Knowledge Base

How to use cPanel to manage unwanted email (spam)

This article describes how to use the Spam Filters tool in cPanel to reduce the amount of unwanted e-mail (spam) in your e-mail accounts. Spam Filters (powered by Apache SpamAssassin™) is an automated filtering system that uses a variety of techniques to identify and filter spam messages.

 

Spam Filters

Spam can be a major annoyance, with messages filling up users' inboxes. Additionally, spam messages can contain virus attachments or malicious links.

When you enable Spam Filters, powered by Apache SpamAssassin™, it uses scores to rate the likelihood that a message is spam. You can manage messages that Spam Filters marks as spam in a number of ways. For example, you can route messages marked as spam to specific folders, or you can automatically delete them.

Although you can configure Spam Filters to automatically delete messages marked as spam, A2 Hosting does not recommend enabling this feature. Instead, you should use a filtering rule that redirects suspected spam messages to a spam folder. For information about how to do this, please see this article.
Enabling Spam Filters

To enable Spam Filters in cPanel, follow these steps:

  1. In the Email section of the cPanel home screen, click Spam Filters.
  2. Toggle Process New Emails and Mark them as Spam (please note that this is default enabled on accounts, which means that Spam Filters powered by Apache SpamAssassin™ is enabled) on.
  3. To enable auto-deletion of spam messages, toggle Automatically Delete New Spam (Auto-Delete) on. Set the power of the spam filter by raising or lowering the number in the Auto-Delete Threshold Score.
    A lower score is more restrictive. In other words, an auto-deletion score of 1 is very aggressive and will delete many messages. An auto-deletion score of 10 is more permissive and will let more messages through without deleting them.
Configuring Spam Filters

You can further customize the parameters to control how Spam Filters examines incoming messages. You can also define whitelists (trusted senders) and blacklists (known spammers).

 

To customize Spam Filters in cPanel, follow these steps:

  1. In the Email section of the cPanel home screen, click Spam Filters.
  2. On the Spam Filters page, click Additional Configurations (For Advanced Users).
  3. Select Configure Calculated Spam Score Settings.
  4. Under Spam Testing Scores you can set values for different scores. In the score text boxes, you can assign scores to specific tests that Spam Filters uses to examine incoming messages. A2 Hosting recommends using the following test scores:
    • URIBL_DBL_SPAM 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
    • URIBL_WS_SURBL 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
    • URIBL_BLACK 10.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
    • T_DKIM_INVALID 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0
    • RDNS_NONE 1.8 1.8 1.8 1.8
    • DCC_CHECK 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0

    The URIBL_* tests check blacklists such as Spamhaus. The RDNS_NONE test checks to see if the sending IP address has a reverse DNS entry, while the DCC_CHECK test checks the DCC checksum database to detect bulk mail.

    If you later want to reset these scores to their default values, use the following test scores:

    • URIBL_DBL_SPAM 0 1.7 0 1.7
    • URIBL_WS_SURBL 0 1.659 0 1.608
    • URIBL_BLACK 0 1.775 0 1.725
    • T_DKIM_INVALID 0 0 0 0
    • RDNS_NONE 0 1.1 0 0.7
    • DCC_CHECK 0 1.1 0 1.1
  5. In the blacklist_from text boxes, you can specify e-mail addresses that are known spammers.
  6. In the whitelist_from text boxes, you can specify e-mail addresses that are trusted senders.
  7. To save the new configuration, click Save.
Disabling Spam Filters

You can disable Spam Filters whenever you want. For example, if you are unable to receive a non-spam e-mail message, you can disable Spam Filters and ask the sender to resend the message so it reaches your account.

To disable Spam Filters in cPanel, follow these steps:

  1. In the Email section of the cPanel home screen, click Spam Filters.
  2. Toggle Process New Emails and Mark them as Spam off. This will disable Spam Filters.

 

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