There are two separate spam control filters available on your mail server, SpamAssassin and Filtering. Here’s a description of how each works and how to configure them.

SpamAssassin

SpamAssassin scans each incoming message for qualities that are typical of spam messages, and assigns a numerical point score to each spam-like quality it finds in the message. You configure the sensitivity of SpamAssassin by setting a target number of points. Messages that score at or above the number you set are treated as spam. Messages that score below that number are not.

SpamAssassin works on all the email accounts on your mail server. Here’s how to configure SpamAssassin.

1. In your web browser, go to (your domain name)/cpanel.

Your domain name is the full name of your web site, including .com, .org, .net, or any other extension. (For example, if your domain name is widgets.com, you’d go to http://www.widgets.com/cpanel).

You’ll get a box in which to enter the administrator’s name and password, then click the Login button.

Enter the administrator's name and password.


2. You’ll come to the control panel screen (abbreviated cPanel). Click on the SpamAssassin button.

Click the SpamAssassin button.


3. In the SpamAssassin window, click on the Configure SpamAssassin button at the lower left corner.

Click Configure SpamAssassin button.


4. The SpamAssassin Configuration window contains several sections.
If you’re configuring SpamAssassin for the first time, just enter the target score you want and click the Save button at the bottom of the window. We recommend starting with a value of 8.0, then seeing whether your spam decreases over the next day or two. If not, come back to this window and lower the target score a point at a time until your spam seems under control…then raise it half a point. If you then find that a few legitimate messages don’t come through, raise the number another half or whole point.

Enter your target score.

Here’s a description of all the sections in the SpamAssassin Configuration window:


Required Score

Enter the target number of points at or above which a message will be treated as spam. You can enter whole numbers and tenths of numbers (like 8.5 or 6.2). The lower the number, the more messages will be treated as spam.

Many legitimate message have spam-like qualities, so if you set the number too low those could be mistaken for spam. For example, a message that contains a big graphic with very little text is spam-like. Many spam messages for Viagra, Cialis, and other ED drugs have nothing but a picture that includes the drug name. Spammers do that because even though those words look like text, they’re actually just dots in the picture, so filters that look for the text Viagra or Cialis don’t pick them up. A message like that will be assigned the point value for a big graphic with little text, but the message could also be a legitimate message in which somebody you know sent you a picture.

Blacklist From

In this section you can add email addresses and domain names from whom you never want to receive messages. Any incoming message from those addresses or domains will be treated as spam regardless of their point score.

Score

This section lets you assign custom point values to spam-like qualities. We recommend leaving this section alone unless you’re very familiar with how SpamAssassin works. The default settings work well.

Whitelist From

The whitelist is the opposite of the blacklist. Email addresses and domain names entered here will never be treated as spam no matter what their score is.


5. This takes you back to the original SpamAssassin window. Click the Enable SpamAssassin button to turn SpamAssassin on. Then, under Filters, set the popup menu for Score to match the number you entered in the configuration window, then click the Auto-Delete Spam button.

6. Click the Logout button at the upper right corner of the window to leave the cpanel.

Filtering

Filtering looks for words (or combinations of characters) you specify in each incoming message. You can specify an action to take if the words are found (like discard the message). You can set up filtering that affects all the email accounts on your mail server, or that affects only individual accounts.

Account Level Filtering works on all the email addresses on your mail server…it affects everyone’s email. User Level Filtering works on individual email addresses.

Account Level Filtering

1. In your web browser, go to (your domain name)/cpanel.

Your domain name is the full name of your web site, including .com, .org, .net, or any other extension. (For example, if your domain name is widgets.com, you’d go to http://www.widgets.com/cpanel).

You’ll get a box in which to enter the administrator’s name and password, then click the Login button.

2. You’ll come to the control panel screen (abbreviated cPanel). Click on the Account Level Filtering button to create filters that affect all email addresses, or click on User Level Filtering to create filters that affect individual email addresses.

If you click on User Level Filtering, continue to step 3. If you click on Account Level Filtering, skip to step 4.

To configure filters for all email accounts click Account Level Filtering. For an individual account click User Level Filtering.

3. If you click on User Level Filtering, you come to a window that lists the email addresses on your mail server. Click on Manage Filters to the right of an email address for which you want to create filters. The  filters you create will apply only to that email address. If you want to create filters for another email address, you’ll need to click Manage Filters to the right of that email address.

Click Manage Filters to the right of the email address for which you wish to create filters.

4. In the Edit Filters window, you’ll see the list of existing filters. To create a new filter, click the Create a New Filter button.

Click the Create a New Filter button to create a new filter.


5. In the New Filter window enter a name for this new filter. (In the attached example, I used Delete Tarot.)

Configure the rule window.


In the Rules section of the window, set the first popup menu for the place you want to search (From, Subject, To, Reply Address, Body, Any Header, Any Recipient, Has not been previously delivered, Is an error message). I most frequently use From, Subject, and Body.

Set the second popup menu for how you want the filter to compare the text you enter to the text in the message (equals, matches regex, contains, does not contain, begins with, does not begin with, ends with, does not end with, does not match).

Enter the text you want to compare. In the example I entered tarot.

You can add additional related rules by clicking the + button.

In the attached example, I wanted to look for the word tarot in both the subject and the body. First I configured a rule that says “Subject contains tarot,” then I clicked the + button and created a second rule that says “Body contains tarot.” The two rules are linked together by the or (in a popup menu that appears only when you have multiple rules set up). In this example, a message will match this filter if either the subject or the body contains the word tarot, and also if both contain the word. If I changed the or to and, the subject and body would both have to contain tarot to match the rule.

In the Actions section, select the action you want done to messages that match the rule. I usually use Discard Message.

Click the Activate button to activate the new filter.

Repeat for any additional filters you want to add.

5. Click the Logout button at the upper right corner of the window.

Another Way to Access User Level Filtering

Individual email users can create and edit their own user level filters within the same screen through which they access webmail. Here’s how:

1. In your web browser, go to (your domain name)/cpanel.

Your domain name is the full name of your web site, including .com, .org, .net, or any other extension. (For example, if your domain name is widgets.com, you’d go to http://www.widgets.com/cpanel).

You’ll get a box in which to enter the user’s email address and password, then click the Login button.

2. You’ll come to the webmail screen, where typically you’d choose among the three webmail readers we support: Horde, RoundCube, and SquirrelMail. To create or edit filters, click the Email Filtering button. That takes you to the Edit Filters window for this particular email address.

Click Email Filtering.