Getting Rid of Spam / E-mail Filtering
PressEnter's mail service is tuned to reduce the amount of unwanted mail that is delivered to our customers. Below you will find helpful information about spam and what you can do if you are receiving it.
What is Spam?
Spam is any commercial e-mail message you receive that you did not request (and which you may consider unwanted or offensive). Spam can come in many forms; questionable offers for products or services, get rich quick schemes, bogus stock tips, and many others.
How did they get my email address?
If you have ever signed up for an e-mail mailing list which sends out messages on a particular subject you have willingly joined an "opt-in" e-mail list, then the messages you receive from them are not considered spam. Opt-in mailing lists are usually automated and removing your address from them can be as easy as sending an e-mail to a specified address with the word remove in the subject line (this may vary depending on the mailing list). If there is not a remove option listed at the end of the email message, sending a polite email to the list maintainer to be removed will probably be effective.
On the other hand, if you are suddenly getting e-mail about products or services you have no interest in, from people or companies you have never heard of, your address may be on the list of an "opt-out" spam operation. Unfortunately you can rarely "opt-out" of these lists.
Spam operations generate their mailing lists in the following ways:
- They purchase already existing mailing lists. Valid e-mail addresses are worth money to people who create these lists. If you have ever filled out a form online that requests your e-mail address, your information was most likely added to a database. This database can easily generate e-mail mailing lists using all the addresses people have supplied to it. For this reason you should inquire about the company's policy regarding your personal information before filling out any online form.
- Spam list maintainers also can scan pages on the web that contain e-mail addresses. Just as search engines (like google) have the capability to scan the web for information, spammers can also crawl through the web for e-mail addresses listed on webpages. Programs have been written that automatically scan the World Wide Web for e-mail addresses and collect them. Once your e-mail address is collected it can be sold over and over again, putting you on different mailing lists of many different spammers.
- Programs which connect to an SMTP (e-mail) server and use a dictionary search technique are called "SMTP scanners". These scanners repeatedly test for every possible e-mail address on the server and record the valid addresses. This is a newer form of obtaining e-mail addresses and is, unfortunately, very effective.
Does PressEnter sell my e-mail address?
Why do I get email that's not addressed to me?
Spammers use lists of email addresses. The applications that are used to send spam take such a list and use the "BCC:" (Blind Carbon Copy) header to send to all the addresses on the list, without any of the recipients seeing the addresses, including their own. It's important to remember that the "To:," "From:," and other headers of the email that are usually visible when you read a message DO NOT contain the addressing information that is used to deliver email to your mailbox. The address information is contained in the "Envelope" of the email, which is, by default, hidden by your email application. If it was in your mailbox, it was addressed to you. PressEnter does not place unsolicited email in any mailbox for any reason, nor do we sell or trade user lists for any reason.
How do I get my e-mail address removed from the spammer's mailing lists?
Unfortunately you probably can't. Eventually if you never respond or order a product from such a mailing list, you may eventually be dropped from the list for non response. Don't count on this though, sending out massive amounts of e-mail is very easy and cheap for spammers, thus does not give them much incentive to refine their lists
Some spam says if I reply to the sender and asked to be removed from their list I won't receive more spam from them?
This is very rarely true, more often then not you will actually verify to the spammers that you are a live human that reads their e-mail. Often times replying to spam will just get you put on a higher priority list that gets more spam, because any response makes you a "good lead".
Can I somehow filter my spam e-mail?
PressEnter's mail server attempts to identify the source of every e-mail message that is sent through it. It then checks a global database to see if it was sent from what's called an open relay e-mail server. An open relay mail server delivers all mail that is sent to it no matter where it's from. This practice is discouraged because it gives people sending out spam an easy and virtually untraceable means of sending out spam. If the message that is sent to our mailserver identifies the message as coming from an open relay server it adds the following line to it's header (the header is the From, Subject, To, etc. lines):
By adding this into the header, PressEnter is giving you a powerful means of filtering a large amount of spam that gets sent to your address.
Can PressEnter filter my mail before I download it?
Yes we do have an optional email filtering system that is available. Once PressEnter applies the E-mail Filtering option to your account, any email that we receive from a known open relay mailserver will be deleted. The majority of SPAM E-mail that is sent over the Internet is sent via open relay mailservers. If you are interested in applying this option to your account click here (you will be prompted for your PressEnter login name and password).
Can I change my e-mail address?
Yes you can! When you first signed up with PressEnter you were assigned a login name, which served as your primary email address <email@example.com>. It's likely you have friends and relatives using this default address. What you might not know is that as a PressEnter subscriber you can also get two additional e-mail addresses which we call "Sharing Names". These sharing names must be 9 characters or longer and can be requested by clicking here (you will be prompted for your PressEnter login name and password). When someone sends email to your new sharing name the message will get put into your e-mail mailbox.
If you get a sharing name and then verify that it is active (you can do this by sending a test message to <firstname.lastname@example.org>), you may request that PressEnter block messages sent your default address. Which means your old address <email@example.com> will no longer be a valid email address. This does not mean your login name or password changes, you will still use these to dial into PressEnter and to check your e-mail. This will stop the spam that is being sent to your accounts primary address <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Using this feature you can change your email address at any time, and the lists that send to your former address will not reach you with new junk messages.
Let's review the steps you need to take again:
- Request a "Sharing Name" by filling out the online form. Remember to try and pick an address that a dictionary search is not likely to pick out. A bad example of a new sharing name would be <email@example.com>, a good example would be <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Incorporating numbers or periods into your new email address is usually enough to throw off a SMTP dictionary search.
- Wait until you receive an e-mail from PressEnter confirming that the sharing name has been approved. The day after you receive your confirmation your sharing name will be active.
- Update your e-mail program to use the new address. Enter your email@example.com in the boxes that say "Email Address", "Reply-to Address", or "Return Address".
- Test your sharing name by sending a test e-mail message to the new e-mail address <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Inform everyone you wish to keep in contact with what your new address is.
- Once you feel that all the people you want to know your address have been notified, give PressEnter a call and request that we block (or "bounce") your current e-mail address <email@example.com>.