Information on Spam

What is Spam?

Spam is unsolicited bulk email often containing advertisements, various scams, and even viruses.
Unfortunately, Spam has only gotten worse with time, and has become a very large problem.

How can I stop the spam e-mail?

The most effective way to prevent getting spam, is to keep the spammers from getting your email address in the first place. Only give your email address to people you trust, and never reply to or click a link within a spam email. By replying to a spam message, even to tell them to stop, you let the spammer know that a real person read the email. This causes them to send even more spam.

Once the spammers do get your email address however, the next step is to use spam filters to catch the spam before it reaches you.

We have had a system-wide filter called RBL (short for Real-time Black List) that blocks mail servers known as sources of SPAM. The RBL’s have been extremely effective at catching 90% of the SPAM that has been sent to our mail servers before they reach your mailbox. For more information about this please read our RBL documentation.

We also have a filtering system called Spam Assassin. This type of filter scans your incoming mail on the server before it has been delivered to your mailbox. When the scans are conducted, a point-value system is assigned to the content of the messages and as the points for a particular message climb past a given threshold level the message gets flagged as spam by Spam Assassin. Messages that are flagged as spam can have 3 things done to them, they can be removed, they can be passed on to the mailbox, or they can be moved to a spam folder on our server where they are stored for 7 days. Spam Assassin also uses ClamAV, which screens for viruses and phishing attempts. Emails and attachments found to have potential viruses will be treated as spam. In addition Spam Assassin will not scan any message larger than 256Kb, If you begin to get more than unusual amounts of large spam we suggest you look into third party spam filtering which is outlined further down in the article.

Spam Assassin is set by default with a low threshold of 4.0 and to move spam to the spam folder.

In order to modify the filtering on your account please follow these steps.

Spam Assassin
  1. Login under My Account with your full email address and password (if not already logged in).
  2. Click on the "Email Accounts" button then click on "Email filtering"
  3. Spam Assassin: Make sure the box next to this heading is checked. When Spam Assassin is checked, you will see the Advanced options below it.
  4. What to do with Spam: You can have the messages automatically deleted from the server when Spam Assassin determines they are spam, you can choose to have the message delivered to you with the Subject line marked with ******SPAM*******, Or you can have the messages moved to the spam folder and be stored for 7 days.
  5. Threshold level: Your Threshold level represents how strictly your email is filtered. The lower the number the more strict it is. The stricter it is the more likely it is that non-spam emails will be targeted. We recommend starting high and lowering it as you see fit.
  6. Custom Threshold: If you choose a "Custom" Threshold Level, you can enter a number manually here.
  7. Turn on AutoLearn
    Enabling this feature allows Spam Assassin to "learn" to identify new spam the more it analyzes your incoming mail.
  8. Use Real Time Blackhole Lists: Our mail servers use Realtime Blackhole Lists (RBL) to eliminate much of the Spam sent to our customers. While the RBLs are an excellent way to eliminate much of the unwanted email, they can occasionally interfere with legitimate emails being able to reach our servers. Due to this fact, we allow you to opt out of using the RBLs.
  9. Do Not Accept Email from Myself: A common practice that Spammers currently use is to send mail to you that lists your email address in the from line. This filter will attempt to catch this tactic and remove those messages. The downside is that you cannot email to yourself if you ever use this function.
  10. Click the Update Filters button to apply your changes. Your new mail filtering changes should take effect immediately.

