FAQ Email

Email Addresses

Why are addresses in Physics of the form j.blogs1@physics.ox.ac.uk not joe.blogs@physics.ox.ac.uk?

The difference between the forms of Physics email addresses and other Oxford
University addresses is historical - Physics began using email many years
before most departments and opted for a form that was guaranteed to be unique.
For several years all new mailboxes have been created with the more popular
form of firstname.lastname@physics.ox.ac.uk as the default. However, please note that both forms will work on almost all mailboxes as aliases are created for each form of address. Older mailboxes still have the
unique form as the primary address but this can be changed by emailing Physics Postmaster.

Can I change my email address?

Generally this isn't a problem, but decisions are made on a case by case basis.
Normally the old address will be kept as an alias. Email the Physics Postmaster.

Spam Filtering

I have received mail from a mailing list which I do not want, should I send them an email to unsubscribe?

Before sending an email to an address given in an unwanted email you should be sure that the mail comes from a valid mailling list. "Unsubscribe" links at the bottom of spam mails are a popular method for spammers to harvest valid email addresses, using these links will only increase the amount of spam you receive. However, if the mailing list is one you have subscribed to in the past or is a legitimate list you should indeed send an email to the list administrator to unsubscribe you.

Can you block email from a particular person?

Blocking email from a particular sender address usually does not have much effect, since it is trivially easy to fake or change a sender address. However, if you are receiving annoying email from a particular person you can blacklist their address using the email quarantine system.

Can you block email of this sort?

Please forward the complete email to the Physics Postmaster, asking to have it blocked. When doing this, it is vital that you include the full headers of the original email.

I have received a message saying mail from my account was blocked as spam. I never sent that mail, is my account compromised?

Probably not. Sender addresses are often faked and you will just have received an unjustified bounce. You can check the email headers of the rejected mail (see stopspam.org for details).

Since sender addresses are easily faked in email, we do not block based on sender address except for very few exceptions. It is most likely that this message was not blocked because of where it came from but rather because of what it contained. Please see above to find out how to prevent that.

Can you whitelist the address x@y.com?

You can setup a whitelisted address using the email quarantine system but please do not over use this as you may start receiving more spam in your mailbox.

How much spam does the department receive?

The dpeartment receives in excess of 20,000 emails a day but the anti-spam and malware measures remove approx 20% of these.

What software do you use for spam filtering?

Since Dec 2013 we have been using a Sophos Email Apliance. As part of its operation it uses the score generated by the University's Spamassasin system to help with the decision.

An email to me has not arrived, has it been rejected?

Please check for blocked emails on the email quarantine system.

Can I opt out of having my email filtered?

Yes you can by setting options in the email quarantine system but we recommend against this as you will start receiving significant numbers of email with inappropriate or offensive content and also malware which may put your system or files at risk. If you are having problems with the the quarantine system blocking legitimate emails, please email the IT support team who will investigate whether there is a general problem with the filters.

Do you bounce or reject spam?

Generally only emails that are known to contact dangerous viruses are actually rejects. Anything else which isn't deleivered is placed in the quarantine and can be released by the intended recipient if required.

Categories: Email