The NPS Spam Manager, developed by Jon Delheimer, is a means of controlling or eliminating spam (unsolicited commercial email) or other unwanted email messages. NPS staff can find the Spam Manager as an option on their personal web menu after they sign in to the NPS web site. If you opt not to configure your personal preferences in the NPS Spam Manager your email will function normally. By default, virus-infected messages are blocked and all other messages are delivered.
At the top of the NPS Spam Manager screen you will see the five menu items listed in the blue navigation bars separating major sections below. You can click on the items in the blue navigation bars to quickly jump to the section of this web page which describes that item.
Work with Held Email
The first screen you will see when you start the NPS Spam Manager will be the Work with Held Email screen. Here you may see up to three categories of held email. If you do not have any held email messages in a particular category you will not see that category listed in this screen. If you have not selected the hold-email option (described in the Options section below) then you will not see any categories of held email other than virus-infected messages. If you choose to do nothing with your held messages they will be purged automatically from the system after 7 days. Each of the held message categories have certain action buttons (blue links) which may be exercised by clicking on their blue text.
Infected: The email server has detected a virus in these messages but do not worry... they will not be delivered to you! Virus-infected messages are listed here merely to inform you (1) that someone attempted to send you an infected message, and (2) that the email server has blocked the delivery to prevent your computer and user profile from infection.
We use commercial software that is quite good at identifying many spam messages.
Please keep in mind that the NPS Spam Manager can reduce - but not eliminate -
spam messages. The messages it identifies as spam are almost certainly spam
(I have yet to see a counterexample). But to achieve that level of proficiency
it allows messages through when it is less than certain.
Unknown: These are messages that did not fit into either the Infected or Spam categories above and did not match any of the rules which you may have previously established in your Block and Allow Lists. The Block and Allow Lists are described in their respective sections below.
Edit Block List
The NPS Spam Manager Block List allows you to identify individual email accounts or entire email domains from which you prefer not to receive email. Any messages from the accounts and domains listed in your Block List will be blocked (deleted) without notification to either you or the sender - provided the rules in your Block List are not in conflict with more specific rules in your Allow List. (Rule conflicts are discussed in more detail below.)
These rules affect only your email. If the message is addressed to multiple recipients your Block List and Options will have no effect on the other recipients. Note: Messages from NPS email accounts will not be blocked unless they contain a virus. As explained in the Options section of this document, the rule to deliver email from NPS accounts overrides your personal Block List and Options.
The Add Addresses button is the only button that will appear until you have at least one entry in your Block List. You can use it to add entries (individual email addresses or domains) to the list. You can enter multiple addresses at the same time by putting each one on a separate line. After you have entered the addresses and domains you wish to block you must click on the Block Addresses button to save them to your personal Block list.
Valid entries can have one of two forms. The image above provides examples of an individual email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, as well as a domain @badplace.com. The domain form will match any and all email addresses from that domain. The example above would block messages from email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or any other email account that ends in "@badplace.com". If you replaced the first entry above, email@example.com, with @yahoo.com then you would no longer receive email from the many millions of Yahoo email accounts so use caution when you block entire domains!
After you have entered one or more addresses or domains you wish to block they will appear in a list such as this:
The buttons along the top of the list allow you to modify the entries in the list. To the far right of each address (or domain) you will see a checkbox. The four buttons to the right of the Add Addresses button all require you have one or more addresses selected by placing a checkmark in their checkbox before they understand which addresses to modify.
The Block Domain button allows you to convert the selected individual email addresses in your Block List into blocked domains. Caution: One blocked domain can block millions of email addresses!
The Change Comment button allows you to add or modify the comment field for each selected entry in the list. Comments are a good way to make a note to yourself about the address - such as the real name of the person or the reason you've blocked them.
The Delete button removes the selected entries from your Block List.
The Allow button removes the selected entries from your Block List and adds them to your Allow List.
Rule Conflicts: When there is a conflict between rules in your Allow List and your Block List, the more specific address match is used. For example, if the Block List has the entry @ou.edu and the Allow List has the entry firstname.lastname@example.org, then all email from ou.edu will be blocked except when it is from email@example.com. Conversely, if the Allow List has the entry @ou.edu and the Block List has the entry firstname.lastname@example.org, then all email from ou.edu will be allowed except when it is from email@example.com.
The block:domain button in the Work with Held Email section and the Block button in the Edit Allow List sections are also able to add entries to your Block List.
Edit Allow List
The NPS Spam Manager Allow List enables you to identify individual email accounts or email domains from which you prefer to always receive email. Any messages from the accounts and domains listed in your Allow List will be always be delivered, provided they do not contain a virus and the rules in your Allow List are not in conflict with more specific rules in your Block List. (Rule conflicts are discussed in more detail in the Edit Block List section of this document.)
You do not need to add NPS email accounts to your Allow List. All virus-free email messages originating from NPS accounts will be delivered by the NPS email server.
The mechanics of the Edit Allow List window of the Spam Manager are so similar to those in the Edit Block List window that the user is referred to that section of this document for operational instructions.
When an email message arrives at the NPS email server it is subjected to a series of questions or rules that determine what happens to it. A message is subjected initially to question #1 below. If question #1 is relevant for that message then it determines the fate of that message (whether it is delivered, deleted, held, etc.). If question #1 is not relevant then the message is passed to question #2. If question #2 is not relevant then the message is passed to question #3, and so forth until either the fate of the message has been determined or all rules are exhausted. If none of the rules are relevant for that message then, by default, the message is delivered. Questions 4, 5, and 6 pertain to options you can enable in the Options screen of the NPS Spam Manager.
QuitJust as it sounds... Selecting Quit from the menu at the top of the screen will quit the NPS Spam Manager and close (exit) the window.