Knowledge Base

How to filter unwanted e-mail (spam)

This article describes how to set up your e-mail account to filter messages marked as spam and automatically redirect them to a folder.

This article assumes that you have already enabled and configured SpamAssassin. If you have not done so, please read this article first.

Filtering unwanted e-mail (spam)

After you have enabled SpamAssassin, it uses scores to mark suspicious messages as spam. You can have SpamAssassin automatically delete these messages. However, in this scenario you may occasionally lose legitimate messages that are mistakenly marked as spam (these are known as “false positives”).

Alternatively, you can redirect all messages marked as spam into a separate folder in your account. You can check this folder periodically to see if any legitimate messages were mistakenly marked as spam.

If you use a third-party e-mail client application (such as Thunderbird or Outlook), you can set up this filtering directly on the client. However, you can accomplish the same effect by using e-mail filtering rules defined in cPanel. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Access your e-mail account using webmail or an e-mail client application.
  2. Create a folder named Spam.
    If you are using a e-mail client application, you may also need to subscribe to the Spam folder.
  3. Log in to cPanel.
  4. In the Mail section of the cPanel home screen, click User Level Filtering.
  5. Locate the account for which you want to add a spam filter, and then click Manage Filters.
  6. Click Create a New Filter.
  7. In the Filter Name text box, type the filter name. For example, type Spam Filter.
  8. Under Rules, specify the filter rules:
    • Change the value in the first list box from From to Spam Status.
      If you cannot select the Spam Status option because it is gray, this means you have not enabled SpamAssassin yet. You must enable SpamAssassin first.
    • Change the value in the second list box from equals to begins with.
    • In the text box below the two list boxes, type Yes.
  9. Under Actions, select Deliver to folder.

  10. Click Browse. A list of folders for the e-mail account appears.

  11. Click the Spam folder.

  12. Click Create. cPanel activates the filtering rule for the account, and messages marked as spam are now redirected to the Spam folder.

There are many other ways to define filter rules besides the rule described in steps 8 and 9 above. For example, you could define one filter that redirects messages with a score higher than 5 to your Spam folder, and another filter that deletes messages with a score higher than 8. To do this, use the Spam Score option instead of the Spam Status option.