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Tweaking Spam Settings


There may be some confusion regarding how to properly configure the spam settings in SmarterMail, so I decided to write this tutorial to give everyone a clearer understanding of how it actually works.

Spam is filtered based on the sum of the weights assigned to a number of predefined criteria.  These settings can only be adjusted by the Primary Domain Administrator which is the postmaster account.  To gain access to the settings page:

  1. Log into SmarterMail with the postmaster account.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Expand the folders Domain Settings -> Filtering.
  4. Click on Spam Filtering.

Now we can begin the process of adjusting the spam settings.  Under the Options tab, check the Override spam settings for this domain radio button.

Next, click on the Current Weights tab.  You’ll notice a list of criteria with text boxes which you can edit now.  Here is where you can assign values to each criterion.  Please note you can assign both negative and positive values which are important to understand because it affects the total weight of a message.  I didn’t adjust the settings for now, but remember if you make any changes to the Spam Filtering window to click on Save so that the changes will be applied.

Now, we will take a look at the Actions tab.  Here, there are two fields which you can edit.  The Weight value here represents the total weight before the spam filter will take action.  Any value over this total weight will trigger the action selected in the drop down box.  There are only 3 actions you can apply:

Delete Message
Move to Junk E-mail Folder
Add Text to Subject

This will make more sense when we review an email header.  Remember to click on Save to save your changes.

For testing purposes and this tutorial, I set the weight for the Low Probability of Being Spam to -5 and set the action to Add Text to Subject with the text “SPAM-LOW:”  Then I sent myself a test message from Gmail and voila, the message was filtered.

Now, to see which criteria were used to calculate the total weight, we’ll need to look at the header information.  On the bottom right hand corner, click on Header.  You’ll want to pay attention to these tags:


For the test message I sent, this is the complete header information:

X-SmarterMail-Spam: SPF_Pass, SpamAssassin 0 [raw: 0], DK_None, DKIM_Pass
X-SmarterMail-TotalSpamWeight: -4

If you notice, many of the tags correlate directly with the values assigned under Current Weights, so the total weight is the sum of the values you assigned to the criteria.  In this case, it was (-2) + (0) + (0) + (-2) which equals -4.  Since I set the weight in the Actions pane to be -5, this message was filtered properly because -4 is greater than -5.  If you feel you’re receiving too much spam, you can review the spam message’s header information to determine which criteria were used and make adjustments accordingly.

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