Spam Filters

Email Filters

Spam is a big problem with 90% of all email traffic being Junk and Spam from compromised or bogus mail servers. Your cPanel mail server uses multiple techniques to separate email that Contains Spam, Viruses or Executables. Mail is initially checked against multiple Real Time Blocklists (RBL) and checked to confirm the sending email address is real via Sender Verification (SVF) and that the senders mail server IP matches their Sender Policy Framework(SPF) before it is passed to the SpamAssassin Engine where it is subjected to hundreds of additional checks and given a numerical spam score and accepted or Flagged as ***SPAM*** based upon your Spam Assassin Filter Threshold settings.


Spam Assassin

SpamAssassin™ will attempt to identify spam emails, based hundreds of technical checks and comparisons and scores each Email with a numeric value, the higher the number the more likely it is Spam. You set the SpamAssassin Filter Threshold Slider to determine how aggressively the system will filter Spam and set what action to do with the Email identified as Spam. SpamAssassin (or any spam filter) will never be perfect because some Spam or Junk can be subjective and still pass the technical checks so you may need to increase the Filter threshold or add problem emails to your BLACKLIST.


Filter Sensitivity: By default, your filter will be set to "5" which will work well for most normal accounts. If you have a lot of spam you may increase the slider to the right to increase the filters sensitivity. We suggest that you make gradual changes to insure the filter does not become too sensitive and mark valid mail as spam. After making changes wait a few days and re-check statistic graphs. * NOTE your SpamAssassin Filter threshold does not block or reject email it only marks it ***SPAM*** so it can be identified and separated.

Action: Once the filter determines an inbound mail is Spam it will mark its subject with **** Spam **** . You can then choose to have the mail added to your Inbox, placed inside a "Spam" folder which can be accessed via IMAP from your email software, or the online Webmail system or Deleted.

Exception Lists: Force the filters to exempt any email (whitelist) or block any email (blacklist) by:

  • Sender's specific email address ie: or awildcardaddress such as * that will cover any email address from the specified domain.
  • Sender's mail server IP address.
  • Sender's email subject keyword or phrase.
  • Sender's email body keyword or phrase.

See the Logs section below for more information on how to whitelist RBL , SPAM and Sender Verification Failures.



Use the statistics to get a better idea of your inbound mail profile. Statistics will display the number of daily valid Mail (Ham) number of Mail scored as SPAM, as well as Mail flagged as Spam due to the sender being on a Real Time Black Lists (RBL) or failing Sender Verification (SVF) or Sender Policy Framework. You can also view previous months' statistics as well as running totals for each month.

Mail Logs

The Mail Logs are located by clicking on Logs Tab which lists every email that was sent to your server,and show if the mail was considered good mail (HAM), or marked as SPAM. Each log entry shows its date and time, the classification "Type", and the option to "show" the log details for each email.




Searching Mail Logs

Mail Logs are searchable by To, From, Subject or Any Part or Type. If you want to find out how the system processed a specific mail, or if you find you're not receiving email from a party, you should search the Mail Logs to verify it was sent and if received how the system processed it.


HAM: Email passed all checks and its spam score was below the Spam Assassin filter threshold that you set in Spam Assassin slider.

SPAM: All inbound email that passes the RBL and Sender Verification Connection Level checks is sent through the Spam Assassin Filters where it is scored as to how likely it is to be Spam, and then permitted, flagged or deleted based upon your Spam Assassin Filter sensitivity and Action settings. By default, your Spam Filter is set to level 5, however you can increase or decrease it depending upon your specific needs. If you find that Spam Assassin is falsely marking valid emails you can Whitelist them by sender, subject or keywords. If you continue to have problem Spams that are getting through, you can Blacklist them in the same manner.

SPAM-RBL: All inbound email is checked against multiple Real Time Black Lists which contain the IP addresses of mail servers used by known Spammers. We subscribe only to the most reputable RBL lists to ensure accurate discrimination of Spam. If you find that a valid email is being flagged as RBL and marked as SPAM, it means that at the time they sent the email to you, their mail server was on an RBL listed in the log detail notes. In most cases the senders mail administrator will resolve the RBL or you can force your server to ignore the RBL by clicking on the "whitelist" link in your mail logs or entering it manually in the spam assassinWhitelistconfiguration.

SPAM-SVF Sender Verification Failure: Sender Verification Callout is a connection level filter used to identify emails from servers that are not RFC compliant where the sending email address is not confirmed as existing on the sending mail server. 99% of Sender Verification Failures (SVF) are from compromised email servers, however in rare cases it will be from a valid sender using an improperly configured mail server, or announce only email address that lacks a corresponding smtp account. If you wish to accept mail that has failed SFV Spam check, you can White List the sender's Email address or Entire Mail Server IP Address.

SPAM-Dropped: Our systems will drop email from Non Standard Domains such as someone@cartoon if you find a dropped email in your logs from one of these non standard Top Level Domains (TLDs) simply whitelist the sender such as someone@cartoon or you can do a wildcard for the TLD to permit any email emanating from the TLD to be accepted by adding an asterisk *@TLD ie: *@weird

Adding a Whitelist Entry: Search the Logs for the sender's email address and click "SHOW" to view its Log Details which will show the address and reason it was marked as Spam. It also contains a link that will allow you to Whitelist andy email that was flagged as SPAM or Blacklist any email marked as HAM. You can also manually add any mission critical email addresses to your Spam Assassin whitelist via the configuration tab.


Log Details:Clicking on "SHOW" will display the details for the log entry.

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