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What is the junk e-mail folder?

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Just before the weekend, we became aware of a particularly intrusive and persistent phishing attack. An e-mail, seemingly from Standard Bank, was distributed from a staff member’s e-mail account after being hacked.

In order to prevent the attack from causing more damage to other e-mail users, stricter spam filter measures had to be implemented over the weekend. After this time period, the filter was reset to its default.

These measures caused some e-mails that weren’t spam, to divert to Outlook’s Junk Mail folder. They were not deleted, but they weren’t visible in inboxes.

Even though it is advisable that you occasionally check your Junk mail folder, it seems some staff aren’t familiar with the folder or it’s function.

The Microsoft Outlook Junk E-mail Filter helps reduce unwanted email messages in your Inbox. Junk e-mail, also known as spam, is moved by the filter away to the Junk E-mail folder.

How the Junk E-mail filter works

The Junk E-mail Filter evaluates each incoming message to assess whether it might be spam, based on several factors. These can include the time when the message was sent and the content of the message. By default, the Junk E-mail Filter is turned on and the protection level is set to Low. This level catches only the most obvious spam. You can make the filter more aggressive by changing the level of protection that it provides.

You can adjust the Junk E-mail Filter settings in the Junk E-mail Options dialogue box.

  • On the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Junk, and then click Junk E-mail Options.

Any message that is suspected to be junk is moved to the Junk E-mail folder. We recommend that you periodically review the messages in the Junk E-mail folder to check for legitimate messages that were incorrectly classified as junk. If you find a message that isn’t junk, drag them back to the Inbox or to any folder. You can also mark the item as not junk by doing the following:

  • On the Home tab, in the Delete group, click Junk, and then click Not Junk.

More detailed instructions can be found on the Office365 Knowledgebase and on Microsoft’s website.

We apologise for the inconvenience and confusion caused by these emergency measures. If you have any questions, please contact the IT Service Desk at 021 808 4367 or


The cloud is coming

Friday, September 26th, 2014

Within the next few months Matie students will be able to send e-mail like never before.

If you’re a regular Twitter user or sometimes wander around in the Neelsie or Library, you’ve probably seen notices referring to the “cloud”. Don’t worry, we’re not talking about the unpredictable Cape weather. On the contrary, this cloud brings good news.

Student numbers have been increasing rapidly over the past few years and with it the need for more e-mail storage space. Up till now student mail has been hosted on the university’s mail servers, but we’re starting to run out of space.

Information Technology has been investigating all the possible solutions and came to the conclusion that Office 365 would be the best choice for student e-mail.

MS Office and Microsoft operating systems are already used in student computer user areas and would integrate seamlessly with this existing technology.

With the e-mail cloud project Stellenbosch University will be entering a new phase for e-mail and although staff e-mail will also eventually be migrated, the biggest need is currently moving student e-mails.

The target date for migration is October, but we will continuously keep students updated on developments through Twitter.

A website will be made available where students can do the migration themselves and start testing the cloud platform. Students can choose when they want to migrate. Those who haven’t migrated by December, will automatically be moved by IT to Office 365 before the end of the year.

But why struggle with limited space, when you can have a whole 50 GB space to your disposal. Office 365 also offers other advantages such as storage space on OneDrive and online access to Microsoft applications like Word, Excel, etc.

If you want to stay updated on the e-mail cloud project, follow us on Twitter at @ITStellenUni or #theitcloud.

Warning: New SARS, ABSA & eBucks phishing email

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

If you receive an email claiming to be from ABSA regarding a payment from SARS or eBucks (see examples below), do not open it or click on any of the links. These are phishing emails attempting to acquire your passwords and other information. Immediately delete these emails and do not reply to them.

From: Absa Bank []
Sent: 18 September 2012 08:29 AM
To: …
Subject: SARS E-filing Payment Received

Dear Client,

A payment has been made into your account from SARS e-filing
In other to process and confirm this payment please do click here to login.
During this process, your RVN will be checked and verified.



From: Absa Internet Banking []
Sent: 19 September 2012 15:01
Subject: Payment Made To Your Online Banking!!

Absa Bank

Online Payment Made

Dear Customer,

A payment has been made to your account. To view the details of the payment, please click here to login. and enter the RVN that will be sent to your cellphone. please contact our support centreon 0860 123 000 . If you are calling from outside South Africa, call +27 11 299 4701 .

Our consultants are available between 8am and 9pm on weekdays, and 8am and 4pm on weekends and public holidays. 

