FAQ: Purdue’s new email scanning system

Why does Purdue block email?

Purdue blocks certain emails to keep its users and the University safe. As a large institution and a big target for cyber scammers, Purdue and its employees and students are highly vulnerable to receiving spam, phishing attempts and emails infected with computer viruses, ransomware and more.

Further, if a purdue.edu email address is taken over by a cyber scammer and fraudulent emails are sent from the address, all purdue.edu email addresses may be blocked by other email services, such as Gmail, which further damages Purdue email's reputation overall.

I want to see all my email from Purdue, what can I do?

You can "safelist" all email from Purdue senders by adding “purdue.edu” to your safelist through any of the quarantined email messages you receive from the system. Click on the "your email quarantine” link in the email. On the quarantine website, click “Options" and then select the “Safelist” menu item. Type "purdue.edu" in the "Add to List" box and click the "Add to list" button.

Why did Purdue change to a new system?

We wanted to capture more messages carrying malicious payloads or web links because there is significant potential for harming the University and its faculty, staff and students legally and financially. Purdue’s contract with its old provider was expiring and it made no sense to continue with a system that was not as effective.

Why does email I have subscribed to get blocked?

The system, from Cisco, uses advanced technology to rate and identify legitimate email and sort malicious, bulk, marketing and social networking messages. While highly accurate, it won’t always match personal preferences. That’s why users need to get in the habit of reviewing their quarantined email digest messages so they don’t miss mail they need or want. From the digest, it is easy to clear a message for delivery and to safelist the sender so future emails from them come through automatically.

Why does the new system change the web addresses of links in my email?

The Cisco system checks email links to make sure they won’t whisk faculty, staff and students to a malicious website when clicked. Safe web addresses are modified by the system in the process, with the original address appearing at the end of the modified address.

How can I make sure I receive email I want to read?

Monitoring your quarantined email messages from the system, which arrive daily, is the key. To see the messages quarantined by the system, view the list in your "Spam Quarantine Notification" emails, or click the "your email quarantine" link in the quarantine notification emails, and then release the messages you want.

Why do I have to safelist a sender more than once?

You may have to safelist a sender more than once because while the domain name they’re sending mail from might be the same, the actual sender's address might be different. For example, you may safelist the sender JohnP@purdue.edu, but if you were to receive an email from JaneP@purdue.edu, you could have to safelist that person as well.

You can, however, safelist an entire domain. Using the previous example, you would safelist all purdue.edu senders.

Can I disable email quarantine notifications?

No. It is necessary to review your quarantine to ensure you are receiving all mail you intend to receive.

Can I opt out of email scanning?

No. In order to protect users and the sending reputation of Purdue, all mail must pass through the scanner.

Is Purdue reading or censoring my mail?

No. The Cisco solution uses advanced algorithms to detected unwanted or malicious email. It does not otherwise log, interpret or censor your messages.

I use an alternative mail client and corrected my settings, but I still cannot send email from off campus. Why not?

The reputation for the network you are connected to may not be trusted by the Cisco scanning system. Connect via Purdue’s Virtual Private Network (VPN) or consider using an email client that supports ActiveSync (Outlook, Apple’s Mail, etc.).

Why do the port settings for my mail system no longer work?

With the new Cisco system handling SMTP traffic, you must use port 587 and TLS (or STARTTLS). For security reasons, using port 465 and SSL is no longer an option, and will not be available in the future. For more information see: https://support.purdue.edu/goldanswers/827522.

Additional information?

These troubleshooting articles in GoldAnswers, Purdue’s online knowledgebase, also can be helpful in navigating the new system.

Last updated: October 6, 2017

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