Spam and Virus Filters

This section explains how we scan and filter your incoming mail to block spam and viruses. You can control some of the settings used.

All incoming email for your account is checked for viruses, with virus patterns updated hourly.

We use a number of different filters to detect and reject spam.

We don’t use a “spam folder” by default, although you can enable one if you wish.

If the spam filter is blocking legitimate messages from one of your correspondents, you can add the address to your “always allow” list.

You can take a number of steps to minimize the amount of spam you receive.

We recommend using a free service such as SpamCop to report spam. This topic explains how to do that and describes the "full headers" needed to report spam.

Advance fee fraud spam (often called "Nigerian widow" or "419" spam), stock scams, and lottery scams are the most difficult types of email for a filter to block.

If you use a forwarding address to direct mail to a mailbox, the spam filter setting of the the forwarding address is used when mail arrives for that address, and the mailbox spam filter setting is ignored.

If you're forwarding your mail to addresses that track spam, you won’t be able to disable our spam filtering.

We use a content-based scanner called SpamAssassin to allow advanced users to create additional anti-spam mail rules.

If spammers "forge" your address in mail they send, you might receive erroneous "bounce" messages.

Occasionally you might receive a warning claiming you sent a virus. If this happens, the virus was almost certainly sent by someone else with an infected computer, not by you or us.

You can use Sieve mail filters to control how mail is delivered.

If mail you send ends up in a recipient’s spam folder, you can probably fix it if you find why it’s happening.