MailVICE Changes
January 29, 2007: Trust Details added to Verified Sender Directory
Problem: Entries in Verified Sender Directory appear for seemingly no reason.

Solution: The email addresses listed in the Verified Sender Directory are now hyperlinks that, upon click, will show the reason why the entry was added to the list.  There are 4 possible scenarios that an entry is added to the list... 

1) You sent an email to someone not already in the list.  Remember, MailVICE automatically adds addresses you send mail to.  Clicking the email address in the list will provide you the message headers of the email that added that address to the list. 

2) Someone filled out a Verification email successfully.  If you have MailVICE set up to send Verification Emails (the default setting), when someone receives one because they sent you email and their email address was NOT in your list, AND they are not trying to spoof their email address, they will receive a Verification Email.  If they fill out the form successfully, their address is automatically added to your list. 

3) You manually added them to your list. 

4) You moved a blocked address to your verified list.

There is now a reason for each unless the entry was made years ago when we were not recording the reason on the server.

October 10, 2005: Reversed Operation of Known Spammer Filter
Because so much spam blacklisted email gets caught by MailVICE, viewing the Queue with All Items as the default view is cumbersome to users who have many Queue pages.  Therefore, the Known Spammers view now works opposite and has been renamed to No Known Spammers.  This view is now the default, so to see Known Spammers, you must enter the All View mode.  This should make it easier to locate items in the Queue.
September 26, 2005: Renaming of MailVICE Elements
Some of the MailVICE elements have been renamed, such as the Quarantine to "The Queue" and the Trusted Sender List to "Verified Sender Directory" for marketability.  The functionality of all renamed elements have not changed.
August 25, 2005: Quarantine Entry Dates
Problem: Dates on Quarantine entries confused too many users.  Entries were dated by the date contained in the email, and not by receive date.  This allowed the user to use the date IN the email to help identify a possible spam message.

Solution: The date in the quarantine is now the actual receive date.
August 25, 2005: Alternative to Delete or Purge
Problem: Current MailVICE users are having problems with not being able to delete or purge items from their Quarantine. This functionality was removed due to excessively high support for users who delete items from their quarantines, but did not mean to do so, or did not realize they were going to need an item that was deleted.

The support resulting from the misuse of the delete and purge functions has caused those functions to be removed from MailVICE. However, after interviewing several MailVICE users about deleting items and purging their quarantines, one commonality was shared by all users: the delete and purge functions were used to keep track of where the user left off in the quarantine the last time they were logged in. In other words, by a user purging the entire contents of their quarantine before logging out, they assured themselves that any entries present the next time they logged in were 'new' or 'fresh' and had not been seen before.

Solution: Since the delete and purge functions can not be re-enabled, we have added a "breaker bar" in the quarantine that will show the user the last time they logged in, placed just after what was their newest entry the last time they logged in. This red bar will separate old entries from new entries, and works across all views and searches.



Listed here are the top suggestions made by MailVICE users just like you, and what we have done to address them.  To make sure you understand the changes that have been made, please take a couple of minutes to read this page.  The MailVICE user experience has been greatly improved, and we hope you will enjoy these, and all future changes.

Comment 1: The quarantine is just too big and scary.
Solution: The quarantine has been pruned down into a more “inbox-like” look. Items now take only one line each showing the sender address, subject, and date stamp from the email header. The more “technical” information is still available by pointing at the check box on each line (more about that in a minute). Entries are color coded to indicate why they were quarantined. Clicking the date pops up the full header and server logs which used to be available in a “details” link.
Comment 2: Why can’t I deliver multiple messages?
Solution: Each line now has a check box and there are buttons at the top and bottom of the list for Deliver, Trust, and Newsletter.
Comment 3: There are too many options that I don’t understand.
Solution: Things like Trust Domain and especially Block Domain have always caused support problems. Trust, Deliver, and Trust Any From Domain were found to be the only three things that even an administrator needs to do. Deleting things from the quarantine has been found over and over to cause “I lost email” complaints, so Purge and Delete are no longer available as well. Items are no longer allowed to be directly added to the block list, but can be added by clicking block from the trust list. This allows the blocking of email from someone who answered a verification message properly, but is not wanted while keeping the block list from becoming huge with bogus email addresses that will never be seen again. We have seen many users with hundreds of blocked bogus email addresses. It is a waste of your time to block email addresses that you will never see again. If it wound up in the quarantine, it was already blocked!

