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U. Kansas battles SPAM
[February 22, 2006]

U. Kansas battles SPAM

(Comtex Community Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)LAWRENCE, Kan., Feb 22, 2006 (University Daily Kansan, U-WIRE via COMTEX) --Weeding out your legitimate e-mail from the jungle of SPAM may now be more difficult, but it's all part of an effort by the University of Kansas Information Services to keep those unwanted messages out of your inbox.

A more aggressive tagging system for SPAM e-mail was implemented by the department last Friday. Until then, messages that received a "SpamScore" of five or higher displayed a message in the subject line as a warning to its recipient. Now, messages receiving a score of 3.8 or higher are tagged as SPAM.

"We're really trying to find the best solution for users," said Deb Ludwig, director of Enterprise Academic Systems at the University. "It's not as simple as it sounds. There are a number of issues that have to be approached very carefully, but at the end of the day we know people want less SPAM and that's our goal."

She said making the system more aggressive was just the first step of many to further reduce the amount of SPAM that students receive. A planning group has been formed to find the next SPAM solution for the university.

Darion Pearson, Lawrence senior, said on average she received about six SPAM e-mails per day. She said it was a pain to keep deleting them throughout the day.

Pearson said she didn't like getting the SPAM e-mail because she would get excited about receiving mail, and then was let down when it was "junk."

Some goals for the new system are to not only detect SPAM and other malicious e-mail, but also to find a way to recover more messages.

Information Services expects that an additional 10 percent of e-mail would be tagged as SPAM with the lower-threshold system. Ludwig said that this number could be different for every student depending on the kind of things they do online.

"In a university you have a different expectation," Ludwig said. "We are a little more concerned about the scope of what we automatically delete."

With the current system, Ludwig said they didn't delete any e-mail for students, even if they were tagged as SPAM. She said before the University changed the way it filtered SPAM it needed to get student input on what they would like to see happen.

Pearson said she wanted to reserve the right to final judgement on her e-mail.

"I don't want KU to have the right to get rid of my junk," Pearson said.

She said she liked the idea of the university decreasing the amount of SPAM she received but wanted to make sure she still received all of her personal e-mail.

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