Spam Spam, Everywhere! (Not here though!)

It’s been quite a while since I’ve had the chance to post anything on our blog, and it’s not that we’ve not had anything to post about, we just haven’t had the time, between finalizing renovations on our home office, reworking our networks and then on top of it, updating and maintaining our existing infrastructure. Things are busy here at Spark Rack. And we’re not complaining at all!

The good news is, we’re always working to improve our services, and that’s what this post is about. Starting Today, March 4th, 2019, Spark Rack has started utilizing a new tool in our fight against Spam in your inbox. All servers are now equipped with Dual Spam filters, ensuring that no Spam, or an extremely small amount that you would consider to be Spam actually makes it to your inbox.

By default, all of our servers come equipped with Apache SpamAssassin for mail filtration. This program compares information about the sender, with global databases to see if that person has been listed as engaging in spamming. If so, it blocks the email entirely and rejects it from the server. If not, or if it’s questionable, it sends it on to a global Spam filtration system that is unique to Spark Rack. It is custom designed and custom built to fit our needs, and it’s expandable. You may have already noticed some changes. If you are on Sentora 1, 4 or 5, three of our servers hit the hardest by Spam, you’ll notice your phone, or email client have been going off less with notifications for emails you are just going to delete.

A combination of our new solution and beefing up our configuration for SpamAssassin, have proved to solve this issue once and for all. Recently, I had a customer reach out to me directly about the volume of Spam he was getting to his inbox, after confirming he was indeed seeing upwards of 40+ messages a day in his email inbox, we sprang into action to diagnose, investigate and resolve this issue. It took us 1 full weekend of tweaking and re-tweaking to put a stop to it, and it’s been consistently quiet for a number of days. No Spam emails, not even an unsolicited marketing email (which even we get all the time), needless to say, we’re ecstatic to have resolved the issue, but it has reignited the fire that burns in us as Administrators, in the fight against spammers.

We love our customers, after all we would not be celebrating our 7th year of Service without you. But it is important to remember these key things about your inbox, and sharing your email address publicly.

  • There is no guaranteed Spam Free email provider – It doesn’t exist
    While spamming has become a problem for all providers, no provider can 100% guarantee you that you won’t be the victim of spamming. It’s not possible. Spammers are usually 1 or 2 steps ahead of computer programmers in trying to figure out ways to bypass and make it to your inbox. As long as your account is maintained properly by your hosting provider, you should see little to no Spam.
  • Do not publicly put your email address on Forums, Websites, Facebook, or other websites
    Spammers commonly use what’s called “bots” to gather emails, phone numbers, and other important contact information. They will then use this information for personal gain, to attempt to solicit you, or to spoof you to someone else. It is never wise to put this information in clear, readable and selectable text on your website, or anywhere on the Internet. Even if you remove it, and a “bot” captured it, there is no way to remove yourself from that “bots” list of potential victims. Use a free text2image generator, like these.
  • Do not reply to, or click any links on Spam Emails that make it through the Spam¬†filter, even “Unsubscribe”
    It is important to never click a link from an email that you may consider Spam. Whats worse is some of these emails include a faux Unsubscribe link that claims to remove you from future mailings, but generally what they do, is notify the sending (either via email, or by adding a value to a database) that your email address is in fact active and receiving email. So even if they threw 10,000 emails at a server, and 4 people clicked the link, those 4 people would be more at risk to receive additional messages from that sender, and everyone else who just ignored it.
  • Always….ALWAYS report SPAM to Spark Rack.
    We have the tools and the power to ensure that IP Addresses get blocked from communicating with our infrastructure, even if it’s just sending emails, or accessing the entire network. If someone continuously Spam’s your account. They may be trying to Spam others on the same server. By blocking it for you, we can block it for everyone. This prevents more unneeded headaches!

It very, very important to remember this information when checking your email, and not just your Spark Rack email, but any email account you have! And again, always report Spam you get! We’re actively working on new solutions to make it easier to report Spam. So keep watching our blog for more information.

 

Brad Trammell
Director of Operations
Spark Rack, Limited.

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