What does "Spam: ******...." mean?

The addition of the word "Spam" followed by a number of asterisks ( * ) in email Subject lines is part of a spam (junk email) filtering system that we are implementing at Montana.Net.

How does it work?

The system itself does not discard any incoming emails, but scans them for attributes that are commonly found in spam and then assigns each incoming email a score. The higher the score (and the more asterisks) the greater the likelihood that the email is spam. Because of the wide variations in content and formatting within both legitimate and junk emails, there will be spams that will slip through without being identified as such while some legitimate emails will be mistakenly labeled as spam. Nothing is foolproof, especially when spammers continually change their tactics in attempts to thwart filtering systems. Overall, however, the system does a fairly good job.

How does this help me?

The inclusion of the asterisks in the Subject line gives you the means to employ filters in your email program, if so desired, to deal with spam in a manner that you see fit. Most email programs include filtering capabilities. Outlook Express calls them "Message Rules", while Netscape and Eudora simply refer to them as "Filters".

If, for example, you notice that none of your legitimate emails ever arrive with more than three asterisks inserted in the Subject line, you can set your email program to automatically send any emails with three or more asterisks in their Subject lines to the trash.

If any particular legitimate emails arrive with a number of asterisks that would cause them to be filtered out by your filters, you can always create exceptions for those emails to allow them through.

Note that exception rules must be placed ahead of the other filtering rules.

An important point to remember is that, prior to setting up filtering on your system, you should take the time over several days to observe the emails that you receive to see what ratings your legitimate emails are being assigned so that you don't end up filtering out legitimate emails.

Click HERE for Instructions for setting up
Outlook Express Message Rules.

Will the spam filtering system delete any emails that I don't want it to?

No. Our spam filtering system does not delete any emails on its own. It simply adds the annotation to the Subject line and leaves it to you to decide what you want to do with the emails. You make the decision of what gets deleted and what you receive.

What if I want to reply to an incorrectly labeled email and don't want it going out with "Spam: *****" in the Subject?

Simply delete the "Spam: *****" from the Subject line on your reply (or forward) before clicking the Send button.

What is this going to cost me?

Nothing. These capabilities will be included with your Montana.Net email address at no additional charge.

I'm confused.

There's no need to be (at least as far as this spam filtering system is concerned). Simply email your questions to support@montana.net and we'll do our best to help!