The Internet banking Team

Moving Forward

Copyright Absa. All rights reserved.
Absa of South Africa Limited (Reg. No. 1962/000738/06). Authorised financial services provider. Registered credit provider (NCRCP15).

Disclaimer and confidentiality note:
Everything in this email and any attachments relating to the official business of Absa Group Limited is proprietary to the group.
It is confidential, legally privileged and protected by law. Absa does not own and endorse any other content.
The person addressed in the email is the sole authorised recipient.
Please notify the sender immediately if it has unintentionally reached you and do not read disclose or use the content in any way.

Absa cannot assume that the integrity of this communication has been maintained nor that it is free of errors, virus, interception or interference.
For our privacy policy or information about the Absa group visit our website at

Absa email disclaimer and confidentiality note

Please go to site/homepage/emaildisclaimer. html to read our email disclaimer and confidentiality note. Kindly email (no content or subject line necessary) if you cannot view that page and we will email our email disclaimer and confidentiality note to you.

From: eBucks Credit []
Sent: 25 September 2012 11:56 AM
Subject: eBucks Reward: You have earned a eBucks points !!!


We have detected unusual activity on this account and for your security are temporarily blocking access. To regain access to this account, please click here.

If you are unable to login, contact Member Services at 1-877-786-0722 for further assistance.

Spam – not just processed meat

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Spam, or junk mail is defined as identical, disruptive e-emails sent to a large amount of e-mail or cellphone users.  When a receiver clicks on one of the links in the message, he/she is diverted to a phishing website or websites containing malware.  Spam e-mails can also contain hidden malware scripts. The opposite of spam is, believe it or not, ham. In other words e-mails you WANT to receive.

The origin of the meaning of spam in this context, can be laid at the feet of the obscure British comedians known as Monty Python. In a 1970 sketch a group of Vikings in a restaurant starts chanting the word “spam” so incessantly that no-one else can have a conversation. Click here if you’d like to see the original Monty Python sketch where the word “spam” is mentioned 132 keer times in a mere three and a half minutes.

Even Google is amused by die word. The company once hid a surprise in their gmail users’ spam folder. When you clicked on your Spam folder, a webclip containing a variety of recipes for the original variety of spam. Amongst others recipes for  “Spam Primavera”, “Spam Swiss Pie”, “Creamy Spam Broccoli Casserole” and “Spam Veggie Pita Pockets”. The first spam was sent on 3 May 1978 to advertise a new computer system. It was sent to 600 ARPANET users and all 600 names were typed in by hand from a printed document. You can read the original e-mail here.

It is estimated that, from August 2010, 200 billion spam messages are sent per day. Lucky for Stellenbosch campus users, we have a fairly strict spam filer and huge amounts of spam bypass your inbox every day. If you still receive unnecessary spam, there are ways to decrease it even more. If it makes you feel any better though – according to Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, Bill Gates receives four million e-mails a year and most of it’s spam.

SOURCES: http://blog.emailaddressmanager.com &

Need a simple way to send permission-based mass emails?

Friday, September 14th, 2012

If you’re the person in your department responsible for sending out information to other staff or students, you’ve probably wished there was another way to make the process a bit easier and faster.

Well there is, and the system’s called Sympa (Systeme de Multi-Postage Automatique (i.e. Automatic Mailing System)). Sympa is perfect for administering and sending out mass e-mails, very easy to use and can also handle mail merging if needed.

If you’ve used Outlook to send emails to large group of people up till now, you would’ve noticed it limits you to 120 addresses. Sympa allows you to send to an unlimited amount of addresses. You can also create multiple lists and choose descriptive names for your lists. Just remember, the list’s name is also the email address you’ll be sending your mails from, so choose wisely.

To create a  sympa distribution list, go to and click on the “create list” tab. Rember to fill in all the fields on the form.

Alternatively, if this looks too daunting for you, you can put in a request at our service desk at with the following information:

1.            Who is the owner and responsible person for the list?

2.            Who is allowed to send emails to the distribution list?

3.            Should the list be visible or hidden on the Global Address List?

4.            Should there be an expiry date on the list? (For example for conferences, etc. )

5.            Who should be  members of the list? (full list of user names in xls/xlsx format)

6.            Who is requesting the distribution list?

7.            Who is allowed to change the distribution list? (For example add names, etc.)

And before you say “Sympa!”, you’ll be able to send e-mails to your heart’s content. More information on Syma –

SOURCE: Pablo Korkie en Johan Loubser, IT


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