University of Southern California

ITS Information Technology Services

Frequently Asked Questions: IronPort AntiSpam

Q: What is IronPort AntiSpam, and what does it mean to me?

A: In response to the increasing problems related to spam at USC, ITS has deployed an email security appliance known as Ironport from Cisco.

Q: What exactly is spam?

A: Different organizations classify spam in different ways. At USC, we consider spam to be unsolicited email messages, often from illegitimate email addresses, advertising products or services. Bulk email messages sent through university departments as announcements or informational messages are not considered spam.

Q: Do I have to worry about legitimate email messages' being tagged as spam?

A: Due to the regularly changing content of spam messages, any antispam solution may misidentify a legitimate email as spam. However, IronPort claims a very low number of false-positive results. Both IronPort and ITS are working to ensure that false-positive results happen as rarely as possible.

If you believe that you are not receiving legitimate email, please call the ITS Customer Support Center at 213-740-5555. Please be ready to identify the domain name or email address that you believe is not getting through.

Q: What happens if I am still getting spam, can anything be done?

A: Because the content of spam constantly changes, it is possible for spam to pass through a filter system undetected. There is no filter system that can guarantee 100% successful spam identification.

Both USC and IronPort AntiSpam are striving to establish a very high success rate for spam identification. If you receive a spam message that was not tagged as spam by IronPort, you can report the message, and we will work with IronPort to find out why it was not tagged.

To report a missed spam message, please read the documentation located on the Missed Spam page. You will have 24 hours from the time you receive the spam to report it to ITS.

Last updated:
February 17, 2009

AntiSpam Documentation

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