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How to Configure Message Filters for MOREnet's Webmail

Revised: August 01, 2011

Contents

Introduction

Message Filters in WebMail allow users to define their own actions to move emails received into folders of their choice. Basic filters can be set up based on the 'From', 'To', 'CC', and 'Subject' fields of emails received. More complex filters can be set up based on the 'Header' lines of the received emails. To create or manage Message Filters, when logged into WebMail, click on Options, then Message Filters.

Email Fields Usable for Message Filters
  • From:
  • To:
  • CC:
  • Subject:
  • Headers

It is recommended that WebMail users only scan unread messages. Setting message filters to 'scan all messages' is useful after creating new message filter rules, but thereafter does not provide any significant benefit. Users with very large amounts of stored email may find that scanning all messages results in lengthy delays and possibly browser timeouts. Users should scan all messages after creating a new set of rules, then set 'What to Scan' back to 'Only unread messages' for regular use under their new filter rules.

To scan all messages after creating one or more new filter rules, click on the INBOX link in the left side-pane. There may be a notable delay if the user has a significant number of emails. Afterward the user can return to the Message Filters settings to change the 'What to Scan:' selection back to 'Only unread messages'.


Example Spam Message Filters

Prior to setting up message filters based on an email's Header lines, it is recommended to review the header lines included in a basic email. In WebMail while viewing any email, click on the 'View Full Header' link. WebMail will display the header lines for that email. WebMail users may find the following spam oriented header lines of particular use.

X-Spam-Flag: YES
X-Spam-Score: 5.9
X-Spam-Level: *****
X-Spam-Status: Yes, score=5.9 required=5.5
  • X-Spam-Flag is set to 'YES' if the spam score is above 5.5, otherwise it is set to 'NO'.
  • X-Spam-Score is set to the numeric spam score as calculated by the Managed Email Service's built-in EVSF system. This number represents the likelihood that the email is spam. Emails with a score of 5.5 or higher are tagged as likely spam.
  • X-Spam-Level is set to an asterisk ('*') for each integer score. As such, an email with an X-Spam-Score of 5.7 would cause X-Spam-Status to be set to '*****' (five asterisks).
  • X-Spam-Status is a summary line.


How-To: Example Spam Message Filter 1
Click on Options at the top of the page. After logging in to WebMail, click on the 'Options' link near the top of the page. This will take the user to the general options page as displayed in the central pane.

On the Options page, click on Message Filters. On the general options page, find the link to 'Message Filters' and click on it. The page that then displays will show the current settings for message filtering and any filters that have previously been created. If there are any listed filters, they will be listed in the order applied. The first listed filter is applied first, followed by the second, and so on.

Click New to create a new message filter. Next, to create a new Message Filter, click on the 'New' link.

Creating a WebMail message filter... After clicking the 'New' link, the options for entering a new filter will be displayed. Begin by selecting 'Header' in the dropdown box for Match.

Next, enter the following value in the text box for the Contains field:

X-Spam-Level: ****
In the 'Move to:' drop-down box, select a folder into which WebMail will move a matching email. The example at right shows the Trash folder being selected as the location to which matching emails will be moved.

The last step is to click the Submit button. WebMail will save and begin using this filter.

After clicking Submit, the filter in this example will check the header of any newly received email to see if it contains a header line matching the entered value. Emails that have four or more asterisks on the spam level line will now be moved to the selected folder.

The completed message filter will be displayed as below. Note that, in this example, since this is the only message filter yet set up, no options to move it up or down in the order are displayed. If there are additional message filters, users will see 'Up' and 'Down' links to click on to control the order in which the filters are processed.
WebMail after completing set up of a message filter.


Example Spam Message Filter 2
On the Message Filters page in WebMail, after clicking the 'New' link, and then selecting 'Header' in the dropdown for the Match, enter the following value in the text box for the Contains field:

X-Spam-Flag: YES
In the 'Move to:' drop-down box, select a folder into which WebMail will move a matching email. After clicking the Submit button, WebMail will thereafter check the header of any newly received email to see if it contains a header line matching the entered value. Emails that have been tagged as likely spam will be moved to the selected folder.