8. Mail Issues

8.1. What is my email address?

You can be contacted at username@engsoc.carleton.ca, where username is your EngSoc login. Some mail and news programs will format your address as username@lager.engsoc.carleton.ca, username@machine.pal.engsoc.carleton.ca, or something similar. EngSoc's mail server treats these as identical addresses.

8.2. How do I forward my mail to another account?

"pico .forward" will edit you forwarding file. Type in the address you want your mail forwarded to, and press ctrl-X to save.

8.3. How do I forward my mail from another account to my EngSoc account?

Contact the systems administrator of your ISP (usually support@yourisp.com) and ask them to forward your e-mail to your EngSoc address (Cf. Question 1).Most will happily set mail forwarding options for you. EngSoc has no control over your e-mail at other service providers.

8.4. How do I use vacation? What is vacation?

8.5. How do I configure my mail reader?

[The answer to this question depends on the user's choice of mailreader. Links to supporting documents for pine, elm, Eudora, Netscape, Pegasus, etc. would be helpful.]

If you're using an IMAP mail reader, you will receive a message from the IMAP server itself that says not to delete this message. If you delete it, you'll get another. Nobody knows quite why this is happening, just that it happens. So, the best advice is not to delete the message, unless you want to see "you have new mail" whenever you log in.

8.6. How do I keep my email secure?

Make sure that you are running SSL imap or SSL pop. SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. SSL means that everything that is sent to and from the server is automaticaly encrypted. When SSL is enabled for IMAP, the port number changes to 993. When SSL is enabled for POP, the port number changes to 995.

In order to ensure that your email can only be read by you and the recipient of the email, you can encrypt it. On EngSoc the utility we use is GPG (also known as PGP) (Pretty Good Privacy) a very popular Public Key encryption scheme.

PGP is easily used with pine, and can also be used to encrypt any other piece of data you have. It can be placed at the receiving end of a pipe so that you can use other processes (i.e. finger) to feed it PGP information (i.e. signatures, public keys)

If you are having problems with PGP email jlamorie@engsoc.carleton.ca

8.7. How do I manage my mail folders?

Your mail folders are actually files containing all the mail in that folder, and are stored in your mail directory, with the exception of your inbox.
  • To copy a mailfolder: cp ~/mail/oldname ~/mail/newname
  • To rename a mailfolder: mv ~/mail/oldname ~/mail/newname
  • To remove a mailfolder: rm ~/mail/foldername
For the inbox, things are a little different. Don't even think of deleting it.
  • To empty out your inbox: cat /dev/null /var/spool/mail/$USER (This will delete forever all the messages in your inbox)
  • To copy your inbox to a new folder or add the messages to an existing folder: cat /var/spool/mail/$USER >> /mail/foldername

8.8. How do I stop SPAM?

There are several ways. We recommend that you don't input your EngSoc e-mail address into forms on the web and that you obfuscate your address if you post on USENET. If the latter applies to you, I'm sure you've seen plenty of creative ways to garble your address.

If you're receiving loads of SPAM already, there's still hope. We've installed SpamAssassin on our machines so that you can filter your mail before it gets to your inbox. To do this you'll need to edit your .procmailrc file which is in your homedirectory. For information on editing files with the pico editor see this page.

At the top of your .procmailrc file, you want to add the following lines:

| /usr/bin/spamassassin -P -c /usr/share/spamassassin

* ^X-Spam-Status: Yes

You need to enter those exactly as they appear above or you may lose mail. Adding those lines to your .procmailrc tells procmail, the program that delivers your mail, that it should pass all messages through the spamassassin program first. SpamAssassin uses a set of heuristics to determine what is SPAM and what is not and it does a fairly good job of it. The last three lines tells procmail to send what SpamAssassin determines to be SPAM to the 'caughtspam' directory.

The following will also generate an immediate sendmail error to the sending MTA, which could cause your address to be automatically removed from the spammers list:

| /usr/bin/spamassassin -P -c /usr/share/spamassassin

:0 c
* ^X-Spam-Status: Yes
        LOG = "Your mail has been identified as spam."
        LOG = "Spam mail is not welcome at this address."

* ^X-Spam-Status: Yes