What you need to know about spam (part 2)

secureLast time, we talked about how spammers gather email addresses and then make money from them. This time we’re looking at a few more things you may not know about spam.

How to prevent your promo emails being marked as spam
You have a web shop with a lot of customers who would benefit from knowing you have a sale next week. How do you make sure that your email won’t get marked as spam?
The following rules have been created to make sure companies can send out marketing emails to their customers without them ending up in the junk folder.

  • Double opt-in: Each customer must (1) actively sign up for emails on your website and (2) respond to an email sent by you to confirm that they indeed want to receive them.
  • A fully functioning opt-out option in each marketing email they receive: Each marketing email you send needs to have an opt-out option – one which actually works.

What will happen if you don’t have these things in place?
By not having these things in place, you place your IPs and your neighboring IPs at risk. There are a lot of blacklisting organizations out there that patrol the internet for spam emails. Once they find one, they can either put just that single IP on a blacklist or a whole range of IPs associated with it. That means that not only your emails but those of other Leaseweb customers will no longer reach their intended destination.

Let’s put that in perspective. You have a successful web shop with several million customers. Most of them have probably signed up via popular email portals like Gmail and Hotmail. If your IP becomes blacklisted and these email portals pick up on this fact, your emails will not reach any of Hotmail or Gmail users. Not only that, but the emails from other customers in your IP range will be blocked too. That can lead to financial damages all around.

Avoid your server being used as “spambot” for others’ spam runs
If you’re not careful it’s possible for servers to get hacked and then used for all kinds of dubious things including spam runs. Leaseweb customers are ultimately responsible for their own server security but here are some useful tips that will help you secure yours. (Although these tips on their own can’t guarantee 100% security, they will make the life of any hacker a little harder.)

  • Once you receive your server, change the root password immediately.
  • This is like a master-key to a lock: it opens your whole server to every command possible.
  • Patch the operating system and keep it patched. Patches will close security holes that hackers can use to access your server.
  • Also patch software and apps you install and keep these updated as well. This will close security holes that might be in the software.
  • Install security suites. There are a variety of security suites you can install on a server that will help keep your server safer.
  • Invest in hardware security such as a firewall for example.

Spam: serious business
Please keep in mind that spam is illegal in all countries where Leaseweb operates and contravenes our user policies. So it’s important to follow the rules when sending emails and also to keep on top of server security to make sure you’re not spamming – even accidentally. If we detect spam from your servers and our Abuse Department notifies you about it, you should take immediate action to remove the spam to avoid further action.

We hope these blogs have helped you understand a little more about spam and how to stay clean. And remember, you can always contact us.

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