For free Guest accounts, we only allow “Basic” level spam filtering. This means that all our special SMTP stage checks are done, but our more advanced checks that occur at “Normal” and “Aggressive” levels (header and content based analysis to come up with a “spam score”) were not enabled.

Somehow we missed it, but if you signed up a paid account, or upgraded a Guest account to a paid account, it would still by default leave you on “Basic” level, and you had to manually go to the Options –> Spam/Virus protection screen to switch to “Normal” level to enable these more advanced features. This meant that many paid or upgraded users didn’t immediately see the improved spam protection benefits they were paying for.

We’ve now changed that, so any new paid accounts that are signed up, or any accounts that are upgraded from Guest to paid, are automatically switched to “Normal” level protection. This means we also create a Junk Mail folder for you, and setup rules to file any likely spam into that folder.

This change hasn’t been applied to any existing accounts, it’s just new accounts and upgrades. If you have a paid account, and you haven’t enabled spam protection, we recommend you login to your account and go to Options –> Spam/Virus protection and switch to “Normal” level protection to get the benefits of advanced spam protection.

We’ve also made one other change. When we automatically create a Junk Mail folder now, we set the folder to auto-purge emails > 60 days old. We’ve found that people seem to fall into two main categories:

  1. They regularly check their Junk Mail folder for false positives, and
    either explicitly delete the spam, or click the [Empty] link to
    delete the contents of the folder regularly
  2. They never check the Junk Mail folder at all, and just let it
    collect email forever, eventually unwittingly using up their account

Setting the 60 days purge interval seems reasonable, as it gives people in group (1) enough time to check their emails, and for people in group (2), they never check anyway, so we might as well save them quota by deleting them.

We haven’t yet done this retroactively on existing accounts, this is only for new users or upgrades when we auto-create a Junk Mail folder because we enable “Normal” level protection. If you don’t want the purging to happen, you can go to Options –> Folders, click the [Edit] link next to the Junk Mail folded and disable the purge days setting.