Handling Gmail Spam in a Post-Postini World

posted Nov 30, 2011, 12:04 PM by Eric Curts   [ updated Nov 30, 2011, 12:10 PM ]
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For those schools that use Postini Message Security for spam filtering, you are/will be seeing a change in how spam is handled with Google's move to incorporate Postini services into Google Apps Email Security.

Once this change is made for a school, users will most likely see an increase in the number of emails in their Gmail spam folder. This is ok and is due to change in how spam is being handled. For more information see below.

Google Apps for Education is changing how they are processing email for spam. In the past the email first went through a system called Postini Message Security where it was scanned for spam. Any email that was identified as spam was blocked and put into the Postini quarantine. Each day you may have received an email from Postini showing you what was in your quarantine.

However, Google is now getting rid of Postini as a seperate service, and is instead incorporating Postini's spam filters right into Gmail. What this means is that the spam is not getting filtered before it reaches Gmail, but instead is being filtered inside of Gmail. Anything that Gmail determines as spam will get moved into Gmail's spam folder.

Because of this change users are probably seeing many more spam messages inside their Gmail spam folder than ever before.

With this new system for processing spam, below is a link to some helpful instructions for handling spam:

How to Handled Spam in Gmail:

Anything that Gmail determines as spam will get moved into Gmail's spam folder. You can see your spam folder on the left side of your Gmail screen, with a number listing how many messages are in the spam folder.

Marking an email as spam:

If you get an email in your inbox that is actually spam, you need to click the "Report Spam" button (looks like an exclamation mark inside a stop sign) in the top toolbar to move that message into your spam folder and to help teach Gmail to treat such messages as spam in the future.

Checking your spam folder:

Each day you should check your spam folder to make sure no important email messages have accidentally been identified as spam. Simply click on the folder titled "Spam" on the left side of your Gmail screen to open your spam folder.

If everything in the spam folder is actually spam, you can leave it alone and Gmail will delete the messages automatically in 30 days. However, if you want to delete them yourself, simply select the message(s) and click the "Delete Forever" button in the top menu bar.

You can save a little time by first selecting all of the spam messages with the "Select" button in the top menu bar. Then you can delete all the selected messages at once.

Marking an email as not spam:

If a real email message gets accidentally marked as spam, you can remove it from the spam folder by opening the message and clicking the "Not spam" button in the top menu bar. This will move the email message to your inbox where it will be safe.