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Subtle Spam Tagging - are you at risk?Views: 1033
Sep 21, 2005 2:24 pmSubtle Spam Tagging - are you at risk?#

lisa micklin
If you are sending your ezine out via your email rather than via a hosted solution, you may be getting tagged as spam and not even know it.

I have my own email server in my office that I send my outgoing email through. Not my ezine, just my email. Last week we re-arranged the office, and my mail server was temporarily down, so I was sending my outgoing email via my ISP.

I sent an email to Christopher Knight's e-pub discussion list http://emailuniverse.com/epub/ and Chris contacted me right away to let me know that my email headers had my email tagged as spam! How embarassing! Here I am touting my spam-free bulk email services and my own email is tagged as spam, ouch!

How this happened: My ISP evidentally installed Spam Assassin on their mail server, but like many ISPs not only did they not notify any of their users about it, they also never configured the software. So, every single piece of outgoing mail sent through their servers for the last 9 months has been getting tagged as spam. I won't bore you with the grass-roots uprising I've instigated locally, but it is important that you know if the same thing is happening to you.

If you send your ezine through your ISP or your domain host, check your headers for tagging. Even if you're only sending email and not your ezine via your ISP/domain host, check and see if you are being tagged, as this could have an impact on not only the delivery of your outgoing mail, but your professional image as well.

How to check: this is different for every email program. Send yourself an email. Open up the message when you receive it. Look for an option in your program to "view full email headers." If you are at the mercy of an un-configured Spam Assassin, you will see a line in the headers that says something like:

X-Spam-Report: -1.0/5.0
This mail is probably spam. The original message has been attached along with this report, so you can recognize or block similar unwanted mail in future. See http://spamassassin.org/tag/ for more details.

So, go ahead, check your headers! Make sure you are not being tagged, and if you are, contact your ISP or webhost to remedy this asap.

A HUGE thank you to Christopher Knight for pointing this out to me. You have sparked a veritable grass-roots uprising in my rural community.

Oh, and, I have my own email server back up and running in my office now ;-)

Private Reply to lisa micklin

Sep 22, 2005 12:31 pmre: Subtle Spam Tagging - are you at risk?#

Denise O'Berry
Lisa --

Thanks for the heads up on this. I use Mozilla Thunderbird and took a look at the headers. It does show the info there and thankfully my messages (I've checked) are OK. It's a good thing to remember for the future when I'm unsure about a message.

Best regards,

Denise O'Berry

Private Reply to Denise O'Berry

Sep 22, 2005 1:59 pmre: Subtle Spam Tagging - are you at risk?#

Heidi Costas
Hi Lisa

As always, you find and share all these intricate things that can happen to your online life, you know, the ones that make me scratch my head in disbelief!

I had a good 'talk' with my ISP; true: they had sent out a note that they'd be 'improving' their email system; who knew that THAT would block even my own emails to myself?

Thank goodness that I don't use my ISP email for business, or else I would've lost out on client opportunities.

Thanks again, Lisa for the heads-up!


Heidi Costas
Professional Coach & Workbook Goddess
hrrp://www.acecoachdirectory.com (co-founder)

Private Reply to Heidi Costas

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