What is being done to control spam?

What is being done to control spam?

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In January of 2004 the major email carriers, Yahoo!, AOL, MSN, Hotmail and a few others began an initiative to clean up spam for their users. Two years in the making, it is begining to have an effect. This is great news for the end user, bad news for spammers. Holland Computers is committed to using all of this available technology to provide the same protections and services for our customers. Here is a rundown of the changing industry and what we are doing to keep your email moving.

SMTP Port 25, 366, and 587 
A mutual agreement has been reached by all mail carriers to create a standard regarding secondary SMTP service ports. This standard calls for all email applications produced after January 1st of 2006 to attempt to send mail on port 587 and then fail over to port 25. 

Internet Service Providers, in an attempt to limit SPAM, began intercepting outgoing email on port 25 to prevent non-customers from using their mail servers to send email. While this was a good method, it came with problems for customers that were unable to send email through any other account than the one the ISP provided for them.

To get around this, email carriers began offering SMTP service on different ports to allow their customers to continue sending mail and to do it through the email server that their account was intended to use. Holland Computers met this demand by offering its service on port 366. 

Because the industry standard now requires that the outgoing email (SMTP) port now be port 587, we will be switching this port from 366 to 587 at 5:00pm on Friday February 24th, 2006. If you are currently sending email out on port 366, you must change this port number after that time, otherwise your outbound mail may not leave your out box. If you need assistance with this please call us and we will be happy to help you configure your email client. Instructions can be found here for Microsoft Outlook and here for Outlook Express

Domain Keys 
Yahoo! introduced a technology called Domain Keys. This technology requires that the server that sends your email attach a digital signature to every email that verifies that the mail server is permitted to send your email. This is one method of combating the problem of Spammers using your email account name to hide who they really are. 

Currently Yahoo!, Gmail and a few minor carriers are using this standard. 

This technology has been implemented by Holland Computers, both for your outgoing mail and for all incoming mail. There is nothing for you to do, we have made all of the necessary changes on our servers. You can simply have the peace of mind knowing that your email is protected.

More information on domain keys 

Sender Policy Framework (SPF) 
This technology also requires that our mail service prove that your email came from the server it was intended to. It requires that during the authentication process, we identify our server, what IP address it should be coming from and whether or not your email account is authorized to use this server. 

Currently AOL, MSN and Hotmail are using this technology. Other carriers are embracing this technology and you can expect that it will be very widely used by the end of 2006.

This technology has been implemented by Holland Computers, both for your outgoing mail and for all incoming mail. There is nothing for you to do, we have made all of the necessary changes on our servers. You can simply have the peace of mind knowing that your email is protected.

We appreciate your patience as these changes are implemented and you can expect us to work diligently to ensure that your email service is working to its full potential. Please feel free to call or email us with any questions you may have regarding this information.

More information on SPF 

For our customers using spam folders or flags;
Because these new technologies are used primarily for indicating which messages are to be considered spam, it is possible that some legitimate email will be flagged and/or moved to your spam folder. 

If you have received email in the past from an address that was not flagged or moved and it is now, consider that the ISP of the person sending the email may not have embraced these technologies yet. Inform the sender of this and get them to encourage their ISP to implement SPF and Domain Keys.

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