Spam – It is no one’s fault – other than the spammer – that spam is being received.

I went to my P.O. Box (you know – that thing at the post office) and there were credit card solicitations and circulars from the grocery store and hardware store. I said to postal worker- “Hey, can’t you do something about this?” Well, the answer was, of course, “no.”  If somebody sends something via the post then the post office is obliged to deliver it. Fortunately this is not the case with email. With email we DO have some ways to block unwanted emails, but we must be pro-active about it in several ways …

Before answering why … Let’s Deal with spam NOW.

You are probably reading this because you have spam coming in NOW

There are some basic spam filters on our server, but they are lightweight & unsupported.  
They are a soft first line and if you have spam you really you need is to call in 3rd party service.

Here’s what I do & what I can setup for you today:  
G Suite – formerly know as Google Apps for Work
. I not only receive the benefits of using Google email servers (enhanced sending credibility so YOU don’t look like spam), receive the benefit of increased storage space for mail, gain the ability to use their webmail interface (OR continue to use my own email program (client – eg. Outlook, Apple Mail, Thunderbird, etc.)), PLUS I get the G Suite extra benefits!  All for $5 per month (per user). Great deal. I’ve been doing it for years now (I actually do the $10/month deal to get more space …) and I never worry about spam AND heavily use the G Suite cloud storage!  I use their cloud services for everything from photos to documents to spreadsheets to collaboration and have all documents accessible from my computer desktop (even when no internet) and from my phone and from any other computer I choose!  Super easy access to everything everywhere. Love it.

If you want to go this path, there are technical things to change on the server (MX & DNS record changes, SPF record, verify domain ownership with Google, and if you want your email from your (soon to be old) account imported into the new environment.  I charge a one-time fee to take care of all these details for you. Contact me to find out more!

… here are a few more things to do:

Spam Protect Service – a 3rd party service may be what you need. As mentioned above, I use Google’s G Suite and it works great.  There are other anti-spam services.  http://spam-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/  If Google is not a path you want, you should consider other anti-spam solutions.

• Enable a SPAM filter on the server and set it to a heavy setting. If you host with Crestone Creations, this is available to you at no monthly cost, just a small fee to set it up.  Once you set up your SPAM filter,  regularly add nasty domains who send spam to your Spam Assassin black list.  This is a lightweight solution and I suggest using a 3rd party product, as per above.

• email rules: setup rules in your mail program which automatically delete emails with certain key words – like, y’know, those pharmaceuticals …  This is a very labor intensive solution.

• Bounce emails that are clearly junk, so that it appears, to that spammer, that my address is not valid. Bounce is a feature available within email programs.  Also labor intensive and not the best “true” solution.

Last Resort:

The last-resort solution to an over-abundance of SPAM is to change your address. Here’s how to do it:

First of all, begin with a clean slate by changing your email address. No sense fighting a losing battle. Pick a new address which is not something “guessable” like don’t pick info@ or something commonly used – a spammer may pick a domain name and then send a bunch of emails to plausible addresses within the domain (and as soon as you open/reply to one of them – they know it’s a legitimate address and guess what – more spam to follow).

These are the steps I took using my email address change as an example:

  • changed my email address to a new email address (like I’m going to just type it in plain text here on this page – haha NOT).

  • set an auto responder to reply to all messages at my old address. I don’t have to worry about people trying my old address and not reaching me because of this auto-responder. I get no mail at the old address, all it does is send a reply to people who try to reach me there. (As several years have passed now, I have disabled the auto-responder – but it was a good idea for the first year or so).

  •  I let my regular contacts know my new address and let the others acquire my address through the autoresponder.

NOTE! – By using G Suite there was NO NEED to change addresses – I even brought back addresses that were abandoned due to SPAM issues – they were viable again because of the filters in place with Google!

 How Did this Happen?

How did they get my address?  If your email has fallen into the hands of spammers it could have been due to some website where you entered your address 5 years ago who was compromised and now the spammers got their list.  It could have been that your email was listed by someone in a MS Word document and posted online.  It could be a good “guess” by the spammer.  Who knows.  What we do know they got it.   It’s not a problem with our server, but we care about you and want to help.   So – Let’s block them!  Let’s block the spam.

Prevention – PROTECT YOURSELF!

  • Don’t let spammers get your address! This is the biggest problem.  Never post your main email address (unencrypted) on any web site. If you need to post an email address somewhere, use an email alias so that if spam comes from that address you can simply delete the alias (forwarder). Crestone Creations can set up alias addresses for you. There is no monthly charge, only a small fee to set it up.

  • Always encrypt your email address on your web site. If you are with Crestone Creations, we have been encrypting all posted email addresses for years, but if your site was created long ago please contact us to review your site for spam protection. Recently we have acquired a new, stronger encryption program, so it may need to be updated on your site.

  • In lieu of encryption, you can post your email address as an image. That way there is no code which is readable by a spam harvester. Of course, it is not a hyperlink (not clickable) anymore, so someone would have to type in your email address to send you an email, but it is MUCH more secure.

  • Next, if you do get spam, use some filters to block unwanted emails. The trick is to block the nasty stuff without losing the stuff you want.

  • In spite of all you do, sometimes a few spam emails get through. I get 2-3 per day in spite of top of the line filters both from the server (Spam Assassin) and 3rd Party.

  • It is no one’s fault – other than the spammer – that spam is being received. We will do what we can to help you because as our client we care about you, but ultimately, the spam you receive is not anyone’s fault.

  • Quiz question – who is to blame for spam? – answer: the spammer!