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WEB HOSTING HOW-TOS

Aligning Yourself With Block Lists
By: Akinola Akintomide
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    2007-03-28

    Table of Contents:
  • Aligning Yourself With Block Lists
  • Let's Get Started
  • Back to the Blacklist
  • For the Spammer

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    Aligning Yourself With Block Lists - For the Spammer


    (Page 4 of 4 )

    If you don't get clear details stating that you were blocked due to a blocklist, don't assume you are on a blocklist until you check your mail sending settings and your technical settings. After you get the details of the block list, email them to find out why you were listed and what you should do. If all the emails sent and bounced back were opt-in emails, gather the confirmation emails and the bounced mails, email both to the DNSBL and the service provider blocking you, and ask to be delisted and white listed respectively. If you are found to be sending spam, you will have to act very penitent (clean up your list and promise not to do it again).

    If you have been ill-treated by a black list, you send emails to their clients stating that the blacklist's practices are depriving its users of opt-in email. Make sure that you did not violate clearly laid down procedures (check the offending blocklist's procedure). Apart from that there is always the legal option, but if you are really a spammer, it's just a temporary reprieve. Other block lists will jump in on the act and even service providers too, but if done correctly you can reduce the standing of the block list, leading to their reduced relevance over time.

    The good thing is that most lists assume you are not a full time spammer, but that you were caught out due to flaws in your security protocols. Sometimes web masters have dirty "lists" which may have been purchased or rented from third parties, and the whole list has no opt-in subscribers! If you have bought a list, it is wise for you to send out a confirmation request only once! Then that forms your opt-in list. Note that sending emails to rented lists is considered spamming by a whole lot of block lists. Most block lists watch out for IP addresses that are being hijacked by known spammers (a list of 200 individuals/organizations is said to be responsible for 80 percent of the spam sent to users in North America and Europe).

    Confirm Every Subscription

    I don't know about you, but I would never want to be black listed. One very good way to shorten the time spent on a blacklist, or of ensuring  that it is always a case of hijacking if you end up on such a list, is to get confirmations from all your subscribers when they enter your mailing list. As time goes on, I will take a look at other means of keeping your mailing strategy in line with the block lists (there are quite a number of them). I'll look at technical and security issues as well as differing criteria from different DNSBLs. I think it bears repeating: clean up your lists! And don't buy or rent lists; build them up via  partners or by yourself. If you get blocked , don't panic; it happens all the time.

    BASIC DNSBL FLOW (Courtesy of http://www.spamhaus.org/ )


    DISCLAIMER: The content provided in this article is not warranted or guaranteed by Developer Shed, Inc. The content provided is intended for entertainment and/or educational purposes in order to introduce to the reader key ideas, concepts, and/or product reviews. As such it is incumbent upon the reader to employ real-world tactics for security and implementation of best practices. We are not liable for any negative consequences that may result from implementing any information covered in our articles or tutorials. If this is a hardware review, it is not recommended to open and/or modify your hardware.

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