Exchange Online Protection (EOP) Guide

EOP is Microsoft's anti-spam solution for Exchange (formerly Forefront Online Protection). EOP helps protect SF State’s inbound and outbound e-mail from spam, viruses, and phishing scams.


Spam Quarantine

Spam Quarantine is the term used for e-mail that EOP determines is “very likely spam” but is presented to you for additional review. Every 7 days you will receive a notification message that lists e-mail flagged as spam quarantine. The message will include the number of spam quarantined messages, the date and time of the last message in the list, and the sender, subject, date and size of each included message. Additionally, each message will have an option to send the message to your inbox or report the message as not junk.

Reporting a message as not junk will send a copy of the message your inbox and to Microsoft for review. Microsoft/EOP will make the determination to allow or quarantine similar messages in the future.

If a message remains in Quarantine for 14 days, the message is assumed to be spam and will be permanently deleted. These messages cannot be retrieved.


Quarantine Notifications

After receiving a quarantine notification, review the message. If any of the listed e-mails are legitimate messages, click the Release to Inbox link or the Report as Not Junk link to send each e-mail to your inbox and inform EOP that the message was legitimate. Other listed e-mails will be permanently deleted after 14 days.  

If you are concerned that you have received a spam quarantine notification that is not legitimate, you can verify the message is not a forgery by checking the message headers.  The ‘From’ and ‘Return Path’ lines should both read Additionally, keep your Internet browser(s) up to date and configured with anti-phishing filters to avoid unintentional redirection to a non-legitimate site. If you have questions, please contact the ITS Help Desk by Submitting a Service Request.


Quarantine Message Example


Checking Quarantine Notifications Online

If you wish to check your quarantine list rather than waiting for an e-mail notification, you can login to EOP online:

  1. Navigate to
  2. Enter your Microsoft ID: [SF State email name] (e.g., for address, enter
  3. Press enter or click in the password field, you will be automatically redirected to SF State’s login page
  4. Enter your SF State e-mail address/ID and SF State Password
  5. Once logged in, you can highlight a message in the list and click Edit (pencil icon) to see details  
  6. Use the Release or Release and Report as False Positive links to send messages to your inbox


Spam not Caught by EOP

Over 93% of the incoming messages to are categorized as “definitely spam” based on the source and content. This is fairly typical and why automated screening of e-mail is absolutely necessary. Most of spam e-mail is successfully filtered out by EOP based on a number of heuristic engines. However, some spam messages will slip through.

Windows Outlook users may download and install the Junk E-mail Reporting Tool for Outlook. This tool will add a button to the toolbar in Outlook that will directly report junk e-mail to Microsoft and its affiliates for analysis to help them improve the effectiveness of their junk e-mail filtering technologies.

For further instructions, please see How to report phishing attempts and other spam e-mail on the University's Phishing page.