FAQ

To the right you will find answers to some commonly asked questions about the new network.

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E-mail

About the new e-mail system

The new email system includes 1GB of email storage for undergraduate students and 2GB for graduate students. Should additional storage space be necessary in the future, a simple web request form can automatically increase individual storage quotas. Faculty and staff members have unlimited email storage.

Undergraduate and graduate student email accounts were automatically moved to the new system in early August.

Email addresses did not change.

All messages in each person's inbox were still available in the new mail system.

However, messages in other folders were not readily visible. To see messages stored in old email folders, each person on the mail system had to subscribe to their old email folders.

For instructions on how to subscribe to your old email folders from the new email system, visit the FAQ page below:

https://www.owlnet.rice.edu/FAQ/cache/562.html

Note to pre-2006 Rice students, faculty, and staff members: TWIG is no longer actively supported as a Webmail protocol at Rice University.

Set Up a Vacation Message

A vacation message auto-replies to email to let people know that you are out of the office. Call the Help Desk to set one up or go to https://www.mail.rice.edu/ and click Forward.

Manage Unwanted E-mail

Unsolicited bulk e-mail, nicknamed SPAM, is a frequent source of frustration for Rice faculty, staff and students. For most members of the Rice community, e-mail is a critical part of our daily work, so we must deal with SPAM. To assist with the identification and removal of SPAM, Information Technology has implemented the DSPAM (as in “de-spam”) filtering tool on our campus mail servers.

DSPAM combats SPAM by performing detailed statistical analysis on incoming email messages, using a variety of advanced analysis algorithms. E-mail that earns a high score is marked as SPAM. DSPAM maintains separate preferences for each user, so you can customize your SPAM settings to your liking and teach your DSPAM filter to recognize new SPAM, or to ignore legitimate e-mail. This process is calling training, and it is critical to the successful operation of DSPAM.

DSPAM also has a server-based Quarantine, which allows you to trap SPAM before it enters your e-mail INBOX. This feature is not turned on by default because it requires regular maintenance, but the Quarantine is one of the best features of DSPAM.

To learn more about training and utilizing your DSPAM filter, see the tutorial podcast or read the online instructions:

http://www.rice.edu/it/help/documents/dspam/

Blacklists

Rice uses Blacklists to block some SPAM from the campus network. The Office of the Vice Provost for Information Technology (IT) received numerous requests in the last two years for relief from the overwhelming volume of junk mail received by Rice community members. One set of services that can help block spam and phishing messages from Rice email customers is called blacklists, or real time blacklists (RTB).

Using a blacklist service means that the sender’s address for every incoming email message is compared to several blacklists and messages are accepted or rejected by the Rice email system based on where the message originated.

How It Works Inside the Hedges

  1. Open source organizations use databases to track email servers that send spam messages or that are set up (configured) in such a way that they can be hijacked by spammers or used as a front for spam or phishing agents. These organizations publish suspicious server addresses in blacklists.
  2. A software application protecting the Rice email system compares the sender address on all incoming email messages to addresses on the blacklists.
  3. When an inbound email originates from an email server found on multiple blacklists, Rice refuses to accept the incoming message and returns it to the sender with an explanation of why it was blocked.
  4. Alldepts, pres-fac, and other Rice-originated email messages do not go through the blacklist service because the messages originate within the Rice system and not outside of Rice.
  5. Spam identification tools such as DSPAM and Spam Assassin continue to rate the content of messages within the Rice system, placing ***SPAM*** tags on messages that have a high probability of containing junk mail. These tools cannot stop the delivery of messages and are not connected to the black list service in any way.
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