Personal Spam Filter

Generally, all e-mails at the University of Mannheim are being checked for viruses. However, from time to time spam e-mails are disguised in such a way that it is not recognized by our filters. Therefore, the information security team recommends setting up a personal spam filter. We use the example of the “Höhle der Löwen” spam to show you how you can set up a personal filter for Outlook or Thunderbird.

Instructions for setting up a spam filter

  • Spam filter for Outlook

    Step 1:

    • Select the File tab in the menu bar and go to the field Manage rules and alerts.

    Step 2:

    • Select New rule.
    • Select the second option from the top: Move messages with specific words in the subject to a folder and click Next >.
    • Click on specific words (underlined in blue) in the lower box.
    • Now enter the key words from the subject line that you want to filter. You can add several entries. Please make sure that you only enter keywords to filter spam e-mails and not other e-mails.
    • Confirm your selection by clicking OK.

    Step 3:

    • In order to determine how the filtered e-mail should be processed, please click on the text underlined in blue (target folder).
    • Your e-mail inbox will open. Select junk e-mail in order to move all e-mails to which this filter applies to the junk / spam folder.

    Step 4:

    • Click on Complete, then on Save and then OK.
    • As an alternative, you can also click Next until you see the option Complete rule. Now you can also choose if the rule should also apply to e-mails that are already in your inbox.
    • Click on Complete, then Save and then OK.
    • The rule now also applies to e-mails in your inbox.
  • Spam filter for Thunderbird

    Step 1:

    • If you do not see your menu bar, move your cursor to the blue area, click the right mouse button and select menu bar.

    Step 2:

    • Select Tools in the menu bar and then Filter.
    • A new window will open. At the right, you can select New.

    Step 3:

    • Assign a name to the filter, e.g. “Höhle der Löwen”.
    • Define a condition, e.g. subject of the e-mail is "macht Deutsche Bürger reich!”.
    • Do you want to enter several conditions? Please make sure that at least one condition is fulfilled.
    • Define an action, e.g. mark e-mails as junk or move to junk folder.
    • Click OK.

    Step 4:

    • You can test your filter by clicking Execute now. The test does only work if you have an e-mail in your inbox that contains the pre-defined keywords at the defined location (Example: You receive an e-mail with the subject “Höhle der Löwen”. You have set up a filter that searches for “Höhle der Löwen” in the e-mail content. This particular e-mail will not be filtered.)
    • The filter is active if the checkbox “Active” has been checked.
  • Spam filter for Horde

    Bitte folgen Sie dem Link, um einen Spam-Filter für Horde einzurichten.

Tips on defining key words

Define your keywords by searching for specific text blocks. If you receive e-mails with the following subject line:

  • „Löwen“ System macht Deutsche Bürger reich!
  • ?Höhle der Löwen? System macht Deutsche Bürger reich!

=> Then use the keywords macht Deutsche Bürger reich for your filter, since both subject lines contain these keywords.

Avoid searching for single words

If you use keywords like “Hello”, the spam filter searches all e-mails for “Hello”. Always use a text pattern such as for example:

  •           Hello, you have won
  •           You have won