Spam

Unsolicited email is more than just a nuisance. It can stop legitimate emails getting to their intended recipients and wastes time. IE Internet has a guide to anti-spam services here:  

 What is Spam?

  • Spam emails are unsolicited commercial messages often sent to many recipients. People who send spam, known as spammers, make money by sending spam emails. Legislation governing spam is getting tougher in many countries such as the USA. According to our latest figures, spammers are outsourcing to places such as China and India, which are fast becoming major sources of spam.

  • Types of spam can vary widely. One of the most popular types of spam is “pump and dump”, where the spammer is promoting cheap penny stocks promising a rise in value. The spammer, who has already bought the stock cheap, quickly dumps it on the market and makes a profit.

  • Another infamous type of spam is the 419 fraud email. These emails take the format of a letter written by an individual who is trying to transfer a large sum of money out of their country. Typically the individual in question asks for the recipient's help to do this with the lure of a large sum of money as a reward.

  • Whatever the title, we can all identify spam when we see it, and none of us want it in our inbox.

What are the costs of spam?

  • There are many costs associated with spam: the cost of the time it takes to download the spam, read it, identify it as spam and delete it.

  • Spam reduces the efficiency of the internet because bandwidth, otherwise used to transport legitimate correspondence, is instead used to download spam.

  • There is also the risk of being exposed to and suffering from fraudulent spam. At no additional charge, many of these costs are removed through the implementation of IE Internet’s anti-spam solution, MailWall.

Will IE Internet empty my spam trap for me?

  • Like everything else, your spam trap has a limit and can fill up.
  • We would recommend that you clear your spam trap occasionally. You can do this through our WebMail facility (Zimbra)
  • We do not automatically delete the contents of your spam trap. Only in an instance where it is affecting services do we intervene.
  • The spam trap is only available with the Business Hosting Plan and upwards.

How can I view my spam trap?

  • We would strongly encourage everyone who has a spam trap to check it on a regular basis. Why? Someone may have sent you an email which, because of where it was sent from, or because of its content, our systems believed it to be spam. If this happens, the email will be sent to your spam trap. While unlikely, your spam trap should be checked regularly to make sure that there are no legitimate messages there. You can review the spam trap via a web interface (known as Zimbra). 
  • In order to log in to your spam trap via Zimbra, you will need your spam trap's user name and password. These details are given when the spam trap is set up. If you have mislaid these details, you can reset the password within your control panel. You can access the control panel using the main user name and password, usually held by the administrator of your domain.
  • The contents of your spam trap are summarised and sent to you in an email once a week so that you can be sure that no legitimate emails have been placed there.

What is the spam trap?

  • If you're tired of downloading spam emails to your PC, IE Internet have a much better alternative: don't download them and instead automatically 'trap' them. When we think an email destined for your PC is spam, we'll capture it and send it to your domain name's spam trap. In this way you'll be completely unaffected by the spam email.
  • The spam trap is a specifically designed user account where all emails sent to any email address at your domain that MailWall flags as spam are stored.
  • You can set up the spam trap at no extra cost from within your control panel.
  • Setting up a spam trap means that you don't have to spend time deleting spam messages from your inbox each day.

What happens to spam once it is detected?

  • For an email to be flagged as spam, MailWall must believe that it exhibits enough spam-like characteristics to be classed as spam. Once an email passes the threshold into becoming a possible spam email, one of two actions are taken:
  • If your account has a spam trap enabled, the email is sent to this spam trap. You can release any email easily from your spam trap by logging in to your spam trap using the user name and password.
  • If you don't have a spam trap enabled, any email which is believed to be spam is sent to you as an attachment. The body of the email contains details of what is attached and the reasons why it was flagged as spam.

How does IE Internet's Mailwall identify spam?

  • We ensure that mail is being sent through a computer that is configured in accordance with the best practices of the Internet i.e. one that obeys the rules of the Internet. For example a server (and emails from it) is not compliant if the address it advertises as being the origin of the email does not match the actual server it was sent from.
  • Mailwall checks that email is not sent through an open relay. An open relay is an email server which does not care who sends email through it. Consequently, such servers are an absolute haven for spammers as they allow large volumes of email to be send anonymously. Email sent through an open relay is more than likely spam.
  • Emails which pass through the first two tests are then subjected to rigorous header and body tests for telltale signs of spam. An example of such a test is one which tests if the message is purporting to be sent in the distant past. If an email fails a test, the spam score increases. The final score - if above a threshold - leads to the email being flagged as ‘Possibly Spam’ or ‘Very Possibly Spam’.

What is the miss rate?

  • A miss is when a spam email passes through Mailwall and is not flagged as being spam. Using an Artificial Intelligence engine, our systems learn so that the next time such a mail appears the probability of it getting through undetected is greatly reduced.

What is a false positive?

  • A false positive occurs when a legitimate email is flagged as spam. False positives are inevitable and, with IE Internet's Mailwall, have an occurrence rate of less than 0.1%.

Will IE Internet stop 100% of spam?

  • Currently there is no solution available which will stop 100% of spam. To aim for this guarantee would be to increase the miss rate above the current absolute minimum level operated by IE Internet’s spam solution. Our solution, which catches over 95% of spam and learns from those spam messages it doesn’t catch, is an effective weapon against the worldwide proliferation of spam experienced today.
  • Note: Developed using IE Internet's own technology, MailWall is not a product you can buy and install. It is a service provided free of charge to our hosting customers from Business Hosting Plan upwards.

Why does my company need IE Internet's Mailwall?

 IE Internet’s anti-spam solution, Mailwall, combines sophisticated word and phrase matching with other more technical methods. Mailwall ensures that emails flagged as spam are stopped at internet level, thus saving time deleting spam and also cutting down bandwith used to download spam to your inbox. The detected spam is kept in on one of Mailwalls servers, which you can check via a web interface.

  • As well as using public blacklist databases, MailWall also uses IE Internet's own private Real Time Black List. This list is constantly updated by us, quicker than most anti-spam solutions. Because this is our own technology, we don't have to wait on updates. IE Internet customers also have the ability to “white list” certain email addresses and domains so that email from them are never flagged as spam.
  • Mailwall is capable of handling a large quantity of email in a short space of time. Our spam solution does not add any extra time on to the processing of your email.