Proofpoint Spam Filtering FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

The following has been adapted from UNC's Information Technology Services (ITS) documentation entitled "UNC-CH Spam Filtering FAQ."



Why am I not seeing any messages in my Quarantine?

Either you haven't chosen one of the quarantine policies, or you have, but no messages have been quarantined yet. The spam filtering service scores most messages on the very high or very low end of the score scale. It may be a few days after changing to one of the quarantine policies before you see a quarantined message.

Can I completely opt-out of the spam scanning service?

No, but you can choose a spam policy that is less restrictive. School of Medicine users' default spam policy is set to "Quarantine everything suspicious."  This policy quarantines all messages with a spam score above 95% (Definite Spam) and messages with a spam score between 50%-94% (Probable Spam). All other messages with a spam score below 50% are delivered to your inbox. The "Deliver Everything but Tag Probable Spam" policy is the least restrictive of the five policy options.  This policy delivers all mail to your inbox but tags those message (in the subject line) that are definite or probable spam. For information on how to change your policy, see the Spam Filtering with Proofpoint documentation.

Is mail sent to the UNC School of Medicine listserver being filtered by Proofpoint?


What is a safelist? How do I use it and my blocked senders list?

A blocked senders list is a list of "bad" addresses or domains; a safelist is a list of "good" - or known - addresses or domains. You can have a list of these that alter how mail is delivered to you. For information on how to use these lists, see the Spam Filtering with Proofpoint documentation.

Can I make it so mail from my friend always gets through?

Yes. You would add their address to your safelist.

Can I make it so mail from some domains don't come to me?

Yes. You would add this domain to your blocked senders list.

Why is some spam still getting through?

Spam is a moving target; fighting spam is a very difficult prospect. Often a spam message may get through, but you may feed this back through Proofpoint by selecting "Report as Spam" in your daily digest (or

Can I block spams with the same subject line or based on words in it? a.k.a I don't want to get any spam with the word "Cialis" in it!

The Proofpoint system does not offer this capability but this may be accomplished using our server side filtering feature.

I suspect the spam filtering software is blocking my legitimate mail. What can I do?

OIS's anti-spam solution (Proofpoint) is effective, but not perfect. We have seen a small number of instances where a legitimate message receives a spam score high enough to be quarantined or deleted (depending on your policy). If you believe that you are not receiving messages that you should, you have several options available to you. For more information, see the Spam Filtering with Proofpoint documentation.