Postini Security

Message Center User Guide


Postini is an email protection service that provides each user with a Message Center where your spam and viruses are filtered and quarantined. Your legitimate email messages are delivered to your email inbox, just as they always have, but junk and virus-infected email is routed to your Message Center.

Getting the most out of your Message Center

It is strongly recommended that you check your Message Center daily at first so your filters "learn" to be more effective and accurate. Upon regular review, remove the unwanted messages and deliver the ones you want. You can also safely read the contents of a virus-infected email in your Message Center without the risk of harming your own personal system. Adjust the filters to meet your unique needs.

Regular reminders will instruct you to check your Message Center and review quarantined email. All quarantined messages are held for 14 days until they are automatically deleted.


How do I access my Message Center?

Once your account has been activated, you will receive a "Welcome" email directing you to your message center.

Access Message Center

Log in to the Message Center

  1. Click on the Message Center link in the Welcome message. It's helpful to bookmark the log in page.
  2. Enter your log in address (provided in the Welcome message).
  3. Enter your temporary password (provided in the Welcome message). If you enter an incorrect password, the Forgot your Password? link will appear. Click on that link and then click the Submit button and a new temporary password will be emailed to you.
  4. When you sign in using your address and password, your browser can "remember" you by using a persistent cookie on your computer. By selecting the checkbox on the log in screen, you can bypass the log in each time you come back. Be sure to close the browser window instead of logging out. Upon your return, you won't be prompted for a password. If you use a shared computer (in a library, Internet cafe, school, or other public area) where someone could see your personal message center, do not select the Remember Me checkbox.

The Message Center Main Window

The Message Center has several different areas:

Message Center Main Window

The Quarantine Area

If you would like to view the contents of a message in the quarantine list (for example, if you are uncertain if an item is junk), click on the subject, and the message content will appear.

Icon   This message is general bulk email.
Icon   This message contains sexually explicit content.
Icon   This message contains "Get Rich Quick" and other financially related offers.
Icon   This message contains special offers and advertisements.
Icon   This message contains racially insensitive material.

Remove or Deliver Email Messages

Remove Junk Email
To remove or deliver messages, check the messages and click the appropriate button (Remove or Deliver).

Remove Junk Email

When delivering a message to your inbox, you will be prompted to add the sender to your Approved Sender List. Adding the sender will allow them to always bypass the Junk Email filters. It is highly recommended that you add your friends, family, colleagues, and associates in order to improve the accuracy of your filters.

Email Delivered


When you deliver email from the Message Center, it is immediately forwarded to your inbox. A copy is also placed in the Delivered Folder. Messages are permanently deleted from the Delivered Folder on a periodic basis. To view the contents of the folder, click the Delivered link.

Delivered Messages

Once a junk email message has been deleted from the Message Center it is placed in the Removed Folder. Messages will be permanently deleted from the Removed Folder by the system on a periodic basis. By clicking "Empty Trash", all messages in the Removed Folder will be permanently deleted with no method of recovering them.

Removed Messages


Junk Email Filters

Each messages is scored by its probability for being junk email. Postini will compare the spam score of the message with your personal tolerance levels for that specific category of junk email (screenshot follows). Messages exceeding your tolerance will be quarantined to your Message Center.

The filters can be tailored to match your personal preferences. For example, you may wish to receive special offers, so you would set that filter to a lenient setting, but you may not wish to receive any get rich quick offers, so you would set that filter to a more aggressive setting.

Junk Email Blocking

What do the filter levels mean?

As you increase the spam filter levels, you increase the amount of junk email that is caught and the effectiveness of the system. You also have a greater chance of legitimate email being quarantined (called a "false quarantine") during the initial 'breaking in period'. Setting filters is a trade-off — a more aggressive setting means more junk email will be quarantined, however, it also increases the odds of a false quarantine occurring.

Sender Lists

The Approved Sender List allows you to designate individuals or domains that will always bypass the filters and will automatically be delivered to your inbox. We recommend that you add friends, family, and associates to the Approved Sender list. This is the best method for preventing legitimate messages from being falsely quarantined.

