Subject: Setting up a Barracuda user account Technical Reference #: TRD006
Intended Audience: ACPHS Users Date: 2/5/2009
Setting up and Using The ACPHS Spam Filter
ACPHS.edu e-mail users have access to the Barracuda personal account management system. To make
use of this system you must initialize your account. Follow these steps:
1. Access the Barracuda site from your browser. The URL is http://spam.acphs.edu.
2. You'll see the following login form:
3. Request a password. Your username is your regular e-mail address, in the form
email@example.com. If you never have used this service before, the system will need to issue
you a password. To request a password, enter your username/e-mail address in the Username:
field (ex: firstname.lastname@example.org) and click Create New Password. The system will confirm
the operation and within just a few seconds a new password will be sent to you in the body of an
e-mail message. You also can use this process to get a reminder if you’ve forgotten your
4. Login again with the password. Return to the login page and this time log in with your
username/e-mail address and the password you just received (or click on the link in the e-mail
message you received from the server). If everything is working properly the next screen will be
the main user account management screen displaying the Quarantine Inbox with other tabbed
When you are finished using the system, don’t forget to click the Log Off link in the upper right-hand
corner, or close your browser.
Setting your preferences
Once your account is working there are some basic preferences to set. All of these are available from the
Preferences tab. When the Preferences page appears, the default view will show you the Security page,
with the other options displayed as a row of links.
You can use this form at any time to change your password. Fill in the fields and then click the “Save
Password” button to activate your changes. You at this point will be sent back to the login page, where
You will be able to log in again with your new password. If at any time you happen to forget your new
password, use the “Create New Password” option on the login screen to get a reminder, as described
Spam Filter Enable/Disable
On this page you can enable or disable the filter. “Yes” is the default and is the recommended option. If
you set this to “No” then you will not be protected by Barracuda spam filtering. Click “Save Changes”
to store your settings.
This section of the Barracuda interface allows you to instruct the system to allow certain messages to
bypass parts of the filtering process. You have two choices.
1. The Whitelist option allows you to designate senders that otherwise might have received a tag to
pass through to your inbox without modification. Note that the Whitelist option only applies to
messages that have a medium-probability spam rating. High-probability spam and virus-bearing
messages will not be delivered even if the sender’s address is Whitelisted.
2. You also can name senders and domains that always will be blocked, even if there’s nothing
wrong with the message. In the tables provided, enter either a fully qualified e-mail address or a
domain name (everything after the @ sign in an e-mail address is the domain). In the latter case,
messages from all senders at that particular domain will be affected. In the example below, two
items (one sender and one domain) have been added to the Whitelist (“allowed”) and three have
been added to the blacklist (“blocked”). You must click “Add” for each new entry to record it in
You can use this feature to make sure that you will receive messages from certain favored senders, to
block messages from unwanted mailers and, more generally, to reduce the number of items that arrive
marked as [QUAR] or [BULK], which will in turn cut down the amount of time you have to spend on
maintenance. To remove an item from either list, click the trash can image next to that entry.
If you have enabled the Quarantine service (default), messages that are labeled [QUAR] will be held for
you on the Barracuda server for you to peruse at your convenience. In this part of the preferences section
you can tell the system to send you e-mail reports summarizing the contents of your Quarantine box,
either daily or weekly. These notifications are graphic e-mail messages that look very much like the
Quarantine Inbox that you see when you log in to the Barracuda server. Answering “Never” to this
question will not affect the Quarantine function, but it means that you will have to remember on your
own to access the Barracuda interface to see the messages that have been quarantined. Click “Save
Changes” to record your settings.
Below is an example of an e-mail notification. This is an interactive message: Clicking on a link in the
“Actions” column will open your browser and take you directly to the Quarantine Inbox display on the
server without requiring a login. See below for details on managing quarantined messages.
Managing Quarantined Mail
The Quarantine Inbox is your personal display on the Barracuda server of the quarantined e-mail that
has been saved for your review. Here’s a screen shot of a section this page, showing two quarantined
The system assigns messages to the Quarantine category that have a high likelihood of being junk mail.
But because these messages are quarantined rather than simply discarded, you have the opportunity to
make decisions about how to handle them.
Near the top of this screen are several controls that affect the display. The “Refresh” button is like a
browser’s refresh or reload button, updating the display to show the current state of the system. The
“Filter” feature lets you limit the display to specific items, and at the right (not shown on the screen shot
above) there are left and right arrow controls that page the display forward and backwards if there are
too many entries for a single page.
Below those controls is a row of five buttons that define various actions that can be applied to messages.
You can apply any of them to a single message, or you can click the checkbox at the left side of each
entry to select several messages and apply an action to the whole group at once. The first three are fairly
1. Deliver – sends the selected message(s) on to your regular ACP inbox
2. Whitelist – automatically adds the sender’s information to your Whitelist
3. Delete – discards the selected message(s)
These three functions also are available as links in the “Actions” column for each entry -- you can use
these to apply the action to single messages. However, these “Deliver” and “Delete” options affect only
the current message, not any future messages with the same profile.
For example, choosing to have a quarantined message from a particular source delivered will do nothing
to change the fact that the next message from that source probably will get quarantined as well. By the
same token, deleting a specific message won’t stop the next message that comes in from that sender.
This just means more work for you. Fortunately, there’s a better way: taking advantage of Barracuda’s
ability to learn by example.
Normally the Barracuda filter applies a series of global tests and each tested message receives a
cumulative score that determines how the message will be classified. These tests are reasonable
approximations of what most users want, but there is a large gray area in between “spam” and “not
spam,” and you may find that you don’t always agree with Barracuda’s decisions.
The solution to this problem is to feed Barracuda examples of messages you consider to be spam and
messages you consider to be valid. This is the purpose of the other two action buttons on this screen:
1. Classify as Not Spam – submits the selected message to the filter engine, which in turn uses its
features to classify future similar messages as valid e-mail
2. Classify as Spam – submits the selected message to the filter engine, which in turn uses its
features to classify future messages as spam.
Note that using these buttons will perform no other operation on the selected message. You must then
deliver or delete the message to remove it from quarantine.
A Final Note
This is a dynamic system that learns your preferences over time. The more examples you present to the
system, the more accurate its tests will become and the number of messages appearing in the Quarantine
Inbox will go down. It’s important to note that this is not a simple yes/no decision making process. It is
instead “fuzzy” and constantly changing, and whether an individual message ultimately is labeled as
[BULK] or [QUAR] is a function not of any single test, but the cumulative effect of all the tests.
What Barracuda is giving you with these tools is a way to influence the criteria used when these tests are
applied. As the system learns your needs it will become “smarter” and will require less of your time and