THE SPAM PROBLEM
What is spam?
Spam is unsolicited mass email. It can also include unsolicited instant messages of various types. If you've used the Internet for any length of time, you're no stranger to spam.
Spam not only annoys the recipient, but it can also cause real damage:
Access Communications' Stance on Spam
- Spam is illegal in many jurisdictions
- Mail servers can be blacklisted as a known source of email spam
- The large amounts of bandwidth consumed in sending spam costs both the recipients and the originating mail server money; spam unethically moves the cost of transferring a message from the sender to the recipients
- Answering all of the complaint emails that spam generates takes time on the Internet Service Provider's (ISP) part
- Spam clogs up our mail server and reduces performance for all of our users
- Access Communication's good name in the Internet community can be damaged: good Internet citizens don't send spam
For all of these reasons, Access Communications takes a firm stance against spam. As a subscriber, please be aware that we do not tolerate spamming by our users and will take swift action to stop the spam, up to and including revocation of service.
Why Block Spam
Aside from being an annoyance, spam causes several serious problems. The biggest is the waste of time and bandwidth caused by having to download, read, and delete the spam. Spam also causes a noticeable increase in the volume of email that our mail server has to handle, which in turn can mean slower response time for subscribers.For this reason, we have chosen to implement several measures on our mail server to attempt to reduce the quantity of spam that passes through it, and thereby improve the quality of our service to our subscribers.
How do we block spam?
To help improve the quality of our service to our subscribers, we are employing several methods to block spam destined for subscribers. We are constantly updating our spam-blocking capabilities because 'spammers' are constantly upgrading their methods to get spam through.
Our primary method of filtering spam is to use several real-time blacklists which list mail servers that are open relays, or which are simply sending out spam directly. The lists we are currently using are the ORDB (Open Relay Database) and the SBL (Spamhaus Block List).This means that the Access Communications mail server will refuse to accept mail from any mail server listed on either of these. The refused email should bounce back to the sender with an error message.If legitimate email to an Access Communications subscriber is being bounced with one of these error messages, then it is the responsibility of the sending mail server's administrator to fix whatever problem caused that mail server to be blacklisted, and then arrange to have the server removed from the blacklist. Visiting the URL mentioned in the error message will generally provide more details about what problem needs to be fixed, and what to do about it.Contacting the Access Communications help desk or Internet administration staff about this problem is not likely to be useful. It is the remote mail server that needs to be fixed, and that server is not under our control.
Other Anti-Spam Measures
Our mail server also takes other action to block spam destined for your mailbox. In particular, it identifies certain actions that are common to spammers who are attempting to blindly guess your email addresses.When it identifies such actions, it automatically adds the offending server to a special block list. This means that our mail server will begin blocking all mail from that server. This method has been quite successful; however, legitimate senders do occasionally trigger this spammer identification system, causing us to block some legitimate email.
Messages blocked by this anti-spam measure will generally bounce back to the sender, with an error message like the following:553 Administratively blocked. See http://www.accesscomm.ca.The sender should do as the error message instructs, and visit the URL indicated. This web page will explain what is going on and what to do about it. In particular, the sender should contact their mail administrator and have them contact the email address mentioned. If the block is in error, we will promptly remove it.