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The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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University seeks spam mail feedback

The University is collecting feedback from GW community members in response to a growing concern about spam mail.

Information Systems and Services officials will be collecting surveys, which were distributed to all account holders, until April 23. Surveys can also be accessed at Questions focus on the amount of spam users receive and actions they prefer the University to take to control spam.

Pieces of spam, or unsolicited e-mail, are unwanted messages that usually advertise a product or Web site. Virus-laden mail, which has also been entering students’ inboxes lately, can negatively affect portions of a computer.

ISS will use the information from the surveys to determine whether GW should use a filter to manage spam. GW currently uses only a virus filter.

“The survey is intended to help us determine the extent to which GW needs a central ISS filtering product, and if so, which specific filtering methods would best meet GW’s needs,” said Kerry Washburn, director of ISS Administrative Applications, in an e-mail.

Washburn said GW could potentially institute a filter that would delete spam before it reached the account inbox, or one that would direct spam into a separate account folder.

Washburn declined to say how much a filter would cost.

ISS suggests that students do not open or respond to spam mail and should avoid receiving e-mail in HTML format, using auto-responders and purchasing products and services from spam ads. Other tips to stop receiving spam mail are maintaining multiple e-mail accounts and not sharing e-mail addresses with others.

Students should also bounce spam mail to [email protected].

A full list of suggestions can be found at http://

Several students said their inboxes are infiltrated with spam mail daily, and they would like to see GW institute controls.

Sophomore Kajal Patel said she receives about 50 pieces of spam each day.

“I feel like they should tell us if it is spam so we know right away to get rid of it,” she said.

Junior Anna McClure said she did not get spam last semester, but is “definitely getting more lately.”

“It would be nice if they could filter it out somehow,” she said.

Other students said they do not think spam is much of an inconvenience.

“Viruses are definitely more of a nuisance to me,” sophomore Isaak Nejako said. “And honestly, the idea of getting sued for downloading music is much more of an issue to me than dealing with advertisements.”

More than 2,000 account holders had responded to the survey as of Tuesday. Washburn said she expects ISS to receive “many” more responses before the survey closes next week.

“Once the survey is done, we will assess these products against the pattern of spam management preferences that are indicated in the survey responses, and submit recommendations … to GW executives and the Board of Trustees,” Washburn said.


Tips for spam mail prevention

*Do not open or respond to spam mail
*Avoid receiving e-mail in HTML format
*Avoid using auto-responders
*Avoid purchasing products and services from spam ads
*Maintain multiple e-mail accounts
*Avoid sharing your e-mail address
*Bounce spam to [email protected]

source: Information Systems and Services

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