QR Code
OWT Technical Support       https://support.owt.com

The Basics

To access the OWT Mail Filter Configuration Tool point your web browser to http://mailfilter.owt.com The first screen you will see will have updates and some other useful information with a "Login Now" link that will take you to the actual configuration system. When you click on the "Login Now" you will be prompted for your OWT username and password. Make sure that you enter just your username (eg. joeuser) and not your Email address (eg. joeuser@owt.com)! The configuration system does have online help but we suggest you read through this guide before making your settings. Terms Here is a brief explanation of terms you will need to understand before you continue:

  • Scoring - the process used by our spam recognition system to rate the severity of spam. Rules are applied to the message that check for common components of spam assigning a positive value to each rule. In addition common components of normal correspondence are checked for as well with these elements given a negative value. After all the rules are applied the message score is totaled. This score is what the filter will base its actions on. To view the actual score you must view the "headers" of your Email message. This is done differently in the various Email clients available but generally the option will contain the word "header" or possibly "view source".
  • Drop Score - this is the value you instruct the filter to consider the maximum spam score you wish to receive in the account you are configuring. Messages scoring above this value will be permanently deleted.
  • Spam Score - messages scoring greater than your spam score and less than your drop score may optionally be routed to another OWT mailbox or even another Email account with a different provider.
  • Mailbox - we are referring to a mailbox as any physical OWT Email account. This does NOT include aliases or virtual Email addresses or accounts with other providers.
  • Spambox - this is a mailbox you will designate as the destination for messages the filter considers spam because it scores above your spam score but less than your drop score.
  • Exception List - a list of addresses you wish to not be subject to the normal rules of the mail filter. You can instruct the filter to always allow or disallow any Email address or even a specific domain.

Hints To improve your success with the filter and to reduce your frustration we suggest that you keep the following in mind:

  1. Set the filter conservatively initially. Every few days adjust the filter to be more strict until most of your spam is filtered and very little or no legitimate correspondance ends up in your spambox.
  2. If you receive a great deal of Email from foreign countries or Emails generated from web forms you may wish to use a higher than normal drop score.
  3. You will probably have to enter most of your mailing lists into your exception list as they really do closely resemble spam.

Setting Your Drop Score The first setting in your mail filter is the "drop score". From the pull-down menu select a number from 7 to 25 to represent the maximum spam score you want to receive. Any message scoring above this value will be permanently deleted - not bounced to the sender. If you do not wish to drop any mail simply select "Don't Filter". Until you are familiar with the scoring system you may want to set this somewhat high and move it down as you understand how Email is scored. Suggested setting: We have found that virtually everything above 15 is unsolicited and above 18 most messages are pornographic in nature. We suggest starting at 15 but if you have a low tolerance for spam you wish to start as low as 10. Parents may wish to configure their children's accounts as low as 8 (but then you will probably need to program their close friends in as exceptions).

Setting Your Spam Score Before you can even consider setting a spam score you must have some place to route Email that scores above this setting and below your drop score. We strongly urge all OWT customers to utilize this feature! Virtually every access account with OWT includes extra mailbox accounts FREE so have us setup one of those for your spam box. It may be quite convenient to setup a single spam box that is shared by all family or company members that one person patrols periodically for any wanted Email that may have slipped through. By utilizing a spam box your daily Email efforts will be reduced dramatically. Some users like to use the free Email services such as HotMail, Yahoo! Mail etc. You can route mail above your spam score to these addresses as well. Select your spam score from the pull-down menu - obviously this score needs to be below your drop score to make any sense at all. If you do not wish to route any messages to a spam box just select "Don't Filter". Once you have established your spam score you must now enter either an OWT mailbox or an external Email address in the appropriate field. Note that if you enter something in both fields the OWT mailbox will take precedence over the external Email address. Be aware that OWT mailboxes entered into the spambox field will be expired for Email over 14 days automatically (this happens every weekend so you could have Email as much as 21 days old in your spam box at any given time).

Virus Warnings Our mail filtering system will remove most known viruses before they are delivered to you. You are sent a warning message informing you of the situation but the infected attachments have already been deleted. There is not setting to override this. Since most viruses are sent by infected users whose system has run amok, it is useful to just discard or spambox the resulting warning messages. We suggest that you at least spambox the warnings but many users may wish to just drop them. In the section labeled "VIRUS WARNINGS:" select your preference. The default is to deliver these warnings.

Saving Your Settings To make your changes active click on the Update button at the bottom of the screen. If the filter detects any errors in what you have entered you will be notified in an Error: box near the top of the screen. Generally if an error is detected your previous settings will be restored. Your filter settings are live immediately.