31 Mar 2018

SPAM. Does anybody really like it?

Let’s face it, nobody likes receiving spam in their email.

The Green-Light email hosting system has spam filters built in which work pretty well and have been adequate for the last number of years. However, in recent times we’ve been finding our servers being blocked by companies like Microsoft because we’re sending spam.

Usually, when our systems are sending spam it means a users email or website has been compromised in some way which has allowed a spammer to send thousands of unsolicited messages. We’ve made changes over the last year to tighten these holes and set up alarm bells to alert us when these things happen. But still, we’re being blocked on occasion. There has to be something that we’re missing.

Enter the addition of outbound email filtering. Most spam filter systems only filter incoming messages. This is a good way to keep your inbox clean but doesn’t do anything about sending messages which directly affects our reputation and in turn blocks us.

We’ve added two email gateway servers and set up our cPanel servers to send ALL email through them. The first day this was running we successfully stopped over 500 outgoing spam messages we didn’t know were being sent. It turns out the way some users have configured their email (using forwarders) still allows spam through the cPanel filters and appears to be originating from our servers. Not very good. But that has now been stopped.

An added bonus to these mail gateways is the ability to have redundant incoming and outgoing servers. We can take one of them offline to do maintenance or upgrades and the system will stay up and running. With some minor tweaking on your DNS and setup on the gateways, we can also filter all incoming messages for your entire domain.

We’ve been testing the incoming filtering on our own email and so far the results are looking very positive. In time, we’ll start offering the incoming filtering for all of our clients for a nominal fee which is yet to be determined.

Feel free to contact us at help@green-light.ca if you have any questions.

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