The Blocked Senders List allows you to designate addresses that will always be blocked regardless of content. We do not recommend using the Blocked Sender list to block regular spammers. Spammers continually change and spoof their address and domain, making this approach useless. The Blocked Sender list is to help block newsletters that are difficult to unsubscribe from or bothersome senders.

Sender List

Virus Settings

There is only one setting for Virus Scanning, ON or OFF.

Virus Protection

If a virus is detected, your message will be safely detained in the Message Center and you will be immediately notified via email. You can safely view the virus-infected message from within the Message Center without fear of transmitting the virus to your operating system or installed software.

Account Settings

Clicking the Account Settings link takes you the Account Settings page.

Account Settings

From this page you can:

  1. Change your password. Click on the Password and you will prompted for your current password and your new password.
  2. Manage multiple email addresses. Do you have several email accounts and addresses? You can map these alternate addresses to your Message Center. If you do not map these addresses to your Message Center, you still may receive spam. Adding alternate addresses will send a confirmation email to confirm you are the legitimate owner of the address. You may submit as many alternate addresses as you own.
  3. Enable "Remember Me". This link displays information that explains the "Remember my Address and Password" feature.


  1. How do I know when I have messages in quarantine?
    You should log in to your Message Center periodically to review your quarantined messages, deliver any legitimate messages and remove junk messages. You will receive an email notification on a regular basis in your primary email inbox if any messages have been quarantined.
  2. How do I get technical support?
    Contact your email administrator directly.
  3. What if I don't want my email to be filtered?
    Set Junk Email Blocking to off in your Junk Email Settings page or contact your email administrator.
  4. Can someone else read my email?
    Postini's patent-pending email processing technology allows messages to be processed in real-time as the packets flow through the Postini servers, and so legitimate messages are not written to disk. This ensures that Postini does not expose your data to hackers or potential loss of data. Postini's filters process all email without human contact with mail flow or individual messages. In the case of suspicious email, the message can be broken down into sections with a hashed file name and then directed to your private Message Center.
  5. Why do I need to enable cookies when logging into my Message Center?
    Cookies are only used to identify and validate users. The persistent cookie contains the email address of the user who last logged in to Postini. This cookie is only used when logging in. All other cookies expire within 40 minutes or when the browser is exited. When the "Remember my Address and Password" checkbox is checked, then the cookie will not expire for the Message Center until the "Logout" link is clicked.
  6. What happens to messages I have delivered from the Message Center?
    They are delivered directly to your inbox and a copy is placed in the Delivered folder.
  7. What happens to email I delete from quarantine?
    When messages are removed, they will be completely purged from the Removed items folder approximately 2 days after removal. If you would like the purge to be immediate, click on the "Empty Trash" button from the Removed folder. Unless specifically removed, messages will be quarantined for 14 days.
  8. Why can't I log in? What if I have trouble getting in to my Message Center?
    If you enter an incorrect password on the log in screen, the system will display a page with a "Forgot your Password?" link. Click on the link and then press the Submit button and a new password will be emailed to you. If this fails, contact your email administrator directly for assistance.
  9. What if I have two separate email addresses?
    You should map all your email accounts to the same Message Center to ensure spam does not get through. See the Account Settings section of the Configuration chapter.
  10. Can I import my contacts or address book?
    No. You can manually enter them. We suggest adding the domains, if practical, so you do not reach the character limit for the Approved Sender list.
  11. What if messages are quarantined that I want delivered to my email inbox (false quarantines)?
    Adjust your spam filters to a more lenient setting and add senders to your Approved Senders list.
  12. What if a lot of junk email is still getting through?
    The heuristic filters can block up to 95% of spam from reaching your inbox. Unwanted messages can still get through. Follow the suggestions below to maximize your filter effectiveness:
    • Increase your settings. The more aggressive the filter setting, the fewer spam messages will reach your inbox. Please note that more aggressive the setting, the more often you should visit the Message Center to confirm that legitimate messages are not quarantined. If they are, add those senders or domains to your Approved Sender list.
    • Review your Approved Mailing List. Do you have other email addresses forwarding to this account? Check to be sure your email addresses are NOT on the Approved Mailing List.