Because BLaST IU 17 is a large education service agency with a public mission, the email addresses of many of its departments and employees are public as well. So in the course of reaching out to students, parents, teachers, and administrators in its 19 school districts, BLaST IU 17 became an easy target for spammers.
For Jon Paulhamus, assistant director of technology at BLaST IU 17, the problem wasn't just professional, it was personal too. "I was getting 75 to 100 spam messages a day," he recalled. "And I was by no means the hardest one hit."
Although BLaST IU 17 had an email filter in place, some email users were receiving hundreds of spam messages every day. One mailbox often received upwards of 500 spam messages a day!
Over a five-year period, BLaST IU 17 tried several popular email filters. As time progressed, they had only marginal success in blocking spam. Some filters didn't work well at all; others worked initially but then gradually lost their effectiveness. Meanwhile, the spam kept coming.