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Unsolicited Email (SPAM)/RBL Warning

NOTE: Although this document may be interesting reading for those whom are not ezSolutions email customers, IF WE DO NOT HOST OR FORWARD any of your email (meaning if you do not pick-up your email from ezSolutions email server and ezSolutions does not forward email for one or more of your domains to your non-ezSolutions email account(s) (AOL, MSN, Earthlink, etc.)), the details on reducing unsolicited email (SPAM) outlined here will not apply directly to you.

Overview

The amount of unsolicited email (SPAM) that is sent and received over the Internet increases every day.  SPAMmers (the people who send bulk unsolicited email) are beginning to put telemarketers to shame.  Our email inboxes, and those of our customers, are being filled with dozens of unwanted messages.  This results in wasted time and resources.  We want to help reduce the amount of SPAM that our customers need to manually sift through.

Some very savvy parties have come up with a way to identify email which is potential SPAM.  Once identified, the potential SPAM email can be marked as such, or rejected altogether by our email server.  Real-time Blackhole Lists (RBLs) are lists of SMTP servers which are (or were until recently) "open relays".  "Open relay" SMTP email servers enable, knowingly or unknowingly, sending of bulk unsolicited email by anyone with an Internet connection who feels like sending SPAM.  By comparing the origin of each and every email our email server receives to one or more RBLs, we can identify potential SPAM email.

Rather than reject email that is potential SPAM, ezSolutions' email server marks it by adding a header to the email.  This assures that our customer receive all email (because potential SPAM may actually be solicited email in some cases due to the fact that the RBLs are not fool-proof).

Email sent directly to email accounts not hosted by ezSolutions (AOL, Excite, MSN, Earthlink, etc.) will not be affected (although any email related to your website(s), etc. forwarded to such email accounts will be also filtered). For security reasons, we do not have the authority (nor the ability) to filter email sent directly to email accounts not hosted by ezSolutions.

Setting up your email client's to process all email marked as potential SPAM by our server is the key to reducing the amount of SPAM that ends up in your "main" inbox.

Setting Up Incoming Email Filters within your Email Client Application

Not all email clients are created equal.  Not all email clients are capable of filtering email based on a set of rules.  Fortunately, the most common Windows email clients include this feature.  Outlook calls this feature the "Rules Wizard", Eudora calls this feature a "Filter", etc.  Describing how to configure each and every email client to filter incoming email, if not impossible due to the fact that new email client applications are constantly under development, is certainly outside the scope of this help file.  

In a nutshell, "moving/redirecting" all messages marked as potential SPAM by our email server to a secondary mailbox/folder (named something like "RBL spam") will prevent such email from ending up in your inbox.

To do so you need to configure your rule/filter to search the header data of each incoming email for the text string that is added by our email server:

X-RBL-Warning

NOTE: WE DO NOT RECOMMEND "MOVING/REDIRECTING" EMAIL DIRECTLY TO YOUR TRASH AS SOME EMAIL MARKED AS POTENTIAL SPAM MAY BE NON-SPAM (SOLICITED/WANTED EMAIL).  WE RECOMMEND THAT YOU PERIODICALLY REVIEW THE CONTENTS YOUR "RBL" MAILBOX FOLDER FOR NON-SPAM, SOLICITED EMAIL TO ASSURE THAT AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE IS NOT BEING NEGLECTED.

Here is an example of an Outlook Rules Wizard rule which accomplishes our goal of keeping email marked as potential SPAM out of our "Inbox" mailbox/folder by moving it to a folder called "RBL spam":

Outlook Rules Wizard is included with Outlook 98 and later.  A free version for Outlook 97 can be obtained from Microsoft at: http://office.microsoft.com/downloads/9798/ruleswiz.aspx

Here is an example of an Eudora Filter which accomplishes our goal of keeping email marked as potential SPAM out of our "Inbox" mailbox/folder by moving it to a folder called "RBL Spam":


Coming soon...

After you have the rule/filter setup properly you should notice email marked as potential SPAM being redirected to your RBL mailbox/folder.

Will I stop getting SPAM?
Will all SPAM get marked by your email server as potential SPAM?

Unfortunately no, the RBL does not catch all SPAM.  In addition, there are multiple RBLs which may be consulted, we do not consult them all.  If you would like to see us consult additional RBLs to improve potential SPAM warning, please contact us.  Our standard RBL warning service is free.  Arrangements can be made to consult additional RBLs for an additional annual fee.

We are not aware of any method or combination of methods that will entirely eliminate all unsolicited email.

Configuring My Email Client Applications Seems Like Too Much Trouble.  Can ezSolutions Configure My Email Client Application(s) For Me?

Of course, we always welcome the opportunity to be of service.  Should you elect to have us configure your email client applications for you we will be happy to do so at our current hourly rates.  Please feel free to contact us for more more information, or to set up an appointment.

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