Fight Spam!

As email can be a main source of many leads on a daily basis, it makes sense to spend a little time understanding how you can keep your inbox as “spam-free’ as possible. Here, iHOUSE provides a quick description of some of the most recent changes we’ve made to help you fight spam, along with a few tips on how you can improve your own spam filtering as well.

iHOUSE Spam-Blocking Enhancements

Email Forwarding

If you forward the mail from your website that is associated with your domain name (i.e. jane@janedoerealestate.com) to another email address such as jane@aol.com, etc. you may be getting more filtering than you need, and blocking messages you want! iHOUSE Fix: If you use email forwarding, iHOUSE will forward all mail that you receive via your website (minus any spam we’ve blocked for you!), to your forwarding address and use the email that it is forwarded from (i.e. yourname@yourdomain.com) in the “from” field rather than using the the original sender’s address. You should add this email address to the address book of the email account where you have your mail forwarded so that you don’t miss leads that are coming from your website by having them delivered to your “bulk” or “spam” folders. In order for this to work, you must not mark any of the email you receive from jane@janedoerealestate.com as spam or your mail provider will start sending ALL of the email that gets forwarded from your website address to your bulk folder, and you will miss out on leads! Remember, we’ll still block the spam through our filters if it is sent through your website! What should you do? Don’t use email forwarding if you can help it. Post the email address where you check your mail, or typically have it forwarded, on all your marketing material including your website. This will eliminate any confusion or missed emails from spam blocking since any email submitted from your site will go straight to where it’s supposed to – your inbox! By eliminating email forwarding from the equation, you lessen the chance that you’re missing leads. We also offer an iHOUSE WebMail interface for managing your email (at no additional charge to you) if you’d like to keep all your website leads and email correspondence in one place.

Using An “info@” Email Address

Many years ago, it was a good idea to have an “info@domainname.com” email address for your personal website in order to capture all inquiries. Today, an “info” email address has become a prime tool for spammers to direct all their campaigns to at any domain. As an example of the magnitude of the problem, one of our users had over 170,000 spam messages in his info@domainname.com mailbox, where if he had never had an “info@” mailbox, all of the spam would have been automatically rejected. iHOUSE Fix: We have changed how we set up new accounts. Instead of setting up email accounts using a default address (such as info@domainname.com) as we have done previously, we are now using unique account names like firstandlastname@domainname.com. What should you do? Try to refrain from using an “info@” email address. It’s best to use unique, but easy-to-recognize forms of your name, or other non-generic words that mass spammers are not typically going to attempt to use such as “sales@,” “inquiry@,” or “mail@” etc. If you currently have “info@yourdomain.com” set as the main mailbox for your site, we recommend that you change the address as soon as possible. We realize this may be difficult if you have a lot invested in this address on print publications, business cards, etc. but if at all possible, make the change and you’re sure to receive less spam. Changing your “info@” address will only work if you also disable catchall (addressed in the point below).

The “Catchall” Problem

If you have ‘catchall’ for your email, it means that mail sent to ‘anything’@yourdomainname.com will be sent to your main default mailbox. Spam filtering devices are set up to accept mail for “valid” email addresses and drop all others. Spammers call these “dictionary attacks,” where they will send to “aname@yourdomain.com, bname@yourdomain.com, cname@yourdomain.com and so on, changing characters and names hoping something will get through. If you have catchall turned “on,” they will ALL get through if the spam filter can’t find another reason to block them. iHOUSE Fix: We will find out what legitimate addresses our customers are using to go to their catchalls and create static email addresses for each account so we can remove the catchalls. By implementing this change, only the specific addresses that are legitimate for your domain will get through spam filters and all others will be rejected. What should you do? Turn ‘catchall’ off. On the Admin Menu of your website, there is a “Mail” tab where you can change your settings for receiving mail. Under “Catchall Forwarding,” select the bullet next to “Return to sender as undeliverable.” By doing this, you are blocking any mail that isn’t directed specifically at one of your specified email addresses on your site (i.e. yourname@yourdomain.com or yourassociatename@yourdomain.com). You may want to create specific forwarding addresses for common misspellings of any of your email addresses, so if someone makes a mistake, you still get the mail. If you have questions are would like to speak to someone about any of the changes mentioned above, please feel free to contact customer support 7 days a week at 866-645-7700 or support@ihouseweb.com.