HALNet Postini,by Romain Slabbaert

HALNet Junk Email and Virus Protection Assistants

Having subscribed to the HALNet Junk Email and Virus Protection Assistant for several months, I am very pleased with the results and highly recommend it.


It has blocked out an enormous amount of junk email/Spam, and has intercepted a number of viruses. Note that this service does not filter messages transmitted from HALNet user to HALNet user, but will stop email containing viruses from reaching your inbox from anyone other than a HALNet patron.

This service is very easy to use, and can be obtained for an additional $2.00 per month. As soon as you have signed up, you will receive an email stating the following:


To log in to your HAL-PC Message Center, use this link: login.postini.com/exec/login?email=username@hal-pc.org. Clicking on this link (substituting your own username) will take you to the Message Center as illustrated in Figure 1. If you would like to manage multiple email addresses, click on the alternate address link, which will provide a page like the one shown in Figure 2.


Enter your alternate address in the field provided. In addition, a dialog box on the login page to the Message Center (Figure 1) has an option to "Remember My Address and Password." Check that box and it will automatically remember you on subsequent re-entry into the HALNet Junk Email and Virus Protection Assistants (refer to Figure 3).

Returning to the Message Center (Figure 1) you should proceed as follows:


1. Junk Email Settings - Click on this link to see the Junk Email Blocking Page (Figure 4a). The "ON" button should be the default setting. For the Spam Filters, depending on your needs, I suggest by starting with an aggressive setting for the 4 categories named Sexually Explicit, Get Rich Quick, Special Offers, and Racially Insensitive, and then "Save Changes." Once you determine your requirements for each category, you can either select a more lenient filter or turn it off. On the same page, there is a "Sender List" (Figure 4b), which will give you the opportunity to make a list of approved and blocked senders. In addition, you can block out an entire domain by entering addresses in the form "domain.com".


Note that Spam originators frequently change addresses to circumvent junk mail blockers such as this service. If you continue to receive junk email, don't open it. Right click on the message and click on "Properties". Then open the "Details" tab and note the alphabetical/numerical source address. Highlight and right click, choose "Copy" and "Paste" it in the list of blocked senders on the "Senders List" (Figure 4b).


2. Virus Settings - The default setting should be "ON" for virus protection (Figure 5). Once you have activated the Junk Email Settings and Virus Settings, you will be notified by email when the program has intercepted a suspected virus. Go to the Message Center, and you'll find (as in Figure 6) that the virus has been quarantined before it reached your email inbox. Your options are to view and/or remove or deliver it to your inbox. You may want to notify the sender that a virus infected their message. It is important that you continue to update and enable your existing anti-virus program in the background as a precautionary safeguard.


If you are notified of "Suspicious Junk Email," go to the Message Center and view the list of emails as illustrated in Figure 7. It is recommended that you review the list carefully for emails you would want to receive. Check the ones you would like to send to your email inbox, and click on the "Deliver" box. The "Email Delivered" page (Figure 8) will provide a choice to "Add Approved" to your "Approved Sender" list (Figure 4b). Note that the emails will be auto-deleted after 14 days.



Romain Slabbaert is a HAL-PC member.