What is Spamming?

Generally, Spam represents any kind of unwanted online communication. The most common involve the use of emails. The fundamental issue is that the communications is not solicited by the recipient. Because the use of emails is the most common we have to deal with, we will look at this further.

The most common form of spam is unwanted email. You can also get text message spam, instant message spam (sometimes known as spim), and social networking spam.

Some spam is annoying but harmless. However, some spam is part of an identity theft scam or other kind of fraud. Identity theft spam is often called a phishing scam.

Also read: Why do my emails go to recipient spam folder?

Spam email is a form of commercial advertising which is economically viable because email is a very cost-effective medium for the sender. If just a fraction of the recipients of a spam message purchase the advertised product, the spammers are making money and the spam problem is perpetuated.

Spammers harvest recipient addresses from publicly accessible sources, use programs to collect addresses on the web, and simply use dictionaries to make automated guesses at common usernames at a given domain.

At the present more than 95% of email messages sent worldwide is believed to be spam, making spam fighting tools increasingly important to all users of email.

You may also want to read:

7 Ways to Build Your Email List
Any listserv or mailing list service?
Email Problems: What Should I do?
How to Check and Send Emails Using Webmail
How to Solve Email Bounce Back Issues
How to configure Email Client

How to stop an email from being labeled as spam

Your business emails could be getting classified as spam in your customer email boxes. Thougn about 80% of all email on the internet is spam. Notwitstanding, businesses anticipate increasing the number of email campaigns on the web.

To stop the bombardment, people and businesses are creating filters, or buying company services that filter email so that they receive only content that they deem relevant to them.

This tutorial explains the steps to be taken when your emails are ending up as spam

There are several things that may help, but bear mind these are suggestions and not a guarantee that your email will no longer be filtered as spam:

Make sure that you are not in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003. Verify that your emails make the grade and you're not falling into common filtering rules.
Send your customers a personal email message requesting that they white-list your domain, so that your business emails don't get filtered into Spam.

Check to make sure that your Email Authentication is enabled. This helps stop spam coming from your email address (even if you're not sending any that you know of). One of the common tactics by spammers out there is to spoof email coming from your domain. This causes you to get blacklisted even though you're not sending emails.

If all else fails, you might want to consider a paid service or use a large specific email host for sending business emails- like Google mail. There are services for sending out emails for marketing such as MailChimp.com. Check them out as possible solutions since they can provide business email and newsletter services.

When an email bounces, it will tell you "why" it's being bounced and give you a source or reason for the bounce. If you're being listed on a service (that you may not be aware of), then you should investigate. In some cases, you can very easily remove yourself from a list simply contacting the authority who has blacklisted you.

Ultimately, you cannot force people to receive your emails or control how they perceive when an email is being labeled as spam or junk email. You can only control those factors that may lead your domain or email as being labeled as a spam by observing the reaction to the emails that you send out.

Hopefully, the information provided will help you in at least stopping spam being inadvertently being sent as well as providing possible solutions that will lead to successfully marketing your business through email.

Also read:

How Did My Email Get Compromised and What Can I Do to Stop It?

How to enable spam assasin in cPanel

How to fix error 500 no such user here

How to grow your mailing list ethically

Why SpamAssasin Labels My Email as Spam

A popular tool used to prevent spam on most mail servers is SpamAssasin. SpamAssasin is an application that test email messages in order to see if they are defined as spam or not.

It has capacity to perform numerous tests on the messages and will assign a score to the message. This score can then be used by applications to filter emails so that only the relevant messages get through to the user.

We shall briefly lists the tests run by SpamAssassin and explain how to lower spam score and avoid false positives to help us understanding the Spam scores.

SpamAssassin checks many variables within an email in order to determine the spam score. A user can also change the settings that SpamAssassin uses in order to determine if an email will score as a spam or not. SpamAssassin settings can be changed within the cPanel. The number and complexity of the tests are so numerous that it can be difficult to understand why an email was given a particular score.

Also read:

Managing the Mail Function in CPanel
Webmail Programs in CPanel
What is Email Spoofing?
How to create an email forwarder in cPanel

Understanding Spam Protection Using Graylisting

Checking email spamming can be achieved through Graylisting - a method implemented by some email servers to protect against spam. When Graylisting is implemented, when you send an email to a person that uses a gray listing spam filter, that mail will be checked against an approved list. If the address is not on the approved list then the message will be sent back with a "try again later" message. This happens at the SMTP layer and is transparent to the end user therefore, the person you are trying to send to will not know the message failed. The receiving system will then wait to see if you try and resend the message.

