Email blacklisting is a necessary evil in the world of today’s computers. Without blacklisting organizations, no email account would be safe from the onslaught of spam emails floating around the internet.
While in practice, this is normally great, but unfortunately it is possible to have legitimate email servers added because of other users on the server. This is why you may see our shared servers sometimes become blacklisted.
In this article, we will discuss how it happens, how to help prevent it, and how we handle each situation.
How does this happen?
This normally only happens shared servers where you have more than one account on a server and one of these accounts have become compromised (e.g. the hosting account password was cracked, the email password was cracked, scripts are out of date, etc.).
For more information about what a compromised account is, please click here.
When this happens, spammers use this as an outlet to send massive amounts of unsolicited emails to people. When people that receive this spam report it, blacklists are made aware of the spam and the source, and in turn block the server.
From that point, any email provider that respects the organization’s blacklist will automatically stop allowing any emails sent from the blacklisted server to make it to intended recipient, and in most situations, will bounce the email back to the original sender.
What can we do as users to help prevent it?
While it may not be your account causing the issue, it is a good idea to take preventative measures to help ensure that your account is never the cause of a blacklist. You can do this by making sure that your email accounts have strong, secure passwords. For information on how to create secure passwords, please click here.
You can also help by making sure that if you have any scripts, that you keep them up to date so that they can’t be used as spam email sources. For information on how to upgrade some of the more popular web applications, please click here.
In addition, you can help prevent breaches by ensuring you have secure passwords on any FTP accounts that you have. Again, for information on how to create a secure password, please click here.
By doing all the above, you help prevent your account from being used to send bulk emails and in turn helps the server remain in good grasses with the black lists organizations.
What does Site5 do to help prevent it?
There are many organizations that work with us directly by informing us of emails that have been reported as spam before they blacklist the server. This gives us the opportunity to look into the spam messages and track down the account they are being sent from. From there, we work with that client to help prevent any more spam messages from being sent. This process is known as a Feedback Loop, or FBL. For more information about how the FBL system works, please click here.
You can see the organizations that work with us via this method below.
What happens if the server gets blacklisted? What does Site5 do?
If an organization adds our server to a blacklist, we start immediate action to have the blacklist removed and to prevent future spam messages being sent from the source that triggered the listing. This process varies from organization to organization. Some organizations allow us to simply submit a form, while others require us to email them directly.
Unfortunately, there are some organizations that we simply can’t request a removal from. In situations like this, we have to do the best we can to clean up the account that sent the messages and simply wait for them to remove us on their own. There is no way to tell how long this process can take as it varies from case to case.
No matter the organization, any delisting request can take time for the request to be approved and processed.
Black List Organizations
- Works with us via FBL
- American Online (AOL)
- Work With Us
- Microsoft Exchange
- MX Logic
- Cloudmark RBL
- Doesn’t Work With Us
- Chile DNSBL