If you wish to setup more complex personalized filtering please follow these steps. We highly recommend that you get a good idea of what you want the new filter to do before you follow these steps

  1. Login under My Account with your full email address and password (if not already logged in).
  2. Click on the "Email Accounts" button then click on "Email filtering"
  3. Click on the "Whitelist/Blacklist" link.
  4. Any email addresses you enter in the "Whitelist" will never get blocked by our spam filters, use this for addresses you are concerned may be flagged a spam.
  5. Any email addresses you enter in the "Blacklist" will always get blocked. If there is a particular address or domain you always get spam from, you can block it here.Custom Rules
Custom Rules
  1. Login under My Account with your full email address and password (if not already logged in).
  2. Click on the "Email Accounts" button then click on "Email filtering"
  3. Click the Add a Custom Rule link
  4. Find and Click a link towards the top that says "Insert a Custom Rule here"
  5. You should see a number of fields you can fill in on this page under the heading "Create a Rule".
  6. First specify a name for the rule; we suggest something that you can use to easily identify what the rule does. Type the name into the "Name" field.
  7. Second we need a Description of the rule, putting in specifically what the rule is supposed will make it easier to view later. Type that information into the "Description" field.
  8. Next we want to specify a "condition Field", this is what section of the email the filtering looks at to determine if it should be filtered out or not. Select which option fits the needs for this filter from the "Condition Field" menu.
  9. Following that we want to specify the "Condition Value". This is the specific word, phrase, or email address the filter looks for in the "Condition Field" you specified just above. Please select what you want to filter and type it in the "Condition Value" field.
  10. Next we want to specify the action. This allows you to deliver the mail as normal, forward it to a different address, or just delete it entirely. Select an option that's appropriate to the filter your creating from the "Action" menu.
  11. Click the "Create" button at the bottom of the page.

Additional Filtering

We do not consider the new filtering we have put in place to be all-inclusive. If you desire additional filtering there are many excellent filters available and most will adapt and learn from your sending/receiving email activity that you consider to be Spam. Some good examples of these you can download and install on your system include:



These programs will work well with or without Infinity server filtering enabled. These programs all assume that you are running Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express. This is not an endorsement of any particular mail software, but is simply provided to indicate the largest percentage of what our customers use. You can search http://www.google.com for your specific mail software and likely find other filters that work adequately for you.

We realize these are not one-size-fits-all solutions. We feel our role, as your service provider, is to help you to be aware of what is available so that you can manage your email as easily and efficiently as possible. We believe that the set of tools you will find at http://myaccount.iinet.com makes this possible. Some customers prefer that we intervene to such a degree that they receive no SPAM at all, while others have told us they want to get everything that is available in order to have maximum filtering in place on their local systems. We at Infinity have put the power to deal with SPAM directly in your hands. You can choose to opt out of filtering or let our tools we provide do the work.

Reporting SPAM

There are many sites on the Internet that can show you how to find the source of SPAM if you choose to track down those people/organizations responsible for sending these messages to you. We ask that you visit such sites as http://stopSPAM.org/ orhttp://SPAM.abuse.net/, both of which contain useful information for identifying the source of the SPAM you receive. We ask that you refrain from sending the SPAM to Infinity to take care of for you. To be honest, as much as we would like to personally respond to each and every SPAM complaint it’s simply not possible. We will continue to focus our efforts on new filtering methods for Infinity servers to help combat Spam.

If the SPAM did originate from an Infinity customer, you have our personal commitment that we will take appropriate action. In order to help make this happen, please send us complete SMTP headers, along with concrete evidence supporting your claim. A 'From' address does not supply the needed proof; these can easily be forged and generally are. It is likely that if someone appears to be spamming via the Infinity servers, we have already noticed the activity and resolved the issue within minutes of inception. The automated methods we currently have in place commonly trigger on events such as this.

What's Next for Spam Prevention?

Infinity is continually reviewing new methods for filtering SPAM. During the course of the system changes previously described, we found several methods we will be implementing in the near future. The changes that we are announcing to you today are meant as a platform to implement seamless integration of these methods as they become available to us. Some of these newer changes will involve additional plug-in modules to Spam Assassin, which will simply enhance how our systems identify SPAM.

In conclusion, we at Infinity constantly strive to make your Internet experience both positive and enjoyable. With the new email filters in place and your personal involvement applying appropriate filter levels on your account(s), our goal is to dramatically reduce the volume of SPAM you receive.

To view Infinity Internet's Position on SPAM and Network Abuse, CLICK HERE

Article ID: 85

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