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    Your email is being returned or rejected because it is blacklisted

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    Created 2007-09-04
    Modified 2013-04-05
    Views 8074
    Author Ken

    Point B Web does everything we can to prevent, detect and eliminate both incoming and outgoing spam, however the unfortunate fact is that we live in a world where some people spend their time trying to find ways to break in and abuse other people's systems to send out spam. There are many ways they can do this (some listed below) and 100% prevention is not possible from a practical perspective, but we take all preventative measures available. Detection and Correction are addressed when we find out a breach has occurred. When this happens, it can have a cascading effect if not corrected right away - causing all client accounts on the server to be blacklisted.

    If your email is being bounced or rejected with a message to the effect that your server has been listed on a spam blocking site, please forward the bounce notice in full to postmaster@pointbweb.com or login to pbwsupport.com and submit a ticket and paste the message contents.

    Please DO NOT REQUEST DELISTING on any spam blocking lists. The possible reasons our server may be listed are numerous and we will need to track down the source of the problem and secure it before requesting delisting. Otherwise, many of the spam block lists don't give you another chance to delist for a period of time.


    1. An email account on our server was hacked and is being abused. In this case, we will change the password immediately and notify the account owner. *PLEASE make your passwords secure (i.e. mixed case, numbers, symbols, etc)
    2. An exploitable mail form was used to send out spam - some web forms have vulnerabilities that allow hackers to use them to send email from our server. When this occurs, we will track down and isolate the problem and remove or repair the file at risk and notify the account admin.
    3. A hosting account password has been compromised and an unauthorized user is using the account (through any number of means) to send out spam. Again, this is something we would have to track down through investigation and analysis and when we find the potential problem, we will change the password on the host account and notify the account admin.
    4. Email client virus infections - if you are running Outlook, Outlook Express, or other email client and your computer becomes infected with certain kinds of viruses, they can use your outgoing email account to automatically send email to tens of thousands of addresses. Much of that email will be reported as spam and will indicate that it came from you through our mail server, causing us to be blacklisted. We expect all of our clients to act responsibly and prudently when it comes to email and virus protection. If you think you have been hit by a virus that has sent out emails using your account, please log a support ticket or send a note to postmaster@pointbweb.com.
      Note: If you receive a bunch of returned emails that indicated you had sent out spam unknowingly, this does not necessarily mean they actually came from your or even went through our server. Anyone can send email that appears to be from anyone else and the return path sends the bounced msgs back to the alleged sender. The actual mailserver these are sent from is indicated in the header of the messages and it is likely to be a third party mailserver with an exploited vulnerability.

    Once we determine the cause(s) and take corrective action, we will go through the process of getting delisted off the listing services we are aware have us listed.

    UPDATE (JAN 2013): Most of the spam-blocking sites now automatically delist as long as they do not receive any additional spam complaints or indications for a predetermined period. Most are around 24-48 hours. So as soon as we know the server is listed, we resolve the issue and then you just have to wait for the listing to clear from whichever service is listing it.


    1. Set your email client up to use your ISP email account. Every internet service provider provides at least one email account - you can setup Outlook (or other client) to use that as the Outgoing (SMTP) account. The incoming (POP3) can still be set to your domain on Point B Web Hosting and your reply address can still be your domain - it will be transparent to anyone except the servers themselves - the email will be sent out via your ISP mailserver where they have much more cost-effective means of dealing with spam and mass email issues.
    2. Use an alternate email account for outgoing email (SMTP) - same as abive but use your AOL, Yahoo, GMail or other account for outgoing. If none of these options is available, please log a support ticket and we will see what we can do as a temporary solution while we resolve the main issue. SEE THIS ARTICLE for instructions
    3. If you are sending out legitimate bulk email - only do so to addresses you have legitimately acquired and recipients who have "opted in" to receive email solicitations from you and include an opt-out link and remove them from your mailing list when requested. Sending out bulk email to addresses of people who did not agree to receive it constitutes spam and violates Point B Web's anti-spam policies and terms of use and your account will be subject to termination.

    As frustrating as these things are when they occur, they are a sad fact of life. Keep in mind that most of Point B Web's clients are on a dedicated server (PBW Clients only) and the potential for issues is greatly reduced compared to that of standard shared hosting environments.

    -Ken Priest
    -Point B Web

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