Policies and procedures

Policy No.
Technology And Telecommunications
Authoring Organisational Unit
Information Technology - Central Unit
Date Approved
02/03/2011 Revised 20/02/2014
Next Review Date
Approving Body

The University of Western Australia

University Policy on: Spam

Purpose of the policy and summary of issues it addresses:

The purpose of this policy is to ensure minimum standards for handling spam across UWA. It provides guidance on spam management and reporting in order to protect all users of the University's email systems.


False positive - a legitimate email message that has been incorrectly classified as spam.

IS - Information Services within the University of Western Australia.

Spam - unsolicited bulk email.

Policy statement:

Problems arising from spam include loss of productivity, communication failure due to false positives and possible distress or legal liability arising from exposure to offensive messages. The University uses anti-spam filtering tools and has spam reporting mechanisms in place to avert problems. However, no scanning system is guaranteed and spam will occasionally get through. In such cases, Information Services is responsible for reporting any suspect spam.

1 Spam detection

1.1 The University uses commercial anti-spam filtering tools to detect unsolicited emails and scan for viruses.

1.2 Suspected spam is tagged as [SPAM] and automatically sent to a user's archive folder (e.g. 'junk' email) so that it is not delivered to the user's inbox.

1.3 Where possible, emails containing a virus will be cleaned.

1.4 Identified spam is not automatically deleted, enabling the user to check the archive (or 'junk') folder for any false positives.

1.5 Users are responsible for deleting legitimate spam found in the 'junk' folder after a reasonable period of time, not less than 14 days.

2 Support

2.1 All mail servers hosting University email addresses must be registered with IS.

2.2 Any business unit that is running a mail server must take proactive measures to protect staff and students from offensive spam and the time-consuming task of deleting tagged spam.

2.3 Business units are required to provide support and guidance to all staff and students to enable them to manage spam.

3 Spam reporting and forwarding

3.1 In the case where spam is not identified by the University's email gateways, it will appear in the user's inbox.

3.2 Spam not detected through the filtering tool may be reported to IS at . When sending a report, users are required to include the full email header which shows the routing details. This will help IS to identify the source of the email.

3.3 Users shall not report spam to any external organisation. This includes sending, reporting or forwarding any suspect email to services such as SpamCop, ACMA, or posting it to net.abuse newsgroups.

3.4 Users must not forward tagged spam to an external email address, including a personal address. This is to prevent the University from being blacklisted as a sender of spam.

3.5 IS will be responsible for the reporting of spam if required.

Related forms: (Link)

TRIM File No:


Contact position:

Information Services Policy Officer

Related Policies or legislation: