addition to clicking on the messages sent to you by the gateway device to access your quarantined messages, you can also go to http://posideon.montevallo.edu:8000.  Once there, log into the system by using your email address (example:  jdoe@umail.montevallo.edu or smithj@montevallo.edu ) and the password included in the greeting message.  If you do not know your password, click “Create New Password” and a new password will be emailed to you.



 

How many and how long can items stay in the quarantine?
Items will stay in quarantine for 15 days or until the number of messages total 2 Mb in size.
 

What do I do with message tagged as “[SPAM?]”?
Messages that have only an “average” chance of being SPAM will be sent to your mailbox with the subject line modified to include “[SPAM?]”.  This indicator is added to help recipients sort through their messages.  Email programs such as Microsoft Outlook and Entourage allow users to create rules to automate the process of going through some of these messages by automatically moving messages with a modified subject line to a designated folder or by deleting them.
 

Can I change the way my messages are handled by the Antispam/Antivirus Gateway?
One of the main reasons the Barracuda Networks’ Antispam/Antivirus Gateway was selected by the University of Montevallo was because this device gives individual users the ability to personalize the way their messages are handled.  After your first message is quarantined and an account is automatically created for you, you can log into the gateway by going to http://posideon.montevallo.edu:8000.  You can then set preferences specific to you.  Some of these include the ability to label additional SPAM items, white list items, change the frequency of notifications sent to you, and turn off SPAM filtering completely for your email account.
 

How do I change my password on the Antispam/Antivirus Gateway?
There are basically two ways to change your password:

I still get SPAM.  What can I do?
Although the criteria for identifying SPAM are updated constantly on the gateway device, so are the techniques used by the senders of SPAM email messages.  You can help.  Whenever you log into the gateway device, access the quarantine area, and select items as SPAM, you are helping to create new algorithms that can be used by the gateway to identify new SPAM.  Each user is empowered to help control SPAM as well as a shared responsibility to do so.

Please be sure to only classify items as SPAM that are SPAM.  Messages that you have legitimately subscribed to are not SPAM.  Also, remember no matter how good the gateway device may be at identifying SPAM there will always be SPAM that will escape the review process and be delivered to your email account.  However, this gateway device should dramatically help to reduce the amount of SPAM handled by the University's email servers.
 

Where can I find additional information about the Antispam/Antivirus Gateway?
In addition to this FAQ, Barracuda Networks, has a useful User’s Guide you may wish to review.  To download and/or view these guides, click on one of the following links. (Note: These links are to Adobe PDF files.  You will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader installed on your computer in order to view them.  If you don't have it, you can download it here.)

Last updated November 2009