Valid messages being marked as Junk


When an email is sent, it is checked by many different processes for legitimacy.  The filtering is extremely accurate but not perfect.  With the large number of email we all receive, there will always be some posibility of false negatives (where a message that should be detected as spam is not) and false positives (where legitimate messages are incorrectly identified as spam).

There are a number of reasons a message may be marked as Junk.  It may be dependent on the sending mail server (which can be misconfigured, or has a reputation for sending malicious, fraudulent, or just unsolicited email).  The message text or attachments may trigger filtering setup by Microsoft, or local filtering rules setup by New Paltz ITS staff.

There are some things you can do to prevent messages you've received that are incorrectly detected as spam/junk from being identified as such in the future.



Reporting messages as not-spam (aka False Positives)

In most cases, you can simply right click on a message you can choose "Mark as Not Junk" as in the screenshot below.  This reports messages to Microsoft for them to update their filtering processes/procedures.  It is an automated review and isn't always perfect.



Blocked Senders List

If similar messages (with the same content or from the same sender/organization) continue to be marked as Junk, we recommend reviewing your Blocked Senders list.  This is a setting on a per-user basis that keeps track of addresses which a person blocks.  Sometimes we have found that this blocking is inadvertent.  Other times we have seen people blocking messages from a single company, which relays messages they want to receive and messages they don't (but they use the same 'from' address for the routing).

One example of this is the Qualtrics software that SUNY New Paltz uses to send surveys, and can also be used for email voting (for Faculty Governance elections for example).  If someone blocks the address because they aren't interested in one message sent by Qualtrics, it will cause all Qualtrics messages to be blocked.

To check your Blocked Senders list in Office 365's web version (also known as Outlook Web Access):

  1. Click the gear icon at the top right to access settings.
  2. Click "View all Outlook settings" at the bottom.
  3. Click on Junk email in the second column on the left.
  4. Review the list of "Blocked Senders and Domains".  Use the scroll bar on the right to scroll through the list of you have more than a few addresses.
  5. If you find a sender which shouldn't be blocked, click on that address then click the trash icon to the right of that address to remove it.
  6. Click "Save" at the top right when done.

If messages are still not coming through, open a support request and we'll assist.




Article ID: 30525
Fri 5/19/17 9:43 AM
Mon 5/13/24 12:09 PM

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