At the moment there is a huge increase in spam (unsolicited mail trying to sell you something) and scam (mail trying to trick you to thinking it's something legitimate) and I thought it important to provide some detailed information to help deal with the problem. It may be a bit long winded and if you are already aware of these hints, great, and if not I hope it helps.
Firstly, we will NEVER send you emails with subject lines similar to . .
- Response error: Fix Email Issues Ticket:340510285
- Action required
- Mailbox full
- Email Verification Update To Avoid Shut Down
- ?? emails awaiting delivery
- Incoming mail error
- Email notification for ????
If you receive any emails like this, simply mark them as spam (see below) or delete them.
- DO NOT click on any link or button within the email.
- DO NOT REPLY to the email
If you are ever in doubt about whether an email purporting to be from ???@pagination.com.au or ???@geelongweb.com.au is legitimate . .
- either telephone us on 03 5223 2494, or
- FORWARD (do not reply) the email to email@example.com
In the rare case of a legitimate issue with your mail box, we will contact you by phone, or in some cases email . . but that email will NOT ask you to click a link/button to login and verify your details.
As a general rule, with any email you receive that has attachments, or internal links/buttons to click, always . .
- check the sender/from address for simple deceptions (eg is it from firstname.lastname@example.org. . or is it from email@example.com. . ie the .au missing)
- think, am I expecting this link/document etc. If it seems out of the 'normal' it probably is.
- before clicking any link/button, hover over it, and in most mail systems the address you will go to, is shown in a bar at the bottom of the window. Eg., if the link in the email says 'Go to pagination.com.au/invoices' . . but when you hover over it, the url is shown as 'http://www.someotherwebsite.com/vaxcvaxcv.php' then it is most likely fraudulent.
- do NOT double click on any attachment unless you have checked all the above, and really trust and verified the sender. Double clicking, or opening the attachment WITHIN the email client can trigger malware or virus programs.
For example, an attachment titled as Report.PDF may not in fact be a .PDF file but a disguised .exe programme and double clicking will run the hidden program rather than opening the file in Acrobat.
Ideally, and I know it's a bit laborious, you should . .
right click on the attachment and 'Save' the attachment to your hard disc somewhere.
then open the required reader program (eg Acrobat for .PDF, Work for .doc, Excel for .xls etc)
then open the file you saved from the 'file > open' menu.
If the file happens to be a 'trojan' (ie an .exe file disguised as a .pdf) the reader program will report it as being an invalid format and the malware programme can't run.
Although this approach will take a little extra time, it minuscule compared to the time it takes to deal with viruses or malware if you directly open an infected attachment.
Dealing with SPAM/JUNK MAIL
There are 2 systems/facilities for dealing with spam mail . .
- Server side (ie on the mail server in our receiving data centre)
- Locally, on your device/computer
Server side spam filtering
The mail server runs all incoming mail through a basic spam filter (unless you have previously asked us to turn this feature off).
This filtering has various levels . . 1 (very tight . . virtually no spam will be let through) to 50 (very loose . . almost ALL spam will get through!)
Normally, we have the filter set at 8 which means a fair amount of spam will be filtered out but some will get through.
The problem with Server Side filteringis that it operates BEFORE any mail is put in your mailbox, and any mail filtered out is deleted immediately and can not be recovered.
If we set the filter level higher (say 6) less spam will get through, BUT some legitimate mail may get filtered out and deleted without you or the sender knowing (mail filtered/deemed as spam ISN'T bounced back to the sender).
So we recommend having the Server side filter at 8 or 9 and then use good Local filtering on top of that.
Local spam filtering
Almost all mail clients (eg Outlook, WindowsMail, MacMail, Thunderbird etc) have a built in spam filtering system . . some better that others.
It's worth spending a bit of time finding out how your program's filters and make sure the settings are correct for you.
Really good mail clients such as (FireFox) Thunderbird have 'Bayesian Spam Filters' which means that, used properly, the system learns over time what is and isn't spam for you . . and after a few weeks you will see a noticeable difference in the amount of spam ending up in your IN box.
The important thing to remember with most spam filtering systems (and most import for Bayesian) is that you don't simply DELETE spam from your in box.
If you MARK spam mail as SPAM/JUNK, it will be moved from your IN box into your Spam/Junk mail folder and the system learns from that and will next time put that sort of mail directly into the Spam/Junk folder.
Every few days you should check your Spam/Junk folder and if you find legitimate mail in there, then rather than just moving it back to you IN box, you should mark it as NOT JUNK . . the system then learns that it made a mistake and will adjust it's self accordingly.
As an indication how effective Thunderbird can be, in my personal case, the Server is set at 9 (a fair bit of spam gets through, but rarely does legitimate mail get deleted) and then, prior to setting up Thunderbirds local spam filtering I was getting from 20 to 50 spam emails a day in my IN box.
After setting up the filtering, in the first couple of weeks I was marking 10 to 15 emails as spam, but now, on most days I don't have ANY spam in the IN box.
There are still 20 to 50 spam emails each day going into the Spam/folder . . and they are set to be automatically deleted after 7 days . . and only very occasionally do I find legitimate mail in the Spam/Junk folder.
If you have any concerns, or need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me.