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  • All incoming e-mail is scanned for viruses; if a known virus is found, the message is quarantined on the e-mail server (blocked from delivery), and the sender of the e-mail is notified automatically if the virus is not a forging virus (one that forges the Sender's address).

  • The server's DAT virus files are updated every several hours to stay current with newly discovered viruses.

  • This gateway is not intended to replace any Anti-Virus software installed on your computer, but rather is meant to be a first line of defense to assist your AV software with it's job.  GWS cannot guarantee in any form that all viruses will be caught by this system.

  • Additional information on viruses can be found in our Virus Information Center - /members/support/virus.asp


  • All incoming e-mail is filtered to determine if the messages possess the qualities of a SPAM generated e-mail.

  • We perform multiple tests on each message ranging from cross checking the sender with known SPAM lists, to trying to identify the name of the sender's mail server, to content filtering.

  • Each test carries a point value, and the points are totaled at the end of the filter process.

  • We have 3 levels that your e-mail will fall into:

    • NO CHANGE in Subject Line: This is an indicator the message passed all tests, or only failed one or two minor tests. Some true SPAM messages will comply with all testing parameters, and therefore will not be flagged, however, this is the exception to the rule and not the norm.

    • Minor Test Failure will result in [SPAM ??] in Subject Line: This is an indicator the message is Potentially SPAM, as the message failed up to 2 to 3 minor tests. There are legitimate conditions that make it questionable as to whether messages meeting this criteria are actually SPAM, and therefore require further scrutiny by you.

    • Major test Failure will result in the message being quarantined or deleted from the mail server: In these cases, almost without a doubt, the message is a SPAM generated message. This is an indicator that this message failed numerous tests, including one or more of the higher weighted tests.

  • What can you do with this information?

    • You now have greater control over managing SPAM messaging. You can create folders in your mail client and set-up message rules or filters to route mail that meets this criteria to these folders. Then once or twice a day, you can quickly scan through the messages in these folders to see if, by chance, any valid e-mail got caught in this filter process. Move any valid e-mail back to the inbox, and delete the remainder of the SPAM messages conveniently and quickly.

    • TIP: If a message from a legitimate sender is marked as potential Spam, you can report this to us, or you can white-list this individual by adding the sender's e-mail address in your WebMail contact list.  If you need assistance with this, please let us know.


Many of the basic tests that are performed on each message are as follows (there are many additional test we perform that are not mentioned here as we do not want to give Spammers valuable information that could assist them in circumventing our testing):

Test Name Description
DNS-based There are over 50 different "ip4r" format DNS tests available; click here for more information on tests not listed below.
BADHEADERS This test checks the E-mail for illegal headers that are common in spam, but not common in legitimate E-mail. This test can catch about 50% of all spam, with the only false positives being mail that comes from broken mail clients. This is a very good test to use.
BASE64 This test will catch E-mail that uses MIME "base64" encoding for text or HTML segments. Using base64 encoding in these segments is becoming common in spam, as it allows spammers to bypass most filtering systems. However, there is no advantage for legitimate mail to be sent this way (worse, it ends up causing the size of the E-mail to be greater). Very few legitimate E-mails will be caught by this test.
EXTERNAL Our external test utilizes an external service called Message Sniffer, which scrutinizes messages to a greater detail.
filter We allow a small number of content filter tests to be performed. These sorts of tests have to be handled very precisely or the number of false positives can be great. These tests include filtering for foul language and pornographic language. Since many Legitimate Mailing Lists will not follow RFC rules, we also operate a "Good Mailing List" filter that will sort out the FROM address of messages coming from these mailing lists and will negate the points accumulated from other tests the message may have failed.

NOTE: Messages sent in HTML format utilizing graphics in place of text cannot be filtered for message Body text content; they can still be filtered for Subject Line content.

IMPORTANT TIP: If you receive an email from a valid source that is marked with the SPAM ?? notation, you can automatically white-list this sender by adding his/her address in your WEBMAIL address book/contact list.

HELOBOGUS This test will detect bogus (non-RFC-compliant) "HELO/EHLO" data. When another mail server connects to yours, it will identify itself using an SMTP command (either "HELO" or "EHLO"). It is required to send a valid host name. However, spammers (and a few poorly designed mail servers) will occasionally not send a valid host name, which will trigger this test.
IPNOTINMX This test is NOT used to detect spam, but rather as a way in helping reduce false positives! It will be triggered when an E-mail is sent from an IP address that is not in its MX record. Since this test will catch a lot of legitimate mail (as quite a few larger mailers will send their mail through a different mail server than they use to receive mail), we do not place a point value on failures of this test, but instead subtract several points from the weighting system when an E-mail passes this test (which is very different from the way a spam test normally works).
MAILFROM This test checks the SMTP envelope "Mail From:" address (which should be the sender of the E-mail) and makes sure that the domain name it is coming from is valid. This way, if mail is sent from "user@$$$success$$$.com", it will get caught (since "$$$success$$$.com" is not a valid domain).
PERCENT This test will catch all mail with "To:" addresses that contain a percent sign. The percent sign indicates an outdated routing method that can be used by spammers to bypass closed relays. Our mail server defaultly checks for this, but this a secondary safe guard in the event the mail server itself does not pick on this.
REVDNS This test will check to see if the remote mail server (or client) has a reverse DNS entry. If not, it will fail this test. All Internet hosts are required to have a reverse DNS entry, although most do not. Most mail servers do have the required reverse DNS entry, but there are still large numbers that do not, so it is likely that this test will fail for alot of legitimate mail. We place a very low point value on this test.
ROUTING This test will analyze the route that an E-mail takes, and look for highly inefficient routing that is very common in spam. For example, an E-mail might get caught if it is sent from a dialup in the U.S. to another account in the U.S., but is routed through a server in China, but not if it goes from a mail server in China directly to a U.S. mail server. This may occasionally produce false positives, especially if a mailing list is hosted outside of the United States.
SPAMHEADERS This test checks the E-mail for headers that are common in spam, but not common in legitimate E-mail. This test is very similar to the BADHEADERS test, except the problems this test looks for are not RFC violations (typically mail sent from mail clients written by webmasters rather than programmers).
WEIGHTRANGE This is our first level point plateau - totaled points that equal or exceed the assigned point value for this plateau receive the [SPAM ??] notation in the Subject Line of the message.
WEIGHT Max+ This is our second level point plateau - totaled points that equal or exceed the assigned point value for this plateau will cause the message to be quarantined on our server, and the message will not be delivered to your mailbox.


All Systems Operational
All Systems Operational
Caution - Virus Alerts!
Caution - Virus Alerts!
• SPAM Filters
• Virus Filters
• Outgoing Mail
• Bulk E-Mail

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