Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

How your Junk Email Folder has changed

Microsoft Exchange Online Protection (EOP) launched on March 7, 2017. There were two primary reasons for moving our email protection service to an online service; the first was for reliability, to remove our reliance on our campus infrastructure for email delivery, the second was to enable us to take further steps in protecting the campus from email threats in the form of phishing emails.

We would like to outline a few differences you may have noticed and why you should care about them:

I get more junk!

In the past our spam filters blocked email based on a set of rules, there was little awareness of what the spam filter was doing unless the email you were expecting did not arrive. Exchange Online Protection still does block the worst of the messages arriving from known sources of spam, and continues to protect us from malware and viruses. However, it delivers all questionable content to the Junk Email folder instead. These messages fall into a grey area. If they are really Junk and they are in your Junk Email folder – Great! Ignore them; they will be automatically deleted after 30 days. If they are good emails you need to move them out of the Junk Email folder, back into your Inbox. This will train your Junk Email folder so in future similar email will not be sent to your Junk Email folder. This must be done within 30 days, otherwise the email will be lost.

Junk Email is automatically gone in 30 days!

That message my student sent me ended up in the Junk Email folder - Why?

In the past, Queen’s mailboxes received messages that were faked, they looked like they were from Queen’s members but were being sent from a spammer. These are called Spoofed messages. Exchange Online Protection is looking for and marking spoofed messages. A user can have a misconfigured email client and inadvertently spoof their own account! These types of emails end up in the Junk Email folder and are marked with a Safety Tip as possibly fraudulent. These could be valid messages. When you find a message from someone at Queen’s in your Junk Email folder, verify they sent the message by contacting them and you can let them know to call the IT Support Centre for help fixing their client.

For more information on the safety tips see Safety tips in email messages in Office 365

Just because it is in your Junk Email folder, doesn't mean it is junk.

The External Mailing list I just sent an email to came back saying it is fraudulent!

Mailing lists are notorious for pretending to be the person who sent to the list, instead of a generic list account. These are called Spoofed messages. Exchange Online Protection is looking for and marking spoofed messages. Luckily, if you are sending to an external list (i.e. not then the members of the list are not seeing the same alert, only you and other Queen’s members that are part of the list will see the warning. Unless the list changes its behavior, this will continue to be a consequence of protecting against spoofed emails.  As a subscriber to the list you cannot change the behaviour, but you can change the way your email client handles email.  See the Managing and Organize Outlook in Windows or Customize junk e-mail protection in Outlook for Mac.

Using your Junk email filter rules, you can make sure your messages do not end up in Junk.

If you have questions about email contact the IT Support Centre or visit the ITS website for more information about the Junk Email folder and Safety Tips.