New junk mail filter gets mixed reception

By Will Powley

Networking Services and Information Technologies (NSIT) rolled out a new $170,000 junk e-mail manager in mid-December with hopes of better protection of cMail inboxes from bulk and spam e-mail.

“[It] performs much better than the old one,” said NSIT Director Bob Bartlett. “In fact, in tests we did locally, the new filter was 10 times more effective at filtering bulk and spam e-mail than the old one.”

The new software sorts e-mail into approved, bulk, and spam mail. “Approved mail goes directly into your inbox. Bulk and spam mail get quarantined by the filter. Then, depending on your settings, the filter sends you an e-mail entitled ‘Junk Mail Manager Summary’ once a day, week, or month to tell you which e-mails have been quarantined,” Bartlett said.

Campus reaction to the new filter was mixed, with responses varying from apathy or annoyance to approval. Some students said they had seen the e-mails entitled “Junk Mail Manager Summary” in their inbox, but had failed to actually open them.

“I’m a very busy woman, and I don’t always have time to open my regular mail, never mind my junk mail,” said third-year Saudamini Bagai.

Others, like first-year Katy Fallon, said that the new system was initially frustrating, but is now working well.

“At first, the filter tried to take away my New York Times headlines, and I found that really annoying, but then I changed the settings,” Fallon said.

NSIT recommends that all University e-mail users open their junk mail managers at least once to make sure that the default settings of the filter are not excluding messages users actually want.

—Will Powley