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Legitimate Email Messages Miscategorized as Spam: IT Working to Address Latest Issues & Steps You Can Take Today

March 11, 2021

Members of the campus community report an increased number of legitimate emails miscategorized as spam and UMass Amherst Information Technology (IT) is addressing the issue with urgency.

An indirect consequence of the pandemic, the overall volume of emails has skyrocketed in the past year while students, faculty, and staff rely more on email for critical, time-sensitive communications.

Spam filtering services are also becoming more sophisticated in response to evolving strategies from known and new spammers. Google and Microsoft, UMass Amherst’s email service providers, maintain multi-tiered, proprietary spam filtering that often adjusts to personal preferences and usage patterns.

In this complex environment, a multifaceted approach is needed to optimize email deliverability on campus. Our goal is to reduce information security risks while mitigating the issue of legitimate emails erroneously placed in spam folders. Finding a sustainable resolution to this issue is a priority for UMass Amherst IT.

Weekly Updates

Weekly updates will be posted on the IT website as technical teams make changes and adjustments in real-time.

Steps You Can Take Today

With the personalization of spam filters, members of the campus community can use a new set of instructions to manage email filters and avoid missing messages. UMass Amherst IT recommends that you:

  • Check your junk email folder regularly.
  • Mark important or miscategorized emails as not junk. This alerts spam filtering algorithms and ensures that similar messages and senders will be sorted correctly.
  • Add the junk email folder to your favorites to more easily see new messages that have been categorized as junk.

Contact IT User Services at or 413-545-TECH (8324) with questions.