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Spam Filter Control Panel
Written by Paul Roulier

The long anticipated arrival of Spam-Filter.com's Spam Filter Control Panel for Resellers has arrived.  Released in January 2012, Spam-Filter.com Reseller’s now have full control over their domains which allows them to perform a wide variety tasks.  The program, two years in the making, provides Full-Branding capabilities so Resellers can now Brand their company logo directly into the control panel which is very important for a company’s image.

A few highlights of the Spam Filter Control Panel include a simplified billing process with online invoices viewable anytime, direct control over the spam filter settings such as whitelisting, blacklisting, forward address changes, etc.  Resellers can fully manage their domains online and update account information.

The most powerful feature gives the resellers’ Customer access to the own personal ‘mini’ spam filter control panel which allows the actual Customer the ability to login with their own username and password.  The resellers’ customer can make changes only to their own domains, reducing the support tasks for the reseller.

 

Which Spam Filter works best?
Written by Paul Roulier

Choosing the right Spam Filter can be confusing. Basically there are three types of Spam Filters available. A Software Spam Filter that you install directly on your PC or mailserver. A Hardware Spam Filter, which is a piece of equipment, installed on the edge of your network. Or a Spam Filter Service that intercepts your mail before it arrives at your mailserver.

So which spam filter works best? While software and hardware options work well, they both need a lot of maintenance and attention. One big disadvantage of Software filters is that they’re susceptible to malicious infections. Spammers and hackers typically download popular software spam filters and simply reverse engineer the products. This gives them the ability to ‘time’ or coordinate attacks based on information learned about the software. A Hardware spam filter exposes your network to congestion and bottlenecks. Spammers today use botNet (zombie) computers to harvest for email address, which can slow down your Internet connection by 99%. In addition, the cost for hardware spam filters is extremely expensive, and comes with a heavy annual update fee.

A Spam Filter Service on the other hand provides the best of all worlds by reducing the security risk, handles ongoing maintenance, eliminates the learning curve, keeps your network safe from harvest attacks, provides redundant backup equipment, and the cost is only a fraction compared to hardware solutions.

 

Reverse DNS (Rdns) PTR Records
Written by Paul Roulier

To help eliminate any confusion about Reverse DNS and how it relates to email MX records, we thought it might be helpful to explain how mailservers talk to each other and how they perform Rdns security checks. Be assured that Rdns and MX records are unrelated in any way. They simply have no correlation.

It's important to note that you only need to setup Rdns if you're running your own in-house mailserver.

There are two steps involved when creating a PTR record.

First, contact your ISP (the people who own your IP address) and ask them to create a PTR record for the Public IP address of your Outgoing mailserver. This must be a static IP address, and you will need to specify the PTR record name.
Example "PTR"= smtp.yourdomain.com = xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (your public IP address)

Second, contact your DNS Provider and create an "A" record that matches the PTR record.
Example "A"= smtp.yourdomain.com = xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx (your public IP address)

The "A" record must be setup with your DNS Provider, and the PTR record must be setup with your ISP (in rare cases this is both the same company).

Now that your Rdns is setup correctly let's send an email.

When you send an email, your Outgoing mailserver makes a connection to the Recipients mailserver. The Recipients mailserver records your IP address and contacts your ISP to obtain the PTR record for that IP address. Next they contact your DNS Provider to check that the "A" record matches the PTR record. That's how the 'Reverse' check works.

Most large ISP's like Yahoo, AOL, and MSN all check for Rdns, so it's important that your Rdns is setup correctly. Otherwise, your users will start to become grumpy...

 

SPF records – A waste of time!
Written by Paul Roulier

As odd as this may sound, the only people who benefit from SPF records are indeed the spammers themselves. Spammers understand that if a receiving mailserver checks for SPF records, then that mailserver will give the message a higher ‘trust level’ ultimately allowing the message to be marked as legitimate (not-spam).

The theory of SPF records is to tell the world which IP address(s) your email will be coming from. If the message comes from an IP address other than the one you specify, then any mailserver that checks SPF records is ‘supposed’ to reject the message. However, since less than .05% of the world checks for SPF records, then that means 99.5% of the world will still accept mail from your domain regardless of the IP address it’s coming from (making SPF completely useless).

SPF seemed like a good idea at birth, but reality has shown it creates the potential for lost legitimate email and becomes an administrative nightmare. If you currently have an SPF record for your domain name it’s likely some of your email is not getting delivered and you wouldn’t even know it. One example we’ve seen is from a company who setup an SPF record and a few days later their ISP changed their IP address. The owner wasn’t aware he needed to update the SPF record and for six months his email was being rejected. He wasn’t immediately alerted to the problem since less than .05% of the world is actually checking for SPF records.

