ITS Newsletter Spring 2013

Augustana ITS Spring Newsletter

SPAM

Does it seem like you are getting more and more spam in your inbox. Seems like that to me. Here are some things you should know.

In the spring of 2010 Augustana blocked on average 42,000 emails a DAY. Last week the average number of messages blocked in a DAY was 88,496. Can you imagine what email would be like if we were not able to block at least most of the spam that you get? Yikes.

Why the change?

There are a number of reasons:

1. One of the major organizations that keeps the world wide blacklists updated has been under a huge Internet attack that made it nearly impossible for them to continue filtering SPAM. The lists that they supply are responsible for directly and indirectly filtering 80% of the worlds SPAM. The attack has been stopped and blacklists are updated again, but this will probably not be the last attack like this.

2. The other problem that we are seeing is that much of the mail that you see in your box and call SPAM isn't technically SPAM. It falls into the legitimate marketing email category and that makes it more difficult to block. The messages follow all the “good” email rules for getting through filters…it just isn't stuff we want. Much like the junk mail in your snail mail box at home. The envelope is regulation size, the postage is paid, they bought your name from “somewhere” and it gets delivered to your mailbox whether you want it or not. We will continue to try blocking more of these messages, but there will always be messages that you just have to delete.

So….what can do we do?

1. We are working to put one more layer of filtering into the system. We are testing this set up right now and hope to give you details soon. Here is how it will work.

When mail comes to Maia it gets a classification score based on the worldwide SPAM databases. The scores range from -15 to +90. We now have Maia calling anything over +4 SPAM and it is not delivered to your Inbox. With the numbers set this way it is rare for a legitimate message to be blocked, but it can happen.

We will be adding another filter inside GroupWise that will allow us to filter off any mail that is scored above +2 into the “Junk Mail” folder in your GroupWise Cabinet. This makes those messages much easier for you to check. It won’t keep all the SPAM out of your Inbox, but it will catch a bit more.

2. We will also be scheduling several Brown Bag lunch sessions to demonstrate how this filter will work and the best ways to use the built in GroupWise Junk Mail filter to filter off more of the unwanted messages. Look for those sessions in the next two weeks.

What’s Up For Summer?

1. Summer Tech Training.

We are putting together a training survey to find out what you would like to learn this summer!Watch for the email and please take a few minutes to fill it out for us.We want to make sure we are offering things that are useful.

2. Software Updates.

This time it is Microsoft Office.We will be moving the labs to Office 2013.If you are getting a different computer this summer, you will also have Office 2013 installed. We will be offering this update for your current office computer this summer also.

New phone switch

ITS continues to gather information related to replacing our current telephone switch. Our current system is considered “End of Life” and has limited support by Midcontinent. A committee has been meeting to compare several vendor options. At this time we do not have a time frame to share with you. The switch change could happen as early as this summer. Your phone number will stay the same, but you may have a new phone.

Dave Tuschen has been meeting with offices on campus to gather information about what you currently have and what you think you will need. If you have not already talked to Dave and are aware of phones in your area that are no longer used, please contact Dan Drenkow. If we can reduce the number of phone lines that we use, it will bring the cost of the project down.

We will send more updates as we have more information.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact the Computer Helpdesk.