Using SpamAssassin to manage and filter email spam

This tutorial will teach how to set up SpamAssassin, which is actually email filtering. SpamAssassin is an automated email filtering system that attempts to identify spam messages based on the content of the email's headers and body. This tutorial will assume that you are logged into your cPanel. If you are having trouble doing that, please see the tutorial named "How to Login to cPanel".

On the main page of your cPanel, scroll down to the Mail Section, and click on the icon called SpamAssassin.

You will be taken to a screen that has either 3 or 4 sections depending on if you hosting company has activated and allowed the use of the "Spam Box" for filtering as well.
We are just going to focus on the 3 sections that deal directly with SpamAssassin at this time.


  1. The top section "Enables" or "Disables" Spamassassin and displays its current state. If you want to use SpamAssassin you will want to make sure that it reads "SpamAssassin is currently Enabled". You change the setting by clicking the button just below the condition statement.

  2. This section sets the SpamAssassin score and the auto-delete feature. The score is the level that SA (SpamAssassin) will grade the email against. SA uses a set of rules based on the past history of the address, IP etc and assigns a point value, the system has a feature that "learns" as it goes. How something is seen today maybe quite different at a later date. The default score is set at "5" and is most cases is found to be conservative. If you find you are getting still too much spam set the score down to a lower number like "4" for a little while. To set a new score simply put the new score in the dropdown and CLICK the "Auto-Delete Spam"button. This will set the score. On the next page it will confirm the rule has been set and you will now go down the page and CLICK "Go Back".

    The other feature in this section is "Auto-Delete". With Auto-Delete disabled you will still receive the SPAM in your mailbox, but they will be marked as SPAM this is a good way of checking to make sure none of your non-spam mail is getting into your spam filter. If it is (but only a few pieces) and you are not receiving any SPAM in your regular mail that is not marked spam, your setting may be just about right. Now you can choose to either go up on your number and get a little SPAM or keep the number where it is and "White list" the address getting caught up in the filter.

    (If you have 4 sections your 3rd section is SPAM BOX, pass it up, go to "SpamAssassin Configuration")
  3. This section will give you lots of power and flexibility using your SA. To configure Click the "Configure SpamAssassin" button.
    The first part is BLACKLISTING. and email address or domain you place in here will be blocked sending you mail!
    You MUST take care in how you block, done wrong and you can block a whole domain (like all your friends at

    The way you enter the data is easy:
    If you put in:    You will JUST block
    If you put in: *     You will block every one with a email address
    If you put in: *@*.ru     You block all email addresses that end in ".ru" (Russia)

    So you see there are any number of ways to use the "Wildcard" "*" in your configurations.

    The next section is the same score you set for your SA Score (Just another place to do it).

    The Assign Scores Section is a little complex and is generally use for testing. If you need to use this section,
    you should seek more detailed information from SpamAssassins website.

    White Listing is the direct opposite of Blacklisting. If you want an email address to pass-through SpamAssassin this is where you would enter it.

If your panel had a SPAM BOX section we will cover that now.
SPAM BOX is a special mail box where all your mail marked SPAM is placed rather then being delivered to your inbox or being deleted.
CAUTION must be used when you use the SPAM BOX as it must be checked often and it must be cleared. As often it is neglected, can get too full and use up ALL email space allotted and stop email from being delivered.
To empty the spam box you either must be using your email in the IMAP configuration so the files can be set up on your email program if you use one other then Webmail, or check your email they Webmail. In Webmail you will find the Spam Box listed. Webmail can be found in your cPanel.

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