Email, Aliases, Spam filtering, Blacklisting & Archiving.
Maintaining a reliable email service is possibly the most important service I provide for my customers.
As a business owner can you imagine a day with out your email?
I have been providing email accounts for my customers for over 15 years and I've had my own email account for over 20 years in which time I've experienced the best and the worst of email providers.
Email is all pretty much the same isn't it?
When it works, most people probably can't tell the difference between a free email account and a premium account other than maybe a few adverts, but what happens when something goes wrong?
Are you backing up your email?
Your email isn't necessarily backed up by your service provider, in most cases email archiving is an additional service which you need to pay for.
Traditionally emails would of been archived when and if you backed up the contents of your computer. This was because your computer would of been the only place you accessed your emails, with the possibility of a copy being sent to a mobile phone as a notification.
Smart phones and tablets have been commonplace for a number of years now, and you may of noticed that when setting up your email accounts on your various devices it is suggested you select IMAP over POP3.
IMAP or POP3
Briefly IMAP and POP3 are two methods of accessing your email. POP3 delivers email to your computer and after a determined period of time it is deleted from the server. It is then down to the user to either back up or delete the emails from their own computer. IMAP is the current preferred method of managing your email because it allows multiple devices to send and receive emails. Unlike POP3 the mail isn't 'sent' to your computer or device, your device allows you to manage emails on the server. Say for example you read an email on your mobile and reply to it, you then pick up your tablet or laptop and open your emails. The email you read on your mobile is still there but you can see it has been read and you can even see a copy of the reply you sent.
Sounds great what's the problem?
The problem is your emails are now being held by your email provider and not on your own computer, it is still possible to back up your emails to your computer but there is an easier method...
Domain archiving takes a copy of any emails sent or received by all accounts on your domain name, unlike a back up the archive is held on a database which can be searched so you can restore just the emails you need. Sounds good and starting at £5 per month for unlimited storage it's worth considering if your emails are important.
An alias is a forwarding email address, you might want to have a number of email addresses but you want the simplicity and reduced cost of managing them all from a single emil account.
An alias allows you to give the impression of a larger organisation by having additional email addresses for sales@, accounts@ but actually they are all just being forwarded into the same mailbox.
More than one person can receive an alias, so enquiries can be shared between a team of people ready to respond.
I often use an email alias when entering competitions or enquiring about products and services, this way I can receive the information I want and if that particular email address (alias) starts to get bombarded with emails, I can simply switch it off and create a new one!
Spam filtering & Blacklisting
Spam is an ongoing problem but equally it can be managed very well if you have the right mail service provider. Just looking at my mailbox today, I can see I have had 123 emails redirected into my spam folder in the last week, based on those numbers, that would be 492 over the month and 5904 over the year. Out of the messages currently in my spam folder non are false positives, that i so say an email I should of received being rejected, however if this happens I simply drag the message back into my inbox and the spam filter learns not to put that email address into the spam folder again.
Before I go through all the issues associated with blacklisting, my email solution can cope with blacklisting and can get your email up and running again before you've called me to report a problem. (That doesn't mean you can actively spam using my server!).
If you want to know more or have me manage your email service either call 07809 67 55 80 or email me direct on firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may or may not of heard of 'blacklisting' the chances are if you know about it then you probably want to know more about avoiding it in the future. Blacklisting is the practice of marking either a domain name, email address or ip address as being guilty of sending spam messages. This information is then shared across the internet and all of a sudden no one is getting your emails and you're getting '550 Message rejected because your IP address is blacklisted'.
How do I know if I've been blacklisted?
There are plenty of websites that you can use to check whether you have been blacklisted, this is the one I use mxtoolbox.com. Hopefully you've just been given a clean bill of health? if not then you need to start going through the list of websites that have blacklisted you and asking them to remove you from the blacklist. Unfortunately this can take some time and if your email is still sending spam then you're going to get blacklisted again.
It wasn't me!
I'm sure it wasn't you sending spam, but it could be your email account or your computer has been hijacked and is sending spam without you knowing. If you find yourself in this position run a malware scan on your computer after that change your password for your email account and make sure it's something long and complicated so it wont get compromised to easily again! If you change your email password before scanning your computer the malware will learn your new password.