Spam Email

Spam email is defined as unsolicited bulk, also known as mass, email. Unsolicited means the recipient did not grant permission for the message to be sent. Bulk means that the message was sent as part of a larger collection of messages to multiple recipients at once. Spam email is about consent, not content. If the message is sent in bulk and is unsolicited, it is spam. The Office of Information Technology maintains the flow of email into and out of the University and the associated function of cleaning viruses and spam. Spam filtering is provided by default.

Mass Email policy

Bulk or mass emails originating from Western Michigan University are governed by the University's mass email policy and must conform to it. Those who use external mass email services that do not conform to the mass email policy may have delivery of their messages determined to be spam by the University's anti-spam filters and be sent to the recipient's Junk Email folder. If that is the case, it is the responsibility of the external service provider to rectify the problem to conform to the University's policy. See policy.

Spam filtering

Both incoming and outbound email is processed through spam filtering. Various criteria are looked at and a score is assigned.  A point is set that at that point or above, the message is considered spam. If incoming, the message will typically, not always, be sent to the recipient's Junk Email folder. Sometimes the message will be denoted as SPAM and sent to one's inbox. The recipient should simply delete spam messages that arrive in their inbox.

The messages in the Junk Email folder should be periodically reviewed to assure that messages that the recipient does not consider spam did not wind up there. If they did, open the message and and click Not Junk in the upper menu bar. This will train the email system so that eventually messages from that sender will not wind up in the Junk Email folder. 

how can I lessen spam in my w-Exchange email account

  • Do not use your email for non-University business. Many "spam" messages come from businesses you did online business with and provided them with your email address. They may use it to send you their newsletters or their sale email or they may also sell you address to other businesses. 
  • Instead, sign up for a free email account with another entity, e.g. or, and use that address for your online purchases.
  • Don't ever respond to a spam message. Doing so lets the spammer know that they reached an active account and they will send you even more spam.
  • If the message is questionable, be cautious about using their "click here to be removed" or similar message. It is a ploy to see if they've reached an active account.
  • If the spam, is legitimate email, e.g. from someone you have done business with online, they are required by law to provide you with an opt-out or unsubscribe. You should be safe to do so.
  • Never ever respond to a message that asks for your personal information, passwords, account numbers, etc., even though it appears to be from a legitimate source. This is phishing and your providing personal information will allow them to potentially steal your identity.
  • If you receive a spam message you may simply delete, or you may open it and then click Junk in the top menu bar. This moves it to your Junk Email folder where it will be deleted after a period of time.

If you are unsure if a message you receive is spam, you may call the Technology Help Desk at (269) 387-4357, option 1.  See also Spam, Phishing and Abuse Email.

See also CAN-SPAM Act: A Compliance Guide for Business