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Frequently Asked Questions about SPAM (Unsolicited Commercial E-mail)

Q. What is SPAM?

A. SPAM is the commonly used name for unsolicited commercial e-mail. SPAM traffic has increased drastically in recent months. It is so serious that new Internet e-mail standards are being designed to control future SPAM, and government agencies are writing new laws to prosecute SPAM e-mail abusers. SkyPoint uses various tools and methods to block SPAM, including blocking access to SkyPoint mail servers from known spam abusers, and the use of SPAM filtering software.

Q. How does SPAM get sent to my SPAM folder instead of my e-mail Inbox?

A. SkyPoint uses the SpamAssassin SPAM filtering program to filter incoming SkyPoint e-mail and place it into the recipient's SPAM folder. Some SkyPoint e-mail SPAM folders receive more than 30 megabytes per month of e-mail that has been intercepted as SPAM from incoming e-mail. Recently, some SPAM folders have been receiving over 20 megabytes of SPAM in a single day! In order to keep SPAM folder disk usage reasonable, SkyPoint currently limits SPAM folder contents to a maximum of 30 days or 20 megabytes, whichever is less.

Q. What is SpamAssassin and how does it work?

A. SpamAssassin is an e-mail SPAM filtering program that is used by SkyPoint to process incoming e-mail and move SPAM e-mail messages to your SPAM folder.

Click here for information about Spamassassin

Q. Why do I still receive some SPAM in my e-mail Inbox?

A. Some SPAM e-mail is not detected as SPAM, usually because certain keywords are intentionally spelled incorrectly to slip through the SPAM filters, and sometimes because the "text" that you see in the e-mail is actually part of a picture image that is "sliced up" and inserted into an otherwise "normal" appearing e-mail. SPAM filters are not yet powerful enough to reassemple these picture slices and analyze and understand these picture images.

Q. Why isn't my SPAM folder easier to access?

Warning: Some SPAM may be unsuitable for children and may be explicitly sexual in content. Other SPAM may be troublesome in other ways, and the sheer quantity of SPAM is in itself quite annoying.

If your SPAM folder was easy to access, children could be exposed to material unsuitable to them. SkyPoint has chosen to make SPAM folder access require a degree of technical ability beyond that of most children. In addition, the following instructions require that you enter your SkyPoint password to access your SPAM folder. If children have access to your computer, we recommend that you do NOT save your password in the terminal program that you use to access your SPAM folder.

Q. How do I access my SkyPoint e-mail SPAM folder?

A. Your SPAM folder may be accessed as follows:

To access your SPAM folder, you need to Telnet or SSH into our text-based menu system. You may use the TELNET.EXE terminal program that comes installed with Windows, or you may download an easier to use terminal program. We recommend PuTTY, which also supports the preferred secure shell (SSH) access protocol. SSH is much more secure than the older Telnet access protocol, although Telnet may still be used when SSH is not available. You may also use Telnet or SSH programs available for Macintosh or other computers.

Instructions are provided below for downloading, installing, and using the free PuTTY Telnet and SSH terminal program for Windows to connect to the SkyPoint menu and shell server.

Instructions are also provided for connecting to the SkyPoint menu and shell server using the less secure TELNET.EXE program that comes installed with Windows.

In addition, there are instructions for using the TELNET terminal program that comes installed in Mac OSX, instructions for downloading the free NiftyTelnet SSH secure terminal program for Mac OSX , and instructions for downloading free NiftyTelnet terminal programs for earlier Macintosh computers and operating systems.

While connected to the SkyPoint menu and shell server with a terminal program, you will be using a text-only window. Some terminal programs may also provide limited mouse support, but most commands must be typed at the keyboard. In the instructions provided below, when you are instructed to type something, please do not type the surrounding quotes.

When the SkyPoint server displays "login:", please type your SkyPoint username (only the part before the '@' sign), followed by the "Enter" key.

When requested for "Password:", enter your SkyPoint password, followed by the "Enter" key.

When asked "Terminal type? [xxxx]", if "xxxx" does not say "vt100", then be sure to type "vt100" (without the quotes). Press "Enter". If a terminal type other than "vt100" is used, the menus and e-mail program will probably not work correctly.

Q. How do I access my SPAM folder if I have a SkyPoint shell account?

A. If you have a SkyPoint shell account, the SkyPoint menu and shell server will provide you with a command prompt. Type "pine" and press "Enter". Proceed to "PINE MAIN MENU" below.

Q. How do I access my SPAM folder if I have a SkyPoint "Personal Link" or "Personal Link Lite" account?

A. If you have a SkyPoint "Personal Link" or "Personal Link Lite" account, the SkyPoint menu and shell server will provide you with a "Main User Menu". Proceed to "MAIN USER MENU" below.

Q. How do I access my SPAM folder if I have a SkyPoint "E-mail Only" account?

A. If you have a SkyPoint "E-mail Only" account, the SkyPoint menu and shell server will provide you with an "Electronic Mail Menu". Proceed to "ELECTRONIC MAIL MENU" below.

Q. How do I use the TELNET.EXE terminal program that is built into Windows?

A. You may run the TELNET.EXE terminal program that comes with Windows by pressing the lower-left "Start" button, selecting the "Run..." menu item, and typing "telnet" (without the quotes).

Q. How do I download, install, and use the PuTTY terminal program?

A. You may download a free copy of the PuTTY terminal program at this web page:

Download PuTTy
(for Windows)

PuTTY does not need to be installed. Just save it somewhere on your hard disk and double-click it to run it. I recommend saving it to "C:\Program Files\" and creating a shortcut to it on your Windows Desktop. You can create a Windows program shortcut by right-dragging PuTTY.exe onto the Windows Desktop (place the mouse pointer over the PuTTY icon, press and hold the RIGHT mouse button, move the mouse pointer until it is over a blank spot on the desktop, and then release the mouse button).

When you run PuTTY the first time, just type "" into the "Host Name" text box, select the "SSH" protocol (click the "SSH" radio button), type "Skypoint" into the "Saved Sessions" textbox, and click the "Save" button.

When you run PuTTY at later times, just double-click "Skypoint" in the "Saved Sessions" list box, and PuTTY will connect to the Skypoint menu and shell server. The first time you connect to a server using SSH, you must click the "Yes" button.

Q. I have a Macintosh computer running the OSX operating system. How do I use the TELNET terminal program that is built into Mac OSX?

A. You may run the TELNET terminal program that comes with Mac OSX by openning the "Applications" menu, selecting the "Utilities" sub-menu, and running the "Terminal" application. From the Terminal window, type "telnet" (without the quotes).

For additional security, you may download and install the free NiftyTelnet SSH terminal program from here:

Download NiftyTelnet SSH
(for Mac OSX)

Q. I have an older Macintosh computer that does not use the OSX operating system. Where can I get a free Telnet terminal program?

A. NiftyTelnet is a freeware Macintosh terminal program that supports Macintosh operating systems back to OS 7.1 (or earlier). You may download and install NiftyTelnet 68K, NiftyTelnet PowerPC, or NiftyTelnet FAT [68K/PPC] from here:

Download NiftyTelnet
(Mac 68K, PowerPC, or FAT versions)



                    |     SkyPoint Communications      |
                    |          Main User Menu          |
                    |[M - Mail]                        |
                    | N - Usenet News                  |
                    | T - Telnet                       |
                    | F - FTP (File transfer protocol) |
                    | I - Internet Applications        |
                    | A - File Utilities               |
                    | U - Network Utilites             |
                    | P - Personal Utilities           |
                    | S - Shell Options                |
                    | O - Offline Reader Packing       |
                    | D - View/Dwnld SkyPoint Files    |
                    |        Enter choice:             |
                    |   Press X to exit, ? for help    |

Press the "Enter" key to select "Mail". Proceed to "ELECTRONIC MAIL MENU" below.



                    |  SkyPoint Electronic Mail Menu    |
                    |[E - Read or Write Electronic Mail]|
                    | P - Change Password               |
                    | D - Download Windows SLIP/PPP     |
                    | I - Dnload install inst for above |
                    | M - Dnload Mac Software           |
                    |         Enter choice:             |
                    |  Press X to return, ? for help    |

Press the "Enter" key to select "Read or Write Electronic Mail". Proceed to "PINE MAIN MENU" below.


 PINE 4.33   MAIN MENU                             Folder: INBOX  4 Messages

         ?     HELP               -  Get help using Pine

         C     COMPOSE MESSAGE    -  Compose and send a message

         I     MESSAGE INDEX      -  View messages in current folder

       [ L     FOLDER LIST        -  Select a folder to view ]

         A     ADDRESS BOOK       -  Update address book

         S     SETUP              -  Configure Pine Options

         Q     QUIT               -  Leave the Pine program

  Copyright 1989-2001.  PINE is a trademark of the University of Washington.
                    [Folder "INBOX" opened with 4 messages]
? Help                     P PrevCmd                 R RelNotes
O OTHER CMDS > [ListFldrs] N NextCmd                 K KBLock
The first time you access PINE, you may need to press "Enter" to get to the next screen.

Read the instructions and menu options at the bottom of the PINE text window to guide you. Press 'L' to see a list of e-mail folders. Most SkyPoint accounts have a SPAM folder. If your account does NOT show a SPAM folder in the folder list, then all of your incoming e-mail is sent to your Inbox. If you see a SPAM folder, you may use your keyboard arrow keys to move to it, then press "Enter" to open the SPAM folder. This should give you a list of spam e-mails that have NOT been sent to your INBOX. If you choose to keep a SPAM message you may press S (save) to save it, and select INBOX for the destination. Anything left in your inbox folder will download to your normal e-mail client (such as Outlook Express) the next time you receive your e-mail.

Click here for information about using PINE

If you require additional assistance, please contact our technical support staff at 763-548-2601, Monday through Friday 8am - 8pm, or Saturday 10am - 4pm.

- SkyPoint Communications Technical Services Staff


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