Special Newsletter on SPAM and Virus E-mail.
You can now adjust Red Shift’s built-in spam filtering for your individual E-mail account(s). You can reduce filtering to almost nothing or increase it to be very aggressive, all online, no need to contact our technical support staff.
Feedback that we have received from customers regarding E-mail filtering falls basically into two camps: There are customers who want heavy filtering so as to eliminate all spam and viruses, and there are customers who want very light filtering, or none at all to avoid the risk of missing legitimate E-mail that might inadvertently get caught in a filter. Our response to these opposing criteria is to provide direct control over filtering and filtering strengths to our customers. The ability to impart this control to our customers is one of the results of a yearlong development project that was completed two months ago and has been in testing for the last two months. We are now ready to hand over mail filtering options to our customers, to configure according to each individual’s needs.
HOW TO ADJUST YOUR SPAM FILTERING:
Go to the website http://webmail.redshift.com. Once you are there, a login screen will appear. Login with your E-mail address and then input your password for that E-mail address. Once you are logged in, click on the “Options” menu item and then click on “Spam Filters”. You will see that besides filtering strengths, you can also setup E-mail whitelists and blacklists (explained in the FAQ below). You will need to login to each E-mail address individually that you wish to alter. If your account is @redshift.com, you can type in just the first part of your E-mail address instead of the entire E-mail address (i.e., if your E-mail address was firstname.lastname@example.org, you could login with jsmith). If you have your own domain, you need to type in the whole E-mail address.
In the following paragraphs is an outline of how we handle spam and virus filtering by default and the changes that you can make to your account.
By default all E-mail that comes into our network is scanned for viruses. If the E-mail is infected we reject it and you won’t receive it. This is now optional. If you do not want your E-mail scanned for viruses, you can request this by sending E-mail to email@example.com. When you E-mail to this address, an inquiry ticket will be automatically created and you will receive E-mail from the ticket system when the ticket is completed.
The virus scanner automatically blocks attachments to E-mail that have certain extension names known to be potentially dangerous to your computer. If you wish to attach files to your E-mail that have these extensions, you can E-mail us and ask us to remove a particular extension from your settings, or you can add extensions to your settings. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to make these changes. The extensions that we block by default are:
.vbs .lnk .scr .wsh
.hta .pif .exe
Our spam filtering system recognizes “strengths” of between 1 and 10; Level 1 is very aggressive, stopping almost all mail, and should be avoided unless you’re trying to lockout an account. Level 10 is “very light” filtering: almost everything comes through. Your default setting, if you change nothing, is 9. In the future we may turn off or alter the default filtering value; therefore it is important for you to set these values to those that you prefer. If you want no filtering at all, and a strength of 10 still isn’t light enough for you, you may E-mail email@example.com and have filtering removed entirely from your account.
Q. What is an E-mail Blacklist?
A. A list containing E-mail addresses to which all E-mail is blocked, no matter what other filtering options are chosen. Each E-mail address in the blacklist is completely blocked from sending E-mail to you, or allowing you to receive E-mail from it.
Q. What is a E-mail whitelist?
A. The exact opposite of a blacklist. In a whitelist all filtering is totally disabled for all the names within it. E-mail to these addresses will always be accepted, regardless of other settings, including all spam also directed to that E-mail address.
Q. Why am I getting junk mail when it is not even to me (the To: line isn’t even my E-mail address)?
A. Spammers only put one or just a few names in the To: line of the spam E-mail, and then often add hundreds or thousands of names the BCC: line. The BCC: line stands for “Blind Carbon Copy”. It doesn’t matter if the name in the To: line isn’t you, your E-mail address will be one of the many on the BCC: line; which is a line that is hidden in most E-mail readers. You would need to view “Full Headers” to see this information.
Q. I did not send any spam, why am I getting all this returned mail saying that I did?
A. Often viruses and spammers will forge the From: and To: lines in E-mail. Someone in another country could send E-mail out with your E-mail address in the From: line. When the E-mail is rejected, it is returned to the address in the From: line which, when spam is involved, is not the real sender. If you get these bounces, you were just unlucky enough to have had your E-mail address spoofed by a spammer. All Internet companies who see this will know you’re not the real spammer.
Q. Why do I sometimes get duplicate E-mail?
A. This happens whenever one message is mailed to multiple addresses that reach the same person. Examples of such scenarios are:
* One message is sent to you, and to an E-mail alias that also lists your E-mail address. Therefore you receive one copy of the mail directly, and one copy via the alias.
* One message is sent to multiple aliases that list your E-mail address. You receive one copy of the mail via each alias for each alias.
* Problems in the database on our mail machine doing virus checking. If the mail machine, for some reason, does not process the mail completely, it will assume it failed and try again. This is the fail-safe design of the mail protocol we use and it tells the sending machine to re-send the message since it is not sure it was received properly. The design of this system is based on the premise that it’s better to get a duplicate than to miss an E-mail.
Q. I reported an E-mail problem and the tech asked me to send him the full headers, what is that and how do I do that?
A. E-mail headers are the lines at the top of an E-mail message that comprise the instructions to E-mail servers on the Internet as to how to deliver your E-mail. Your E-mail program normally shows you only the standard To:, From:, Subject:, and Date: line parts of the header, but there are many more than what you normally see.
You can instruct most E-mail programs to display the full headers
of any E-mail that you receive. Here’s how:
While viewing the E-mail in your E-mail program do the following, according to which of these readers you are using:
In Eudora: Click on the “Blah Blah Blah” button (yes, it’s really called that)
In Netscape: Click on “View”, then “Headers” then “All”.
In Outlook Express: Click on “View”, then “Options”.
Below are two very nice web pages that explain headers in greater detail
Karl Van Lear