Bye-bye, junk e-mail

by James Joy

A new spam-blocking program that filters all incoming e-mailwill be installed on Simpson e-mail accounts. With it, Simpsonstudents will receive less junk e-mail beginning Nov. 15.

The program, Spam Assassin, is free software that will filterspam from all e-mail and place it in a backup file that will beheld for several days before being permanently deleted.

According to Systems Administrator Paul Crittenden, the softwarewill have to be “trained” by updating it with feedback from thestudents on what they want and don’t want.

“There will be an e-mail address called ‘spam’ that students canuse to send any messages that get through and we will add it to thelist,” Crittenden said. “Students need to use their common sense onwhat is spam; we probably don’t want mail from campusorganizations.”

Some students, like senior Scott Hiatt, feel the program is longoverdue.

“I think it will be great – I use another e-mail because of allthe junk in my Simpson account,” Hiatt said. “I have tried usingboth, but with this, I might use the school’s more.”

Crittenden said the spam e-mail address will serve manyfunctions. If a student is expecting an e-mail and believes that itwas captured by the new software, he or she can use it to sendinformation about the sender and approximate date. InformationServices will then attempt to retrieve the missing message.

“We will do our best to find it, Crittenden said. “If it is aweek or so old then it should not be a big issue. Students shouldcheck their e-mail more than once every couple months because wewill only hold it in a backup file for a week or so.”

However, other students think the new system could cause changesand make it more difficult to use.

“It sounds like a real hassle,” senior Jessie Anderson said. “Ifsome professor’s mail gets lost, it will end up being moredifficult. Unless it can be fool-proof, I don’t know if it willmake me switch back from Yahoo!”

The new program was tested by Crittenden and two Simpsonstudents who were having problems with high amounts of junke-mails.

“It worked very well on my account and when we get it set upright, I think it will work well for students,” Crittenden said.”If a student doesn’t want it on their account, I guess they cantell us and we can take it off.”

Kelley Bradder, vice president and chief information officer,said the new software is something Simpson has been planning for along time.

“This is something that we really wanted to do,” Bradder said.”It took a little time because [we] wanted to know that we aredoing it right.”