Email Spam Hygiene

​Email spam, sometimes called junk email, grows tremendously over time. Most of this is blocked before users see it. You can help control the amount of spam you receive by understanding what spam is and why it comes to you (more info), and then learning how to manage it with NJIT-provided tools.

NJIT uses Google Apps as a central spam service. All mail is matched against known spam and virus signatures and blocked from reaching user mailboxes if a match is made. Because "spammers" are constantly changing their methods and tactics, some spam can continue to reach your mailbox.

Managing spam using Google Apps and Webmail by Google:

Not every unwanted email is spam!

If you receive unwanted email such as a newsletter, be careful not to mark it as spam! For example, if too many users mark a newsletter,  as spam, Google will consider it to be spam for everyone at, and it won't be delivered to the people who really want it. Most legitimate newsletters offer an unsubscribe option. If there is no unsubscribe option, you can create a filter to delete it before it reaches your Inbox.

Spam-related Mail Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I report messages as spam?
  2. How do I check my spam folder?
  3. How do I make my spam label visible?
  4. How do I mark messages as "not spam"?
  5. How do I block a message or add to it to the whitelist?
  6. How do I create filters to automatically add emails to the whitelist or blacklist in the Webmail by Google web interface?
  7. What tips do you have for Outlook users?

1. How do I report messages as spam?

  1. Select the message you'd like to report.
  2. Click the Report spam button in the toolbar above your message list.
    (If you have the message open, you can also report it as spam by using the same button.)

2. How do I check my spam folder?

  1. In the Webmail by Google web interface, in the left navigation column - label list, scroll to the bottom.
  2. Click on More, and then scroll down further.
  3. Click on Spam.
  4. Be careful about what you click on or open in the spam folder.
  5. Hover over a message to see the sender's email address.
  6. If it looks the least bit suspicious (e.g., the sender name doesn't appear related to the actual email address), do not open it and don't move it to your Inbox. Leave it in your spam folder.

3. How do I make my spam label visible?

  1. In the upper-right corner of the web interface, click the "gear" icon and select Settings.
  2. Select the Labels tab.
  3. Select the Show or Show if Unread ​link next to the spam folder.

4. How do I mark messages as not spam?

If you see items in the spam folder that shouldn't be there:

  1. Select the check box in front of the item, and click on the Not spam button at the top.
  2. If you see a specific pattern of emails being caught as spam (e.g., from a mailing list or a particular person), you can set up a Gmail filter to indicate that those emails are "never spam" and should be kept in your Inbox or placed directly into a specified folder. For more information, visit Setting up filters in Gmail.

5. How do I block a message or add it to the whitelist?

Check your spam folder for legitimate emails and mark them as Not spam - they will go back to your Inbox; Gmail will "learn" that these are not spam. If email from previously whitelisted addresses keeps going to your Gmail spam folder, or if you don't want to wait for Gmail to "learn" that it is not spam, you can set up a filter for those specific addresses, marking them as Never go to spam.

6. How do I create filters to automatically add emails to the whitelist or blacklist in the Webmail by Google web interface?

  1. Click the down arrow located in the search box and a search window will appear.
  2. In the From field, enter the domain or email address of the user(s) you would like to filter.
  3. Click Create Filter with this search.
  4. If you would like to add this person to your whitelist, select Never sent it to Spam.
  5. If you would like to add this person to your blacklist, select Delete it.
  6. Click Create Filter.
  7. All Filters can be edited or deleted in Gmail settings under Filter​.

7. FAQs for Outlook users:

Outlook users' spam is managed by Google. It is recommended that only Gmail's spam filtering be used and to turn off any additional anti-spam or junk email filters within your client. Outlook filtering is turned off by default. For more information, visit How is spam handled for IMAP page.

8. What can I do when I detect spam email?

If a few spam emails are still making it to your Inbox and being downloaded to Outlook, just drag them to your Junk E-mail folder.

9. I don't want to see the spam email in Outlook. What should I do?

If you are using Outlook with an IMAP connection, email that has already been filtered by Gmail to Gmail's Spam folder will be visible in the Junk E-mail folder. If you don't want to see that, sign into Gmail from your web browser, go to Settings >> Labels, and uncheck Show in IMAP next to Gmail's Spam label. What you then allow Outlook to do re: filtering further messages to "Junk" is up to you.

Please contact the IST Service Desk ( if you have questions.


Last Updated: June 27, 2018