Increased spam may result from listing email addresses online.
Are you listing your email address(es) on your company's website?
One of the primary ways spammers get email addresses is by stealing them from websites. They do this by using "spambots," computer programs which automatically troll web pages and harvest email addresses.
E-mail spambots harvest e-mail addresses from material found on the Internet in order to build mailing lists for sending unsolicited e-mail, also known as spam. Such spambots are web crawlers that can gather e-mail addresses from websites, newsgroups, special-interest group (SIG) postings, and chat-room conversations.
If you are publicly listing your email address on your website or other areas of the internet, and have seen in increase in spam, it is most like due to spambots that have collected your email address. We recommend removing your publicly displayed email address immediately to prevent more spambots from collecting your email address.
A safer way to connect your website visitors to your email address
If you need a way for visitors to contact you on our website, we recommend having your web designer build a fillable contact form with a captcha on your site and hide your email address. Once you have a contact form on your website, you can have it route securely to your Enguard address. If you will allow visitors to enter personal information into your form or anything classified as Patient Health Information, you should also procure an SSL Certificate for your website.
What to do about significantly increased spam, after the fact:
Unfortunately, if you are already seeing a significant uptick in incoming spam messages, the damage has likely already been done. The spambots or spammers that harvested your address from the website can relentlessly add your email address to new spam mailing lists, indefinitely. Often, by the time a spam sending server is blacklisted, it is already too late for our spam filters (or any spam filters) to block them.
If you are a victim of a spam attack:
1. We can turn on "greylisting" for your account. Greylisting blocks a message on the first attempt and forces it to be redelivered at another time. Since spam sending servers normally blast a message out just once, this is a very effective way to block those messages. Legitimate email servers will retry several times before bouncing the message. The only downfall is all legitimate senders will also be blocked and their emails to you will get delayed on the first attempt. When a message is delivered a second time, we will whitelist their IP address for 36 days, during that time they can email you without any further delays.
2. You can setup a content filtering rule inside webmail to block all incoming emails. Then one by one, add email addresses to a list of allowed senders. You must keep this list up to date, failure to do so will result in many bounced messages. You also run the risk of missing critical messages from people that you do not add in time.
3. Change your email address. This will stop all the spam and legitimate senders will have your new email address. With careful practice and safeguarding of your new email address, hopefully you will not be the victim of another spam attack.
Please contact our support team if you suspect your account is the target of a spam attack.
You can use another email address to contact us if you suspect yours may be compromised or is unusable due to the influx of spam.
Addressing One-Off Spam Messages (in Webmail)
In addition to making sure your email address is not listed publicly on a website, all email users can always adjust their own spam filtering for case-by-case instances of unsolicited messages. In most cases, this adjustment is enough. You can mark messages as spam and block the senders yourself by right-clicking on any message and selecting the option. To address persistent instances of spam with our support team, contact us via email and please include all of the following details:
- Which address is receiving the spam message?
- What is the sending address of the spammer (what does it appear to be)?
- When was the most recent instance of this spam (day, time)?
- What is the message subject?
- Do not forward the spam to us. We will not open it.
- Do not delete or open any contents of the spam message. Instead, flag it and move it to your Junk E-Mail folder.
We can potentially analyze the message code and header information to help you identify and block its source.