January 12, 2010

Domain-based Reputations

One of the latest techniques in fighting spam is domain-based reputation systems, something that Nerds On Site has integrated into our systems over 2 years ago already. However, the buzz around domain-based reputation has increased significantly, with major ISPs such as Yahoo, Gmail and AOL adding such protection to their spam filters. In brief, every domain-based reputation is a little different from other anti-spam techniques for two reasons.
First, domain reputation is inheritably a positive approach to anti-spam. It is, in a way, much like getting a signed letter of recommendation when visiting a stranger, something that positively proves that you are who you say you are. The technique for this is something called ‘DomainKeys Indentified Mail’. Essentially, your hosting companies sets up your domain to automatically digitally sign every single email address you send as being certifiably from the real you. Thus, when your email arrives at a mail server that supports domain-based reputation in their anti-spam systems, your email will have the greatest chance of passing the filters, since it has been cryptographically authenticated as having come from the real you, and not a spoofer.
Second, domain reputation is independent from IP addresses. In the shared hosting world, many hundreds or even thousands of domain can share one IP address. That means that just one of the clients on the same mail server as you needs to send out spam, thus ruining the IP reputation of the entire mail server, and thus of all the domain on the mail server. A domain-based reputation eliminates this problem, making the spam filtering more granular and specific.
According to WatchGuard’s Reputation Authority, the domain-based reputation score for Nerds On Site is perfect, which is a rating that we strive to maintain. This does not mean that all our client’s automatically attain the same status, but it proves to our clients the diligence we take in maintaining and securing our mail servers, something that will immediately lend itself to your own domain reputation if you host with us.

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