Office of Information Technology

MC Mail

Proofpoint Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Proofpoint?
Proofpoint is an e-mail filtering system designed to better support and protect MC Mail users from most mass mailing spam, virus infected e-mails, and e-mail hoaxes.  Proofpoint will assist you in managing your inbox and keeping it safe from spam and malware.    

2. What is spam?
E-mail spam, also known as unsolicited bulk or commercial e-mail, is the practice of sending unwanted e-mail messages, in large quantities to an indiscriminate set of recipients.  Spam can also contain dangerous viruses and malware and is often written in such a way as to try to trick the user into taking action. 

3. Why did the College change spam filtering systems?
The College continuously looks to upgrade technology resources in order to provide safer and more productive tools to its faculty and staff.  After evaluating different anti-spam products over the past semester, Montgomery College chose Proofpoint because of its high success rate at blocking spam, its greater flexibility when dealing with both incoming and outgoing e-mail traffic, and its ability to provide the user with more direct control of their e-mail filtering environment.

4. How does Proofpoint spam filtering work?
Proofpoint inspects all incoming messages sent to the College and uses system and user specific rules to score and determine whether or not a message is spam or malicious in nature. Once examined, legitimate messages are sent to the recipient's MC Mail inbox, while suspected spam is quarantined.

Each day, you will receive an e-mail report, called the “Quarantine Summary” that will contain links to e-mail messages quarantined in the past 24 hours.  You will be able to review and deliver your quarantined messages directly from this summary report without additional action.

If you did not receive any spam in the previous 24 hours, you may not receive a Quarantine Summary.  If you would like to receive a Quarantine Summary regardless of spam activity, you can select this option by updating your Profile through the Manage Your Account link.

5. What do I need to do to monitor spam and manage my Proofpoint spam filter?
As your Proofpoint spam filter automatically filters your incoming e-mail messages, there are just a few steps that you need to take to further manage your e-mails and protect yourself from spam and possible malware.

  • Open the Quarantine Summary e-mail that you receive each day and review the listing of e-mail messages that were marked as spam.  If necessary, use the View link to safely read a particular e-mail that Proofpoint has quarantined.
  • If you find a filtered e-mail that you do not consider spam, use the Deliver link to release the e-mail to your inbox.
  • If all e-mail messages identified in the Quarantine Summary are spam, you can simply ignore them.  The quarantined e-mails will be automatically deleted by Proofpoint in 14 days.

6. How often is my Quarantine Summary delivered?
The Quarantine Summary is delivered to your e-mail inbox each morning if you have had e-mail messages quarantined by Proofpoint within the last 24 hours.

7. Can I request a Quarantine Summary update at any time?
Yes, you can request a full quarantine summary at any time by clicking the Request Full Quarantine List link within your Quarantine Summary e-mail.  A new Quarantine Summary e-mail will be sent to your e-mail address, showing all the e-mail messages that are in your Quarantine Folder.   

8. Do I need to delete messages from my Quarantine Folder?
No, you do not need to delete unwanted messages from your Quarantine Folder.  Proofpoint will automatically delete quarantined e-mails after 14 days.

9. What do I need to do if an e-mail is filtered as spam on my Quarantine Summary but I think it is valid and trust the sender?
If you find an e-mail message on your Quarantine Summary that you believe is valid and has been sent from a sender that you trust, you can use the links listed beside the message to keep the e-mail and sender from being filtered as spam.

Deliver - release the e-mail from the Proofpoint quarantine area and deliver it to your inbox.  This will not stop future e-mails from this sender from being filtered as spam.

View - open the e-mail from within the Proofpoint quarantine area so that it can be safely read.  Use the following links to Safelist the sender and send the e-mail to your inbox.

  • Safelist - add the sender to your personal Safe Senders list.  All future e-mails from this sender will only be filtered for viruses and inappropriate content but will not be filtered as spam.
  • Deliver - release the e-mail from the Proofpoint quarantine and deliver it to your inbox.  This will not stop future e-mails from this sender from being filtered as spam.

10. How do I block e-mails from senders that I personally consider spam but have passed through the Proofpoint filter?
If you would like to block future e-mail messages from a specific sender, you can use the Blocklist option as follows.

  • Click on the Manage My Account link in your Quarantine Summary
  • Click on Lists in your My Folders area
  • Click on the Block Senders List link
  • Click on New and enter the address of the sender that you want to block.  To block a single sender, enter their complete e-mail address.  You can also block e-mails from an entire domain.  There are two methods to enter a domain address.  Enter the address domain preceded by the "@" if you only want to filter e-mails from that specific domain or without the "@" if you want to filter any e-mail that contains the domain in its address.  (ex. @sender.com vs. sender.com).  You will catch more e-mails without the "@".

11. What if I Safelist or Blocklist an e-mail sender incorrectly?
If you Safelist or Blocklist an e-mail sender incorrectly, you can change the status of the sender as follows:

  • Click on the Manage My Account link in your Quarantine Summary.
  • Click on Lists in your My Folders area.
  • Click on the list that you want to correct.
  • Check the entry that you want to correct.
  • Delete the entry from the list or Edit the address.

12. What do I do when I receive an e-mail in my inbox that I suspect is spam but that has not been filtered by Proofpoint?
If you receive an e-mail message in your inbox that you believe is spam or contains malicious content, you have two options to get rid of it.  You can either use the Manage My Account link to add the sender to your Blocklist as New and then delete the message, or you can send the message to the IT Service Desk for disposition.  Messages sent to the IT Service Desk will be forwarded to Proofpoint engineers for evaluation.  Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the message will not get through again.

Follow these instructions to send the spam to the IT Service Desk for disposition.

  • Create a new e-mail message in Outlook.
  • Drag and drop the spam message into the new message to attach it.
  • Send the new e-mail to itservicedesk@montgomerycollege.edu explaining that it contains a potential spam message.

13. How do I access my quarantined e-mail messages, Blocked and Safe sender lists, and other account functions without a Quarantine Summary?
The only way to access your quarantined e-mail messages, lists and other spam filtering functions is through your daily Quarantine Summary e-mail.  You will not have a Proofpoint login and password like you did with Postini.  For this reason it is recommended that you keep your latest summary in your Outlook mailbox.

If you do not have a Quarantine Summary available to access your Proofpoint account, please contact the IT Service Desk at itservicedesk@montgomerycollege.edu to have a new one generated for you.  You can also wait until the following morning when the system will send you one automatically.

14. Proofpoint is asking for my Username and Password.  What do I do?
Proofpoint will close a user's session if there is no activity for 1 hour.  If you try to continue working after the 1 hour timeout, the system may ask you to login with a username and password.  If this occurs, the only way to get back in is to click on the Manage My Account link in the Quarantine Summary.

15. Will I have to reenter all the approved and blocked senders that I identified in Postini?
No, you will not have to reenter all the approved and blocked senders that you entered into the Postini spam filtering system.  OIT converted both of your lists to Proofpoint.  The only entries that were not converted were entries with a domain of montgomerycollege.edu including your own personal e-mail address.  This was done to protect against someone on the internet pretending to be a College user.  You should never put the montgomerycollege.edu domain in your Proofpoint Safelist or Blocklist.