Frequently Asked Questions
Last updated: 10/14/2005
Q: What is the "antispam firewall?”
A: It is a new server for the purpose of fighting spam (unwanted, unsolicited emails). This unit screens all incoming email destined to our customers’ email inboxes, and checks it for viruses, worms, and spam oriented email before it even gets to your inbox.
The antispam firewall inserts itself, as an email monitoring system, between the Internet and the mail server containing your email box. In this way, it is able to screen out spam related email and dispose of it without bothering the email server. Since this unit is highly specialized and dedicated equipment solely designed for this purpose, it is an extremely efficient machine that is helping organizations of all sorts to eliminate a high percentage of spam related email.
The antispam firewall is not, therefore, where your email box resides, it is just a temporary place where the end user can easily monitor email traffic passing through, attempting to be delivered to his/her email box.
Q: Do I need to make any changes to my e-mail settings?
A: No. There should be no need for you to change anything. You may, however, wish to install the Outlook plug-in so that you can easily report and delete spam that makes it past the antispam firewall.
Q: What does the Outlook plug-in do?
A: The plugin provides two new buttons on your Outlook toolbar. These buttons help the filter "learn" what spam looks like. Pressing the green button tells it the selected message is NOT spam; pushing the red button tells it that the message IS spam, and also deletes it from your inbox. The more messages you report as spam or not spam, the smarter the filter will be at catching the garbage. You can download the filter here: Outlook plug-in
Q: What is "Quarantine"?
A: Each user now has a "Quarantine" where suspected spam will be detained. If any of your incoming mail has been quarantined, the antispam firewall will send you a daily summary of what is in the quarantine. This summary will provide a link so that you can logon and decide what to do with it. From the Quarantine you can also modify your preferences.
Q: I have received a “Summary” of quarantine and blocked emails from the antispam firewall, but when I try to log in, it tells me I'm using the wrong password. I am entering my regular email password, am I missing something?
A: There is no synchronization occurring between your regular email (i.e. username@yourcompany) account, and its password to the antispam firewall. The unit will create this “summary” of quarantined emails and send it to your attention to your regular email box. It has a link for you to log into the unit and verify each email you received as to decide if, indeed it is ok to be blocked, allow it to enter your email inbox, or even put in on your white list. However, this is a temporary link with a temporary password, which you do not need to even try to remember, but it will expire after 24 hours. This does not mean you will not be able to enter again into the unit, but you need to reset the password that has expired. To do this, follow the link provided to you on your email, and when you get to the page stating “Error: Session Expired”, enter your full email address in the “Username” field, and click on the button below reading “Create New Password”. This will instruct the antispam firewall to email you a new password just to enter to the unit and check the list of blocked/quarantined emails. Important: This will not change your regular email password; you do not have to do any changes to your email settings.
After you click on the “Create New Password”, and you receive a new email on your inbox, which looks like the following example:
Welcome to the
Barracuda spam Firewall. This message contains the
You may login using the following URL: http://antispam.pcmac.org/cgi-bin/index.cgi?user=username@yourcompany&password=d0347c782570c2344399222e&et=9899483616
Please be sure to change your password.
NOTE: username@yourcompany will be different for each user. It will be your own username.
At this point, you can either return to the main login page of the antispam firewall at http://antispam.pcmac.org/, enter your full email address and the password provided in the “Password” field, as indicated above
Simply click on the URL link provided to you, which already contains your username and temporary password assigned to your account on the antispam firewall. You will then automatically enter your personal settings.
Q: Will I have to keep resetting this temporary password every time I need to log into the unit? It can be quite annoying.
A: No, absolutely no, you do not have to do it every time. For security reasons, the temporary password emailed to you is meant to be, precisely, temporary. Once you log into the unit, you will find at the top menu the option “Preferences”, if you click on that tag, there will be another button, underneath the main menu, reading “Security”. Click on that one, and in this area, you can enter the old password, which was emailed to you in by the unit, and a new password. By design, the temporarily created password is long and it contains upper case and lower case letters and numbers. We strongly encourage you to choose a password which follows the same policy, that is, use upper and lower case letters and numbers and at least eight (8) characters in length. This is done with the purpose of preventing hackers (and other unwelcome guests) to guess your password.
Tip: Setting your password the same as your email account makes this easy to remember and use.
Tip: If your username and password is short and easy to guess, it makes it easy to guess for an intruder, thus, be careful selecting the length of your password. You can incorporate numbers resembling or instead of some letter like number "3" for "e", zero (0) instead of an "O", 1 instead of an "i", 7 instead of a "T", and symbols like @, #, !, within. (i.e. Security --> S3cur1ty!). More information about strong password choosing can be found at the following link Creating Strong Passwords.
Once you have saved your password, you can return to the antispam firewall URL, and simply enter your email address and your password to login.
Q: I am not sure I fully understand the Quarantine Inbox menu. What do the links mean, etc?
A: The Quarantine Inbox screen is meant to provide you with a user-friendly interface to the antispam firewall, which has put “on-hold” or blocked several emails, which are most likely spam. This box, which is not your email box, can be seen as a “temporary detention center”. It is a place the antispam firewall utilizes to detain certain “suspicious” email, and provide you, the end user, with the last word as to deliver it as a one time only occurrence, white list it, or delete it.
The screen looks like the following:
There are two tags in the upper part. "Quarantine Inbox" and "Preferences". Use the Quarantine Inbox to review email in “detention”.
At this point, you can either select individual emails using the check boxes located to the left of each email, and then proceed to click on one of the buttons above indicating “Deliver”, “Whitelist” or “Delete” in order to perform that action to the group of emails you have check marked, or you can individually click on the links on the right side, below the "Actions" column, reading "Deliver", "Whitelist", and "Delete".
Deliver will release the selected email(s) from quarantine and allow the email to be delivered to your inbox immediately.
Whitelist will add the senders email address to a list of emails from people you would like to be delivered regardless of content. Thus, any email on your whitelist will be delivered to your email box, no questions asked. You may view what addresses are in your whitelist and add / delete this list by going to the "Preferences" tab and selecting "Whitelist".
Delete will permanently delete the selected email(s) and report this email, as spam, to aid in the system in learning what suspicious emails are truly spam.
Classify as spam and Classify as Not spam will tell the antispam firewall to "learn" whether selected message(s) are or are not spam. As more users participate in marking messages as spam or NOT spam, the filter will become more efficient.
Q: What are the different menus, inside the "Preferences" tab, used for?
A: The antispam firewall is a very versatile server, and it allows each end user to configure some of their personal settings. This is done because people tend to have different preferences as to what kind of email they wish or not to receive, and while there is a global setting for some pure, beyond doubt, obvious spam, there are other types of emails, which may or may not be considered spam depending who do you ask. The designers understood this, and provided the end user with a degree of control over his/her own emails. This is where the Preferences tab comes handy.
It has the following options, which can be selected by clicking on them:
spam Filter Enable / Disable:
Whitelist / Blacklist: