The College of Engineering is committed to helping you reduce the number of spam/phishing/virus emails sent to our users. As such, we also have to be careful not to stifle the academic process by being too aggressive in our spam filter techniques. In cooperation with the campus network engineering team, most incoming email is sent through several spam filtering/tagging applications, include commercial blacklists (companies that analyze spam and provide lists of known spammers) and a product called SpamAssassin.
In the case of SpamAssassin, every email is "tagged" with an extra header that indicates whether it thinks the email is spam or not. Once you have that information, your mail client can be configured to move that email to another folder (or just deleted if you desire). We also have the ability to filter those messages to a special folder before your mail client ever sees it.
Your Engineering resources includes a product called Procmail that can do just that. It uses a special file in your home directory called '.procmailrc' where you can tell it what to do. It is capable of doing just about anything you want with email, but for now, we're only interested in filtering out those messages that SpamAssassin has tagged as spam.
The college now offers a way to setup your spam filter automatically. Just login to TEACH (http://engr.oregonstate.edu/teach). Then click the "Spam Filter" link under the "Email Tools" section.
# remove comments to enable vacation
# |/usr/bin/vacation -a first.last username
where first.last is your oregonstate alias (if you are faculty) and username is your ONID username