Spam & Virus Email Filtering

Everyone makes mistakes. But with FSU’s email protection services, if you accidentally click a malicious link, you'll still be protected. Email protection services help shield university employees and FSU data from email attacks by blocking access to malicious attachments and websites. Exchange Online Protection provides protection against spam and viruses. Proofpoint Targeted Attack Protection provides enhanced protection against target attacks like phishing and ransomware. Used together, these services provide the greatest protection to email accounts, detecting and blocking identified threats or displaying a warning if someone clicks a malicious link. This first-line defense stops spam, viruses, phishing, ransomware and other unwanted messages, giving employees peace of mind that the attachments and websites they open are safe.

Available To

  • Faculty
  • Staff


  • Blocks millions of spam messages and email-borne viruses from ever reaching inboxes
  • Provides ability to configure organization and domain level filtering rules
  • Rewrites URLs to display a warning message if links are unsafe
  • Uses static and dynamic techniques to detect the latest email threats
  • Rewrites URLs in .txt and .html attachments


Departments must configure their MX records to point to the respective email protection service.

Proofpoint is available to ITS-provided email accounts using Office 365. List of ITS-Provided Email Domains


There is no charge for this service.

Email protection is automatically enabled on all ITS-provided employee email accounts using Office 365.

Additional Information

Email Message Limits

The following limits apply to every Office 365 email message:

  • Message size* | Outlook: 150 MB; Outlook for Mac: 150 MB; OWA: 112 MB; Migration: 150 MB
  • Subject length | 255 characters
  • File attachments | 250 attachments
  • File attachment size | Outlook: 150 MB; Outlook for Mac: 150 MB; OWA: 35 MB
  • Multipart message | 250 parts
  • Embedded message depth | 30 embedded messages

*Individual department email systems may have varying message size limits; please check with your department on their maximum message size limits.

Emails that exceed these limits will be bounced back to the sender with a "Message Size Violation" error message explaining the size limits.

A file attached in an email is usually larger than the original file due to encoding that is done during email transmission. For this reason, it is possible for an email with a specific sized attachment to exceed the maximum message size.

To share large attachments, please use FSU Dropbox.

Recipient and Sender Limits

The following limits apply to every office 365 email account:

  • Messages received | 3,600 messages/hour
  • Recipient rate | 10,000 recipients/day
  • Recipients | 500 recipients
  • Message rate | 30 messages/minute (SMTP client submission only)

Individuals who exceed these limits may be added to Microsoft's banned senders list, which means they can send email inside the organization, but are prohibited from sending anything outside of FSU. Visit the ITS Knowledge Base for information on how to request removal from Microsoft's banned senders list.

If your department needs to send emails that exceed the recipient and sender limits, please submit a whitelist request.

Attachment File Type Restrictions

Certain file types are considered potentially dangerous because they can contain executable programs or macros. These file types—.cmd, .exe .scr—are blocked. Visit the ITS Knowledge Base for a full list of restricted file types.

Reporting Spam is the Florida State University contact method for reporting spam, phishing attempts, malicious email, and other types of misuse of IT resources within the FSU community. 

The ITS-ABUSE team will take necessary action on reports of spam, phishing scams, and other unsolicited email. In order for us to effectively filter spam we need all submissions to to include the following things:

  • A forwarded copy of the original email with email headers included or attached
  • For information on how to obtain email headers please click here.

Email Safety Tips

  • Use your University e-mail address for essential, educational use only.
  • Use filters and/or rules to move emails to folders or to delete.
    • Click here for instructions.
  • Delete messages from untrusted sources and empty your trash.
  • Keep your anti-virus software updated.
  • Talk to your department IT representative if you need more assistance.


Need Help?
Submit a support request with the following information:

  • Category: Faculty/Staff Services
  • Specialty Type: Office 365


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