April 19, 2012
Niles Nerd

Mail Server on a Blacklist? We Can Help!

Mail Server on a Blacklist - Nerds On Site
Some businesses run a mail server in their office to handle their email traffic, as opposed to using a hosted solution like Nerds Hosting.  If you run your own mail server, you may one day find yourself unable to send email to a lot of people because your server has been listed by a SPAM Blacklist.
A SPAM Blacklist is a service that attempts to track mail servers that send out spam, generating a list that other mail servers can use to know who to reject email from.  It is one tool in the spam fighting toolbox, though one that has been slowly losing favour over the past couple of year.  However, most mail services still subscribe to more than one blacklist and will block email from any mail server on such a list.
Your mail server could become listed on such a service if it has ever been guilty of sending out spam or email that looks spam-like enough to fool these filters.  It is also possible to get listed based on complaints submitted to these lists, for example by people that are tired of getting a newsletter that you might send out.  If your server does become listed on such a list, you’ll most likely be informed of this because your employees will start getting ‘bounce-back’ emails, which are essentially emails telling you that your email couldn’t be delivered to the recipient.
If your mail server does become listed and thus blocked, our team can help!  Here are three services that we can immediately offer your team:

Analysis

If you are listed on one spam list, you typically listed on at least 1-3 additional lists as well.  When a mail server sends a bounce-back email because your email has been blocked, the error report will typically not tell you the specific list that you are on, or will only tell you about the first list that they checked you against.  For this reason, it’s critical to quickly determine exactly how many lists you are on and which ones they are.  There are many email blacklisting companies (SpamCop, SpamHaus and SORBS are just three of the over 100 that we know of) and most of these companies have multiple lists.
At no charge to you, our team of hosting professionals can run an analysis of your mail server to determine which lists you are on, and provide you a report letting you know all the specific companies and lists that you are blacklisted on.

De-Listing Support

Every spam listing service has different rules, procedures and costs associated with removing your mail server from their blacklist.  Depending on the lists and the number of lists, our team can quote you to work with the Spam Blacklist companies to remove your mail server from all known blacklists.

Listing Prevention

Once your mail server is no longer listed, and mail is flowing properly again, our team can further work with you to determine why you were on the blacklist in the first place, and to help fix the root problem.  For example, you may have a workstation in your network that is infected with a virus and sending out spam, or you could have a misconfigured mail server.  Our team can help you fix these issues and put mechanisms in place to prevent them from happening again.  In addition, we can setup monitoring systems to immediately notify you of issues with blacklisting in the future!