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What is spam?

Each day, close to a half million email messages are sent to users on the KU Lawrence campus. Many of these are unwanted messages, generically referred to as spam or junk email. Spam is not only annoying, but is also a drain on your time and our campus technology resources. Some spam messages are dangerous because they contain viruses, or attempt to coax private or financial information from the recipient.

What is KU doing to manage spam?

KU IT uses Microsoft Forefront Online Security System, an anti-spam filtering application, to protect our campus from unwanted e-mail. This system blocks unwanted email before it even reaches our campus, reducing the time that you spend dealing with spam and reducing unwanted traffic on our campus network.

KU IT previously marked spam messages with a [Spamtag #%] in the subject. As part of the Exchange 2010 upgrade, spam emails will no longer be marked with this tag. Emails that would have received that tag with a high number rating will no longer be delivered. Other messages that may possibly be spam will be delivered into your Junk email folder. You have the ability to decide if you want to block, or allow, these messages from a particular sender.

Junk email preferences

Emails that are definitely spam are deleted before they get to our campus. Messages that fall into the potential spam category are delivered to your Junk email folder. We recommend that you periodically review this folder to check for any legitimate messages that may have been incorrectly classified as junk. If you find a message that is not junk, you can drag it back to your Inbox or to any folder. You can also mark the item as not junk by doing the following:

  • Outlook 2013 - On the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Junk, and then click Not Junk.
  • OWA - Right-click the message that you want to mark as "not junk." On the shortcut menu, point to Junk E-mail, and then click Mark as Not Junk.

You can use Junk email filter lists to add trusted names to your safe senders list; or to block messages from specific senders. See an overview of Junk email filter lists and how to add names to a Junk email filter list.


  • All names and addresses in the KU global address list (GAL) are automatically considered safe.
  • Items in the Junk email folder are automatically deleted after 30 days.

Reporting Spam

If spam messages appear in your Inbox, you can report them by following the directions in the How to Report Spam article in the KU IT Knowledge Base. Please do not report spam messages that are delivered to your Junk email folder.

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