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FMP Spam and Virus Filtering

Our Filters

FMP uses a pair of open source filters to weed out spam and emails infected with viruses from your incoming email:
SpamAssassin is a spam filter that tries to identify incoming spam based on a collection of criteria including established "blacklists" of known spam addresses and URLs, commonly seen spam content. SpamAssassin also uses what are called Bayesian filters to identify spam based on what it can learn from emails which you have identified as spam or "ham" (non-spam) email. While SpamAssassin is pretty good at identifying spam when you start using it, its performance and accuracy improve over time.
CLAM Antivirus
CLAM Antivirus is a signature-based virus filter. Virus signatures are updated on FMP's servers several times a day. In addition to viruses containing hostile computer code, CLAM AV also identifies many common "phishing" scams ("enter your bank account username and password to re-instate your account!").

Using FMP's Spam and Virus Filtering

Special Mail Folders

FMP's mail filtering system creates three special mail folders for every mailbox:

This is the folder into which SpamAssassin will put email addressed to you which it identifies as spam.
This is the folder into which CLAM AV will put email addressed to you which it identifies as infected with a virus.
This is the folder to which you should transfer spam email which made it past SpamAssassin. Once a day, SpamAssassin will inspect this email, learn what it can from it, and transfer it to your Spam folder.

In order to access these special mail folders you'll need to use FMP's Squirrelmail webmail or use IMAP, as opposed to (or in addition to) POP3 to retrieve and read your incoming email. See the help system for your favorite email program.

In Outlook Express, if you don't already have an IMAP account you'll need to create a new mail account and specify IMAP on the 3rd page of the Internet Connection Wizard when you set up the new account. Under "E-mail Server Names", the default server type is POP3, but you can change this to IMAP (see image to the right). The mail server to which you should connect for incoming mail is "mail.<your_domain_name>" where <your_domain_name> is the domain name at which you receive email (for example, ""). You can't change the type of the incoming mail server on an existing mail account.

Other email programs such as Thunderbird will have different screens, but all modern email programs allow you to use IMAP to get to your incoming email.

What you'll need to do

It's important, especially at the outset, to leave your email on the mail server. This means only using FMP's Squirrelmail, deleting your POP3 account, or making sure that your POP3 account is configured to leave a copy of your mail on the mail server. SpamAssassin becomes more accurate in separating spam from ham over time, and you'll be able to speed this process up considerably by helping it along. This will require that it have a substantial number of legitimate (ham) emails available to look at and learn from.

For the first several weeks (depending on how much email you get), you'll find a certain amount of spam in your IMAP Inbox. Move every such spam email from your IMAP Inbox folder to the "Uncaught" mail folder for that mailbox so that SpamAssassin can learn what's spam and what's not. Make sure you remove it from the IMAP Inbox folder in Squirrelmail, or from the Inbox folder for your IMAP account in your local mail program rather from your POP3 Inbox of mail that's already been downloaded from the mail server. Most mail programs such as MS Outlook Express will let you drag and drop emails from one folder to another. Once SpamAssassin has inspected and learned from these uncaught spams it will transfer them to your Spam folder.

Inspect your Spam folder every day or so and make sure that no legitimate email has been mis-identified as spam. If it has, drag and drop it into the Inbox of your IMAP account. There should be very few of these.

Once you have your email properly separated into Spam, Ham (your IMAP Inbox) and Uncaught spam you'll be able to tell SpamAssassin to look at your Inbox and your Spam folder and learn from all the emails in them, not just those it's very sure about. This will speed up SpamAssassin's learning process considerably. A special page with a button to do this and with tools to tune your email filtering is coming soon! The mail system at FMP will look at your Spam folder daily and remove any spam emails that are more than two weeks old.

Likewise, look at the email in your Quarantine folder. There should be no legitimate email in this folder. Delete your infected email periodically.

Lindsay Haisley