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Posts Tagged ‘spam’

Ebola is Infecting Computers; How to Protect Yours

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Spam and Virus FilterNo, your computer can’t catch the actual Ebola virus… its not even airborn yet.  However, we are finding that criminals are taking advantage of the hype and scare and curiosity over Ebola to infect people’s computers more easily.

This is commonly being done via email.  There are four prevalent types of email going around now that are meant to infect your computer:

  1. A fake report on the Ebola virus — when you click the link to read more, your Windows machine is infected with a virus that can collect and steal your personal information.
  2. A fake email from telecommunications provider that contains an important “Ebola Presentation” for your to download and view.  If you do it, you install malware that can allow others to remotely control your computer, access your web cam, log what you type, etc.
  3. Fake emails talking about an “Ebola Cure” which contains a malware attachment and which asks you to forward the news on to your friends.  The malware records your keystrokes and downloads additional malware on to your computer
  4. Fake emails about Ebola news and lists of “precautions”.

There are many other types of attacks and attack vectors that are being and can be exploited.  We will go over many of these, below, and how to protect yourself from them.  You should be very wary of any email received about Ebola, even if it appears to be from a friend.  You should be especially wary of opening any attachments sent through email, unless you have good confidence that they are malware-free.

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Web Form Spam – Block Spam without a Captcha Code

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Many contact us forms and comment forms are plagued by “web form spam”.   Automated programs crawl the Internet looking for web forms.  When found, they start submitting spam advertisements through the forms in the hopes that some of the recipients of these form submissions will see the ads and act on them.  Almost nobody does … but the spam still comes and gets worse and worse over time.

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Why LuxSci’s Business Email Servers are Not on Blacklists

Monday, January 20th, 2014

LuxSci is serious about the quick and efficient delivery of all email sent by our clients. We take extra steps to ensure that our servers sending outbound email are not blacklisted.  Indeed, while it is impossible to never get on any blacklist (unless you are not sending email), our business and enterprise email hosting servers have very rarely been blocked; in theses cases, we have quickly re-routed email around the blocks to ensure delivery until the block is removed.

(Note that this article applies to our email hosting services, and not to our separate High Volume outbound email marketing service — which we run through separate servers and which we also monitor constantly to catch and remediate any possible blacklistsing).

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High Volume Bulk Email: Key Ingredients for Good Deliverability

Monday, October 14th, 2013

How do you ensure your messages make it into your recipients’ INBOXes?

Deliverability is key to anyone sending newsletters, announcements, notifications, or any other type of bulk email.  As a provider of premium and bulk email services, we constantly advise customers on how they can legitimately avoid having messages marked as spam and ensure that they are not black listed. In this article, we consolidate our advice for everyone’s benefit.  This includes: ensuring you have a good mailing list, maintaining your mailing list, email message content, and reputation management techniques like SPF, DKIM, and IP anonymization.

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Having Problems Sending Email Because Your ISP is Blacklisted?

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

It happens over and over — users trying to send legitimate email messages are blocked from sending because the IP address that they are getting from their Internet Service Provider (ISP) for their personal computer (or small office) is on some major blacklist, like SpamHaus.  Comcast, for example, has been the focus of many of these issues. This message blocking often happens even if a user is sending outbound email through a legitimate email provider like LuxSci.

Users invariably ask:

  • Why is the mail blocked even though I am sending through LuxSci or some other email provider and not directly from my ISP?
  • What can I do about it?

Fortunately, there is a good reason why the blocks occur and an easy solution to them … anonymous SMTP service to hide your IP address.

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Bounce Back & Backscatter Spam: Who Stole My Email Address?

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

spamSo, you’re minding your own business, going about your daily tasks, checking your email, and suddenly your INBOX is flooded with a series of non-delivery reports (aka NDRs or bounce messages). But wait just a minute, you didn’t send these. How did this happen? Did someone steal your email address?  How is that possible?

What has most likely happened here is that you’ve fallen victim to “backscatter“, or as it’s commonly known, bounce-back spam. As spam-detection techniques have evolved and become more accurate, the spammers have been forced to devise increasingly complicated and devious methods of getting their messages delivered. For example: email forgery.

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Understanding Email Services: A crash course in email jargon

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

You thought email was a simple concept, but you are at once confronted with a plethora of acronyms and jargon like POP, IMAP, WebMail, Aliases, Forwards, SMTP, IMAP, POP, Quota, SPAM, TLS, SSL, Archival, and more! This article describes the ins and outs of email, explains these terms, and helps you figure out what services and features you need from your personal or business email service provider.

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Web Forms Reduce Spam and Optimize Business Processes

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Businesses of all sizes use general purpose email addresses, like info@company.com or support@company.com, as conduits for information, Support, Sales, Billing, and other requests from customers.  On the surface, there is an apparently very good reason for this: many customers appreciate the simplicity of being able to send an email message.  It’s best to be as flexible as possible and reduce the time that the customer must spend to get a response, right?

There are actually many significant downsides to accepting general customer requests via email; downsides which can actually cause friction, slow the response process, or result in missed opportunities.  We will cover many of these issues, below.  The solution, is to use targeted specific web-based forms to collect customer requests; we will also discuss why this is a better approach.

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Graymail “Spam”: What it is and how to get rid of it!

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

“GrayMail” sounds like either some shriveled up husk of an email message, or the undead ghost of messages coming back to haunt me.  Both concepts are not far off the mark.

Spam is easy to define – mail that you do not want and have never asked to receive.

GrayMail is legitimate bulk mail that was requested by you in the past (even if you don’t remember doing so), but  which you no longer want. Graymail is generally not considered spam, yet
it represents a significant nuisance and often the unsubscribe options provided fail to work (or you may not want to use “unsubscribe” as you are afraid of inviting more unwanted email).

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Feedback Loops: Monitor your bulk email reputation

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Many major Internet Service Providers (e.g. AOL, Hotmail, MSN, Comcast, etc.) have FBLs “feedback loops” for reporting SPAM complaints by their users.  I.e. if a user “marks a message as Spam”, information about that message and the fact that it was considered “Spam” by the recipient can be sent back to the originating email server, for example LuxSci.

LuxSci has participated in feedback loops for a long time .  Now we have greatly extended our participation by:

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