There are many users who try to keep their quarantine "clean" by constantly deleting its contents.  Purging or deleting anything in the quarantine is no longer supported.  The way the quarantine was sorted before did lend to the need to keep the quarantine "under control", otherwise trying to find something that just hit your quarantine but ended up on page 8 of a 10 would be very difficult.  However, since the quarantine is now sorted by actual receive date, you can let the quarantine build to its 2 day limit for known spam, and 7 day limit for everything else.  You will find that after using the new quarantine for a few days, you will spend much less time "dealing" with it, and always having entries will be ok.

Also, the “Newsletter” button replaces the old “Trust Any From Domain” link. It does the same thing, but makes much more sense to the user. Newsletters and other online periodicals tend to have serialized email addresses that make trusting very difficult. For instance, you might try to trust a Yahoo Groups subscription by trusting one that comes from yahooid-01824-groupid-99234-message-000001@groups.yahoo.com, but tomorrow you see another email from the same Yahoo Groups email you tried to trust yesterday with an address like yahooid-01824-groupid-99234-message-000002@groups.yahoo.com. There are different sending email addresses for the same newsletter, and they are never the same. To combat this, clicking the Newsletter button will trust anything that ends in "@groups.yahoo.com" as long as it really comes from Yahoo.

Comment 4: I can’t find the email I want.
Solution: The quarantine is now sorted by the actual date and time the email arrived at our server with newest on top because in most cases, the email sought was a result of an online transaction that was just made (like an online purchase receipt). The date you see in the quarantine is not the date we received the message, but the date listed in the email itself. The order in which email was received is how the quarantine is listed. Seeing discrepancies in an entry's date vs. the date in surrounding entries can help you identify misleading spam. To help find more interesting messages quickly, the quarantine can be filtered to each of the four classes such as “Unknown Senders”.

The search box, which used to be available only in advanced mode, now shows all the time. As a matter of fact, Advanced and Basic modes no longer exist. The search boxes are "sticky", or persistent, retaining the search criteria even after reloading the page or choosing category filters.  Remember that you must click the All button to clear the search.  You can enter parts of terms and addresses in the search box resulting in very thorough search results.

For instance, to search for any email address in your quarantine that came from Yahoo, just type yahoo in the search and click Find.  To find all emails that had anything to do with Yahoo, change the search mode from "Sender's Email Addresses" to "Email Header Information".  The search utility is very powerful for finding an email in seconds.

Take a few minutes to play with the search and the category filters.  To return the quarantine to the default state, just click All in both the search and category boxes.

Comment 5: The History pages need to be sorted and paginated.
Solution: The Sent and Received emails now limit 50 items per page with a page selector at the top and bottom if there are more. The search is now persistent, meaning that after you put in a search term, it remains until you clear it, allowing the same search to be performed in both sent and received email without retyping the search.
Comment 6: The configuration is too hard to understand.
Solution: The Settings page has been converted to a wizard that walks the user through a series of decisions about how they want to use their email with appropriate settings derived from their answers. The choices and options are fully explained one at a time so that by the time the user is finished with the wizard, they will both understand and will have taken responsibility for the way they have chosen for MailVICE to work.

We highly recommend using the Setup Wizard by clicking Settings after logging in.

Comment 7: I don’t always realize when I missed an important email in my quarantine.
Observation: Some users end up using their quarantine as a secondary inbox – the worst possible way to simplify their email usage and exactly opposite of what we intended MailVICE to accomplish.

Solution: Every user with messages in their quarantine will receive a daily “digest report” in their inbox with all of that day’s quarantined email displayed in a similar manner to the online quarantine. Retrieval of messages will be possible directly from this digest report actually making most visits to the web quarantine unnecessary. Since “Spam” type emails stay in the quarantine for only 48 hours (because they are almost NEVER real email) and non-Spam types stay for 7 days, the user will have plenty of time to retrieve any messages they actually want within 24 hours of the time it was received. Users with tighter requirements than that should have looser MailVICE settings via the new wizard.
Even though we addressed most of the quirks with the original quarantine and MailVICE methodology, we encourage you to give us further comments and suggestions.  For the foreseeable future, MailVICE will be in a constant state of improvement, and YOU are the number one inspiration of the changes we make.

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