Mail Server Upgrade

Sent 1/13/2007

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IMPORTANT INFO – PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE MESSAGE

We are planning on upgrading the Mail servers this weekend (1/13-1/15). Hopefully you will see a dramatic decrease in the amount of SPAM that gets through to your in-boxes.

Currently 80% of the mail that is directed at our servers is classified as SPAM and deleted but a considerable amount still gets through (I had 52 SPAM emails make it through yesterday to the various accounts that I use and monitor).

The biggest single help to our Anti-SPAM efforts will be new technology included with our software called “Greylisting”. Greylisting can mean different things so here is what it means on our server.

White-listing is when you have a list of “trusted” addresses that you allow through without testing. Black-listing is when you have a list of addresses that are known to be bad and are blocked BEFORE they are accepted for SPAM testing.

The Grey-Listing technology that we will be using basically tells the remote mail server sending email that we are having a “technical” issue and to retry later. A legitimate mail server puts the mail it is trying to deliver back into its queue and will attempt to redeliver at it’s preset time schedule. We have no control of that time frame. Some servers may try right away while others may wait a bit longer before retrying to send.

For example: Yahoo recently implemented a form of Greylisting and if a message was sent from our servers to a Yahoo user our server is set to retry four times before it bounces the mail back to the sender. We retry at 15, 30, 60 and finally 90 minutes before bouncing the mail back to you as undeliverable.

This means that the first time someone sends you an email it may be delayed. However, subsequent emails from that same IP, From, To address combination are not delayed since the sending email server has successfully negotiated the initial Greylist testing.

The rational behind Greylisting is that a Spammer is blasting hundreds of thousands or even millions of emails out at a time. His server is not set to queue and resend emails. If it were his mail server would quickly kill itself under the increased load. He blasts his load of garbage email and moves on to sending his next load.

Greylisting is a system wide setting but you do have the ability to opt your own individual account out of this testing. Login to the webmail interface and under your “Settings, My Settings” menu you can turn this off with the “Bypass Greylisting” setting.

Also, if you Whitelist an address or domain it will not be subject to Greylisting either.

For those that have been using the Webmail interface you will notice a significant change in that your first page is now a “My Today Page” instead of your In-box. To change this setting go to the “Settings, My Settings” menu and change the Initial login page from “My TodayPage” to “My Inbox” under the Webmail tab.

Also, for those that have been using the Webmail interface you will find that it is very “Outlook” like in it’s design.

For a list of the new features that will be implemented in this new mail server upgrade please see:

http://www.smartertools.com/Products/SmarterMail/Features.aspx

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