In collaboration with ITS, Provost IT maintains some email filtering services designed to reduce junk mail and spam.

USC Information Technology Services provides spam and phishing prevention services to all USC accounts. Users who still have an account on Provost Email have additional spam filtering services put in place by Provost IT.

Spam Filtering

By default, all USC email accounts are protected from spam via Proofpoint, a system maintained by ITS. This system transparently scans all incoming messages to any USC or Provost account and blocks messages which are known to be spam. Anyone who uses any type of email account ending in is automatically enrolled in this service. For more information on reporting spam that was not detected by the filtering system, scroll down to the “Reporting Spam & Phishing” section below.

Targeted Attack Prevention

USC Information Technology Services automatically enrolls all USC email accounts in a service known as Targeted Attack Protection, or TAP. TAP scans all incoming emails and replaces any links they contain with a new URL which blocks sites or servers known to host malicious content or propagate phishing attacks. Blocked links will redirect to a site which says “Web Site Has Been Blocked!”. For more information about this service, please click here.

Phishing Attacks

Phishing is an attempt to steal information or defraud a recipient via an email that might look legitimate. Phishing emails can often take many forms, from telling a recipient they have to click a link to “view a secure message” to telling them they have to “reset their password” because their account has expired.

Proofpoint, the same system which blocks spam and other malware from entering USC’s email system and network, also blocks against phishing attacks. It is very important to note however that not all attacks can be blocked by this system – staying safe from phishing requires vigilance and careful attention to detail. More information on phishing attacks  and how you can stay safe can be found on Provost IT’s Information Security portal, located at the link below.

If you receive a phishing email on your USC or Provost account, please report it as soon as possible by following the instructions in the “Reporting Spam & Phishing” section below.

Reporting Spam & Phishing

If you suspect you may have received a phishing email, click here for instructions on how to report it.

If you received a spam message you think should have been blocked, click here for instructions on how to report it.

Bulk Email Sending & Receiving Exceptions

There may be specific times when you would like to send large amounts of email from addresses, or when you would an address (or set of addresses) to receive email without being marked as spam.

In the case of sending bulk emails from an address, it is important to note that rate-limits are put in place to protect USC’s network from being marked as malicious by other networks. This means that every USC account is limited in terms of the number of emails they are able to send per hour and at any one time. Instead, we recommend using a variety of third-party emailing services designed to ensure delivery to large groups of recipients. For more information on these services or the outgoing email rate-limiting put in place, contact Provost IT.

If you are interested in receiving emails and ensuring they are not marked as spam, please click here to contact ITS and request a Spam Exception. If you are a member of a Provost IT-supported department, contact us as we can help you fill out this request form.

Additional Resources
Related Services
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  • Any USC email account
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