Spam and Phishing

  1. How email filtering works at Newcastle University
  2. Subject Tags
  3. Phishing and Scam Emails
  4. Additional Junk Email filtering with Outlook / Office365

We estimate that the University email system processes more than 1.5 million messages per day and as much as 95% may be rejected because it is spam or carries a virus. Whilst we try to avoid "false positives" during the filtering process it is important to check your "Junk Email" folder regularly for any missed messages.

1. How email filtering works at Newcastle University

Incoming messages to the University are scanned by several processes designed to detect SPAM, Phishing (scam) and virus-laden messages. 

In the case of SPAM messages we generally "tag" suspected SPAM by modifying the subject line of an email rather than rejecting outright. Tagged messages are automatically moved into your "Junk Email" folder.

In the case of messages that have been rejected, we provide a detailed "non-delivery report" (NDR) going back to the sender. This links to a possible explanation, which describes the reason for rejecting a message (usually blacklists). Thus, genuine sites (which may be on a blacklist through their own inexperience, or through accidental causes) are warned, and they can take action.

2. Subject Tags

Suspected SPAM messages are analysed by a filtering mechanism and assigned a "SPAM score".  Above a certain score, messages will be tagged on the subject line with [SPAM].  A message tagged with [SPAM] indicates that our email filters have a high confidence that this message is unwanted SPAM and it will usually be automatically filtered in to your "Junk Email" folder.

If you have untagged SPAM messages making their way into your Inbox then you can report these by forwarding the message to  If you have innocent messages that have been mistakenly tagged with [SPAM] then you can report this by forwarding the message to

When forwarding messages to either of these addresses please ensure you use "Forward" and not "Forward As Attachment" in your email software.

3. Phishing and Scam Emails

Please find a dedicated page on phishing and scam emails.

4. Additional Junk Email filtering with Outlook / Office365 Mail

In addition to spam protection at the Newcastle mail gateways detailed above, Outlook and Office365 Mail also offer an additional level of protection through inbuilt Junk Email filtering.  All * and * email is set to bypass this level of Junk Email fitering.  It is important that you monitor your Junk Email folder for legitimate email that has been inadvertantly classified as Junk Email.


Note:  To enable/disable in Outlook, you must be running in Cached Exchange Mode

In Outlook, select Junk from the menu and choose Junk Email Options

You can then configure Junk Email filtering to your preferences, add/remove blocked senders, safe senders etc.

Office365 Mail:

Click on the cog icon in the top right of the page to open the Settings pane. Under Your app settings choose Mail.

Select Accounts -  Block and Allow from the menu on the left.


You can then enable Junk Email filtering and add/remove blocked senders, safe senders etc.

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