CUC uses a product called PreciseMail Anti-Spam Gateway (PMAS) to help control and prevent unsolicited email from reaching our users. These messages can include advertisements, phishing messages, and other malicious content.
PMAS examines information about the email as well as its content and applies a list of rules to “score” each email. A higher score indicates a higher likelihood that the message is SPAM. Once a message reaches a certain score, it is quarantined in PMAS rather than being delivered directly to the user’s inbox.
Releasing messages from the quarantined messages summary email
While every attempt is made to avoid quarantining legitimate messages, this does sometimes occur. PMAS will send a summary email at certain times throughout the day (currently at 7:00 AM, 9:00 AM, 11:00 AM, 1:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 5:00 PM, and 11:30 PM). These messages are sent only if a message has been quarantined since the last scheduled summary and will contain a list of all messages quarantined in that time period. Please note that the time that these summary emails are sent cannot be changed by the user.
Example of a quarantined message summary email
Click on the “Release this message” link in the summary email to deliver the message to your Inbox. PLEASE NOTE: Messages may be released from PreciseMail only one time. Once the message has been released, subsequent attempts will have no effect. Further, messages “expire” from PMAS after two weeks, after which time they are no longer retrievable.
From the summary email, you can also choose “Click here to view your PreciseMail Quarantine” to visit the PMAS site (also accessible at https://pmas.cuis.edu) where you can view your entire queue of quarantined messages and edit advanced email filtering options.
Logging in to the PMAS site
At the PMAS site (https://pmas.cuis.edu), log in using your CUChicago email address and password.
From the main menu, you have the option to view or search all of your quarantined and discarded messages, as well as access features such as the allow list, block list, and rules.
View Quarantined Messages
Viewing quarantined messages will display a list of all quarantined messages from the last two weeks.
Use the sort option, date filters, and search boxes at the top to help filter and find any specific message you are looking for.
You can check the boxes to the left of the messages and click the “Release” button to release multiple messages to your Inbox at once. Note that the message will only appear in your Inbox if you have not previously released it.
You may also click on the subject of a message to view it in your web browser. This can help you determine if a message needs to be released from PMAS.
View Discarded Messages
Viewing discarded messages will display a list of all emails that scored so highly that there is little doubt that the message is SPAM. If a message is discarded, it does not appear in the quarantined message summary emails. For this reason, it may be helpful to review your discarded messages on a regular basis to ensure no emails have been misdirected there.
You will have the same options to view and release messages from this screen that are available when viewing your quarantined messages.
If you frequently see email wrongly being discarded, follow the steps under the Allow List and Rules to change score thresholds and/or ensure messages from specific senders are always delivered.
Using the Allow List
The Allow List feature of PMAS allows you to list specific senders whose messages should never be quarantined regardless of content and final PMAS score. As such, this feature should be used sparingly and with caution.
Enter the sender’s email address in the “New address or domain” box. You may add a description to the entry. Click “Add” when finished to include this sender in your allow list.
To remove someone previously added to your allow list, highlight the entry in the “Allow Entries” box and select “Delete.”
Using the Block List
The Block List feature of PMAS allows you to list specific senders whose messages should always be quarantined regardless of content and final PMAS score, and functions very similarly to the Allow List feature as detailed above.
Using the Rule List
The Rule List feature of PMAS grants you a huge degree of flexibility in affecting how messages are quarantined.
You may automatically score, allow, block, discard, reject, or add an email Subject tag based on a variety of message information such as sender or recipient identity or subject or body contents.
This feature is extremely powerful and incorrect use can lead to the inadvertent discarding of important messages. As such, we encourage you to consult CougarNet for assistance if you wish to employ this feature.
The preferences option in PMAS allows you to adjust the thresholds for the scores at which messages are quarantined and discarded. These can be adjusted lower to quarantine more messages or higher to allow more messages to bypass the quarantine. We encourage you to consult CougarNet for assistance before adjusting these settings.
For Further Information or Help
For any questions about or assistance with PreciseMail, you may contact the CougarNet helpdesk at 708-209-3131 or via email at CougarNet@CUChicago.edu