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Spam Floods Mills Inboxes

Mills College Weekly

Anyone reading student-news in the past two weeks has probably noticed a barrage of ads for low rate finances and other unwanted solicitations, leaving many students wondering when or if the spam will stop.

While many are all too used to spam flooding their personal inboxes, it comes as a surprise to see it bombarding student-news and Mills e-mail accounts.

Greatly annoyed by this online abuse, junior Lizzy Schwartz said, “I dread reading student-news because of spam.”

The spam includes everything from e-mails offering a million dollars in exchange for a personal bank account number to advertisements from various off-campus companies.

Sophomore Marika Cifor said, “I get them in my inbox and it disturbs and bothers me greatly.”

System Administrator of Academic Computing Services Matt Cowger said that Mills has been receiving an abundance of spam because not all Mills students use their Mills e-mail accounts, and because of this the ACS had to “open up student-news to anyone, so off campus students can post too.”

Because of this, spam that is prone to appear on other servers now has access to Mills accounts, by being “connected” through the Mills’ student-news listserv.

Cifor feels that ACS should take further steps to prevent the spam.

“I thought we were supposed to have spam blockers to filter these things out [and] ACS should actually use the spam blockers we have, or put in new ones!”

Cowger said that they’ve implemented “controls that will control spam for not only student-news but for Mills e-mail.” These controls were implemented on March 2, and Cowger said the spam should have reduced by 50-80 percent.

Sophomore Jasmine Newton said in the past week, “I have noticed less spam, so whatever they’ve been doing, they’ve been doing it right. I’ve seen actual news.”

However, some find the spam more amusing than annoying. Referring to spam she recently received offering free money, Schwartz said, “If there really was an old Christian widow who wanted to give me a million dollars, I would gladly take it!”