Most people will re-attempt after the first failure while most automatic systems will not. If the mail is legitimate, after a delay, try again and, if sufficient time has elapsed, the email will be accepted. While this means that all mail gets delayed at least until the sender tries again however it also can prevent a lot of spam from getting through. If you find yourself getting added back to the gray list repeatedly then you will need to contact the receiving organization and ask them to look into the issue for you. There is nothing on our end to prevent them from running these kinds of filters.

One thing that may help get you through the gray list filter is creating SPF records and domain keys. Please read out article on using SPF and domain keys to combat spam for more information.

How to Protect Your Email Using Spam Assassin

The solution most web hosts offer for the e-mail protection is called SpamAssassin.

SpamAssassin is an automated mail filter that uses a wide range of heuristic algorithms on mail headers and message body text to identify "SPAM" (unsolicited email). This software is capable of eliminating more than 98% of all SPAM messages. Its performance depends on the individual configuration, which can be tuned by each website owner. Once identified, the mail is tagged as "SPAM" for later filtering using the user's desktop mail client.

For more information, please visit SpamAssassin official website.

To configure your SpamAssassin, please follow the steps below:

Step 1: To access the SpamAssassin Menu, click on the SpamAssassin icon on the main screen of your cPanel interface.
Spam Assassin

Step 2: To enable SpamAssassin, click on the Enable SpamAssassin button.

Enable SpamAssassin

Step 3: To disable SpamAssassin, click on Disable SpamAssassin.

Disable SpamAssassin

Step 4: To enable Spam Box, click on Enable Spam Box.

Enable Spam Box

Step 5: To disable Spam Box, click on Disable Spam Box.

Disable Spam Box

Step 6: To configure SpamAssassin, click on Configure SpamAssassin.

Configure SpamAssassin

You will be taken to a page where you will be able to configure how aggressive SpamAssassin to be for the spam messages. You can blacklist up to five mail addresses from which you don't want to receive mail.

Blacklist email addresses

In the required_score field you can set the number of hits required before a mail is considered as spam. SpamAssassin uses its own algorithm when assigning spam score to messages. Basically, the lower value you set, the more aggressively SpamAssassin will treat the incoming messages.
In the score fields you can assign scores to a given test performed by SpamAssassin.

The last five fields are for whitelisted mail addresses. You should whitelist addresses which send mail that is often tagged incorrectly as spam.

How to prevent spam with BoxTrapper

BoxTrapper helps with spam protection by requiring that those who send you emails will first have to confirm their emails. This has been a feature with some limitetions yet very effective with some additional steps taken.

When someone sends you an email for the first time, Box Trapper responds back asking them to reply to prove their not a spammer or bot. If they reply they can be white listed and never have to do it again. The concept, relies on the fact that spammers and bots will not reply to the email BoxTrapper sends and therefore can be determined as spam. One problem with this is if you get emails from banks, businesses, etc. that use a donotreply@domain.com and they will not reply. Since they do not reply you will not receive the email they sent.

You can also manually add any addresses of people you already correspond with (your address book in your mail client is a good place to start) to the white list, so you don't have to bother them with getting approved. Pay attention to the format of the addresses listed above the white list box to avoid errors.

In theory, BoxTrapper sounds like a great solution but may not be the best tool for everyone to use. We recommend using SpamAssassin instead.

Note: one odd behavior of the BoxTrapper is that the "enable auto whitelisting" feature does not remain checked if you are using it from the webmail interface. If you are unsure, check that setting from the mail area in cpanel and you will see the true setting.

How to limit the number of hourly mails sent from each domain

Reducing the number of emails sent hourly from each domain has been a good way to deal with spammy issues. There are also cases where a compromised account is been used to send massive emails. This setting helps protect your server IP from blacklist problems and limit the amount of emails that can be sent by exploiters..

To manage the number of emails sent hourly, you need to do the following:

  • Login to whm
  • From the left bar, search Tweak Seetings
  • Click on Tweak settings locate the mail section
  • Look for "Max hourly emails per domain"
  • Edit the Max hourly emails per domain to a convinient figure

By default, it will be set to "unlimited". It is important that this be changed to some thing like 250. We recommend that it should never exceed 250.

That's it. You have now edited the amount of Max hourly emails per domain can send.

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