If you’re currently using SPF or considering using SPF, then abandon ship! If you want to ensure your email is being delivered, delete the SPF record. You’ll be better off.

 

‘ADD-ON’ Services Now Available
Written by Paul Roulier

Spam filtering still remains our primary core service, however we’re exited to announce a few new ‘add-on’ services which we hope will enhance your Spam-Filtering experience with Spam-Filter.com.

  • Mega Attachments

  • Mail-Viewer

  • Outbound Relay

  1. Mega Attachments will allow you to receive super-large files (attachments) via email. Our standard limit is 25MB, but adding the Mega Attachment option allows 125MB attachments to pass thru the Spam-Filter. Be sure your mailserver is configured to accept messages this large if you choose this option.

  2. Mail-Viewer will keep a copy of every message sent from our Spam-Filter to your mailserver for the past 7-days. The service works similar to the Spam-Viewer where you can review your Spam-Messages for the past 7-days. Now you can also review your legitimate messages for the past 7-days. This is most beneficial if your mailserver is down, allowing you to receive and print email even while your mailserver is offline.

  3. Outbound Relay allows you to send (relay) your outgoing email thru our mailservers. Our mailserver acts as a SmartHost for your entire domain or a stand alone Relay Server for individual workstations. Outbound relay is ideal if you’re experiencing trouble sending outgoing email because of blacklist issues or if you simply need a dependable solution for sending email.

We’re continuously working to provide you with the best Spam-Filter Service possible. If you would like to see a new feature please send us a note. We’re listening!






PROFILE of a SPAMMER
SPAM | HAM | LIST SPAM | PHISHING | MAYHEM | botNet
Written by Paul Roulier

Generally there are six categories of spam messages: Spam, Ham, List Spam, Phishing, Mayhem and BotNET Spam

Here’s a brief description of each:

SPAM: These are messages, which arrive from people you don’t know, and they’re trying to sell you something you don’t need. This is a guy sitting in his basement trying to convince people that if you send 1 million email messages, that someone must be gullible enough to buy your product. Sorry, we’re not that stupid (anymore).

HAM: You bought a pair of shoes online from Company-x about a year ago. Rushing to complete the checkout you inadvertently missed the fine print, which said ‘Subscribe to Newsletter’. Now you relentlessly receive advertisements for everything they sell. From the stores perspective this is a gold mine, since many people are repeat shoppers.

LIST SPAM: You were compelled to buy that Lance Armstrong cancer bracelet. Heck, it just felt good. At the checkout you enabled the box, which said ‘Keep me informed’, and now you’re receiving solicitations from every charitable organization on earth. It’s because they sold your address. They prey on people’s emotional wallet. Heck, you said to keep you informed, so that’s what they’re doing…

PHISHING SPAM: The goal here is to trick you into providing your personal information to later be used for criminal activity. You’ll receive an email, which looks like it’s from a legitimate reputable business. Once you make a purchase they now have your credit card number and personal information about you.

MAYHEM SPAM: These messages come from terrorist organizations around the globe who’s intent is to destroy or weaken the economy. The messages usually contain links or attachments which when clicked can wipe out the data on your entire network.

BotNET SPAM: Working in conjunction with Mayhem and Phishing Spam, these messages include links which when clicked downloads a program (virus) that turns your computer into a robot spamming server which is then remotely controlled by one guy (The Master). Once infected, your computer sends out millions of email messages encouraging others to become infected. The goal is to gather several thousand (or millions) of infected computers known as “herding”. Once the Master has enough computers in his herd, he’ll then launch a simultaneous email Mayhem/Phising Attack. The goal is to overwhelm spam-filters and virus protection services by stuffing down their malicious content.

 
Our Services





Our Core Service:

Spam Filtering

Domain-Wide Email Spam Filtering
(up to 100 users)
Learn More

 

Optional Add-On Service:

Mail-ViewerMail-Viewer

Review your incoming email even if your mailserver is down!
Learn More

 

Optional Add-On Service:

UpdateOutbound Relay

Use our Outbound SMTP Relay Server from anywhere in the world.
Learn More

 

Optional Add-On Service:

Mega Email AttachmentsMega Attachments

Receive super-large files (up to 125MB) via email.
Learn More

 
 

Optional Add-On Service:

Email HostingEmail Encryption

Receive incoming email over a secure TLS Encrypted Connection.
Learn More