Tips for reducing Spam
 

We can co various things to keep spam to a minimum on the server side, however there are responsibilities a domain and website owner have to ensure they are doing there best to reduce spam from their end. Here are some tips we have uncovered a long the way.

1. TRAINING YOUR SPAM FILTERING VIA THE SERVER CONTROL PANEL
95% of spam problems is the result of not training your spam filtering software within YOUR domain.
The server itself has it's own spam filtering software, however each individual domain has control over their own settings. To train your spam filter, log into your Control panel :  https://yourdomain.com:8443 from there, click on mail, click on each email address, click on spam filter, you will see an icon called "training" click on the icon. If you have email sitting on your server (inbox) it will bring up a variety of emails, go through the subject headings and place a checkbox by each one you consider to be spam. If you go down the list and determine all of it is "spam", putting a check mark in the box "subject" will place a check box for all emails displayed. (Note, if you have a lot of emails there it could take a few minutes for this process) once the check boxes are checked click the link that says "this is spam". It is recommended you do this about once per week for a few weeks and then periodically as needed.

1. Re-directing email / Forwarding Email.  There are those that like their yahoo account or maybe their ISP email website, however there is a downside to using any web based email client. The more re-directs and forwards you have setup, the more loops it takes for an email to get to it's destination and thus increases the amount of spam received on the server. If you like just accessing your mail all in one place, you can achieve the same results by using a third party pop3 email client such as Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express AND get a better handle on Spam by using a spam filtering software. Today most spam filters are included with your anti-virus software.

2. Don't setup a catch-All email address. Have you ever received an email to an email you know you don't have setup? For example if you have bob@yourdomain.com setup but you frequently receive emails to Lucy@yourdomain.com or viagra@yourdomain.com The reason behind that is you most likely have a "catch all" email that catches ALL mail to any prefix@ yourdomain.com

By default, in November when we changed servers we removed all "catch-all" email boxes and directed our server to "DISCARD" email to unknown addresses. So an email sent to viagra@yourdomain.com went no where. We could have set the email to be "deleted" automatically, however when that is done the spammer receives notification that the email was rejected which causes them to keep trying or utilize more advanced harvesting measures. With the "discard" setting the spammer is completely unaware that you did not receive their message. This setting is within the mail controls of your control panel and we recommend you keep the default setting of "discard" for this purpose.

3. When you receive an email that you certainly know is spam, don't open it, just delete it, spammers have sophisticated software which allows them to see that the mail has been opened which of course gives them another reason to keep spamming you. If you are uncertain about an email not marked "spam" or think could be legit, and you open it, try not to click on any links, just delete it as well. If you are running your own anti-spam software (recommended) you can better train your anti-spam software by telling it to "discard" future emails from that sender.

4. Form Pages can be deleted or re-created to make it more difficult for a spammer to exploit the address it sends mail to. You may have a form page on your site requesting additional information from clients or potential clients, this is another open door to spammers who harvest email addresses using the "script language" used in the HTML that sends the forms data to your email address. There are a few solutions. One is the obvious removal of the form completely, however might not be practical if you rely on it for legitimate reasons. The other option is to add a "CAPTCHA" to your form pages. CAPTCHA is a program that protects websites against bots by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but current computer programs cannot. For example, humans can read distorted text as the one shown below, but current computer programs can't: You have probably seen them on many websites where you must type in a series of letters, numbers or even symbols in order to get your message through or access a form or page. If you currently have a form on your page and would like to add this feature to the form, I will add it free of charge for current clients. Just email me and ask me about it.

5. Search Engine Submissions - gateway to a LOT of spam! We all know that in order for your website to be seen, it has to be sent out to the search engines. What you might not know is that the search engines require a working email address in order to spider your website. If your website came with search engine submissions you will remember that I asked you for a junk email address right? This is why. If you have not setup a junk mail address, now is the time to do it. DO NOT USE your domain email to do this. Use one of the free email services such as Yahoo, hotmail, gmail, etc. For example I have one setup as KLJunk@yahoo.com I use this email address ONLY for submitting my websites to the search engines. It's a working email address so I am not in violation of submission guidelines. Once a month I go into that account in Yahoo and I just delete all and never have to read one word as I know it is all junk mail. NONE of the search engines require confirmation your site was submitted, as spammers will have you believe. Once your email address is submitted with your site it's sold, and resold thousands of time to spammers all across the globe. By using a junk email address JUST for search engine submissions you need only devote a few minutes per month to deleting the box (so that it does not generate "Mailbox" full message to the search engines which could disqualify your site from being indexed. If you are unsure if we have a junk email address used for submitting your website, email me and I will let you know. If you know you don't have one setup, set one up and email me with it to include with your future submissions.

6. Advanced Spam Configuration Settings

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