Industry experts estimate that three out of every five e-mail messages that are sent today are spam.
This is not only a nuisance; it is costing us all time and money which could be better spent on productive ventures.
Bizwala is committed to fighting spam & blocks a great deal without customer intervention. Our systems are updated daily and we are always working to improve our spam filtering.
Though we may never be able to block it all, we can offer some suggestions to combat spam effectively.
Q: How can I prevent spam from reaching my e-mail account?
A: People who send spam compile their mailing lists in many ways. Methods to compile such lists include:
Sending spam to e-mail addresses that are most commonly used. A common tactic consists of building lists of targeted addresses that use frequently used words such as “webmaster” or “info” (for example, “webmaster@mydomainname” or “info@mydomainname”).
Obtaining e-mail addresses that are automatically “harvested” from web sites by specialized software.
Compiling lists of e-mail addresses that are either chosen or generate at random (for example, ” joe1@mydomainname”, “joe2@mydomainname” or “joe3@mydomainname”. This method is becoming increasingly frequent.
Because spammers often send spam to undefined e-mail aliases such as email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, you can combat the receipt of spam effectively by not using a catch-all address . (The catch-all is an alias that is used to recieve mail sent to undefined addresses/aliases .)
Q: What is spoofing and how can I fight it?
A: “Spoofing” occurs when a spammer uses some version of your domain name in the “From” address field. Spammers use spoofing to try to hide their identities and to pass blame for spam to innocent Internet users. The large amount of spam messages — many of which are sent to invalid address — result in a significant amount of “bounced” e-mail (that is, mail that returned as being undeliverable). Unfortunately, bounced mail is sent back to the address found in the “From” line of the spammed message.
Typically, the “From” line is also an undefined e-mail address not found in your mail settings. To combat receiving bounced mail messages, you can use the “devnull” alias that we mentioned in the previous question and answer.
Q: Even if my account is not generating any spam, can the mail server I use get blocked because of spam?
Unfortunately, yes. The main cause for blacklisting your mail server depends on where the spammed e-mail is ultimately received and how the ISP who maintains that location reacts to spam and to spam complaints. Many account holders with Bizwala forward e-mail messages that are sent to there hosting account. For example, a message sent to info@mydomainname could be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. At other times, clients may be forwarding e-mail messages to accounts that are invalid or otherwise not in use. The processing of the forwarded e-mail message is handled by the mail server that your account uses (specifically, the MTA or Mail Transport Agent). Because a Bizwala mail server is the MTA, it is possible that the mail server could be blacklisted even though you (or any other Bizwala client) is not responsible for sending the spam in the first place.
In short, you must be careful about where you forward e-mail, how you report spam, and to whom you report it.
Note: Bizwala reserves the right to terminate a client’s services for violations of our Acceptable Use policy. Unacceptable use includes forwarding e-mail messages to addresses that are invalid (not within the client’s control) and/or sending mail with malicious intent.
Q: How can I filter spam in my Inbox once I receive it?
First, do NOT click any links in the spam or try to reply or unsubscribe to the spammed e-mail message. Often, these links will subscribe you to even more spam lists despite the fact that those links appear to promise that you will be unsubscribed. And, as spammers are always looking for legitimate e-mail addresses to spam, replying to a spam message in any way only tells the spammer that your e-mail address is valid.
Second, some e-mail programs have built-in functionality that deals with spam that reaches your Inbox. Outlook 2000 (and newer) is one such a e-mail program.
Outlook creates a folder called Junk Mail, where you can move junk e-mail and then review it before deleting. Or, you can have junk e-mail delivered to your Inbox, but color-coded so you can easily identify it. The list of terms that Outlook uses to filter suspected junk e-mail messages is found in a file named Filters.txt.
You can also filter messages based on the e-mail addresses of junk and adult content senders, allowing you to move or delete all future messages from a particular sender. You can review the Junk Senders list and add and remove e-mail addresses from it.
If you do not use Outlook 2000 or higher, please refer to your mail program’s help files for any information related to spam filtering.
Q: Are there any low cost programs out there that I can install to help filter the spam?
A: Yes. There are many programs available that use a variety of methods to help e-mail end users filter spam. Effective spam prevention should include client-side software (that is, software that is installed on your local computer). Below are some links that you may want to visit:
Cloudmark Safety Bar: http://www.cloudmark.com
Realize that there are many products on the market that you can install on help filter spam. However, as we are not affiliated with the vendors or authors of those products, we cannot specify which of those products would work best for your specific situation. We ask that you “do your research” in order to locate which product is best for you.
Q: The spam that is reaching me is being sent to defined e-mail accounts. What can I do about it?
A: If any of your defined e-mail addresses are receiving too many spam messages, it may be well worth it to you to change your e-mail address. For example, if “info@mydomainname” is the recipient of too much spam, it may be a good idea to delete “info@mydomainname” in favor of “information@mydomainname. We realize that this may be a tough decision, but such an action could be a huge benefit as it would immediately reduce — if not entirely eliminate — the amount of spam that you would be receiving at your e-mail address.
Q: How can I prevent my e-mail address from being added to spammer’s mailing lists?
A: As mentioned above, spammers use a variety of methods to compile lists. We have created a help document that will give you some useful tips about how to prevent your e-mail addresses from being added to lists.
Protect Your Privacy
If you plan to enter your information to any Web site, please review the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies of the Web site. If the policies do not clearly indicate what will be done with your information, you should reconsider posting any details to that Web site.
Publishing Your E-mail Address on Your Web Site
Instead of having a simple “mailto” link on your Web site, such as “Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org,” consider using an approved form mail script that allows Web site visitors to fill out a form to send you e-mail. Bizwala offers such a script free of charge. This will help prevent e-mail address harvesting robots and other spammers from capturing your address. email email@example.com if you need assistance in setting up a spam deterrent form mail
Try to stay away from creating and posting a member profile, on any Web site, for others to see publicly. Spammers are always reviewing such information for new e-mail addresses.
Many of us register products online. Many times the product registration form has options pre-selected that enable the company to solicit you by e-mail, even though you may not want it. Be sure to review the options you are selecting and any options that may have been selected for you by default.
Posting to a Newsgroup
Never post anything to a newsgroup with your real e-mail address. Consider cloaking the address or using a “disposable” e-mail address. Consider creating and using an e-mail address from one of the free e-mail address providers.
Do Not Reply to Spam or an Unsubscribe Request
Never reply to a piece of spam or request to be unsubscribed. Your reply confirms that your address is working and provides the spammer the opportunity to add your address to their list or sell it to another entity. This actually helps facilitate more spam.
An effective way to help prevent spam is to report it to the ISP or mail administrator where the spam originated. Such reports help ISPs to identify the user or users who sent the spam. Report the spam, including full headers from the spam, to the ISP abuse department or postmaster e-mail address.
Federal law strictly limits the information that online service providers may disclose about their users. However, e-mail messages do contain some information about the sender.
E-mail headers contain an Internet Protocol (IP) address that corresponds to the sender’s Internet service provider (ISP). A line in the e-mail message contains an 8 to 12 digit number, separated by periods. For example: “Received: from [123.456.78.91] by . . .” The “123.456.78.91” represents the ISP’s unique IP address for the sender. Most spam headers have multiple “Received: from” lines. If the e-mail message has not been forged then, in general, the first such line from the bottom is the true origin of the spammed message.
After you identify the IP address, you can search to determine which ISP provides this person with Internet access.