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[REBOL] Admin issues: spam

From: holger::rebol::net at: 26-Feb-2002 18:30

A few notes on spam prevention on this mailing list, because of some recent events: The REBOL mailing list uses "closed posting", i.e. only members can post. This keeps out most of the spam, and means we do not have to run additional content-based spam filters on our mail server. The drawback is that if you subscribed with a different email address than the address you are posting from, your mail is not automatically sent to the list. It rather goes to the administrator (me), and has to be approved manually. I don't mind approving mail that way :-), but it causes your postings to be delayed, usually by a few hours, but in some cases by up to several days. If you want to avoid that then here is how to do it: If you recently posted to the list, look for the echoed mail from you in your mailbox, and check if it has an "Approved-By:" header line. Most email clients have a mode of operation in which you can examine email headers. If you do find such a header, then this indicates that the email address you are subscribed with is different from the email you posted from (as indicated in the "From:" header line). In that case there are two things you can do: either change your list subscription (unsubscribe with the old address, subscribe with the new address), or configure your email client in such a way that for any mail sent to the list the "From:" address is changed to your subscription address. Another issue regarding spam: An increasing number of Internet providers are starting to install content-based and header-based spam filters for their customers. I am using such a filter myself (SpamAssassin), on this account, and noticed that recently some mail from this mailing list was incorrectly filtered out, because it looked like spam. Here are some hints how you can avoid that. Again, we do not run content- or header-based spam filters at REBOL, so it would not be us filtering out the mail. However mail coming from our list may very well be filtered out for many recipients, by their ISPs, if mail sent to the list appears to look like spam, and the sender would have no way of knowing that his email was affected. - Do not put "!" marks into the subject line. - Do not use "D-ear List", "D-ear Friends" etc. as a greeting. Impersonal greetings like that are favored by spammers. - Do not use HTML for posting, and do not put mail-to URLs into email. Emails which are only in HTML format (no plain text), are filtered out by our mailing list software anyway. - Try not to use words or phrases which are known to appear in a lot of spam mails, such as "1nk cartr1dges", "make m0ney" etc. (characters mangled to avoid spam-flagging this email). - Do not use extremely long lines in your email. Some email programs (mostly in Windows, e.g. Eudora and Outlook Express) have options to send a paragraph as a single, very long line of text. Disable that option, i.e. tell your email program to add line breaks. This not only makes your email easier to read, it also reduces the risk of it being flagged as spam. - Configure your email software to include the real name in the From: line. e.g. it should look like "From: John Doe <[jd--nowhere--com]>", not "From: [jd--nowhere--com]". Again, you can check for that by looking at the headers of echoed mail from you. - Try not to use email accounts that end in numbers, such as [john1234--nowhere--com], because a lot of dynamically created spam accounts use them. If you only have account names like that then try to use aliases or forwarding accounts instead. - Do not use "public" SMTP servers, i.e. servers which are listed as "open relays". Use the SMTP server provided by your ISP instead. If you are using Unix/Linux on an Internet connection with a dynamic IP address, and you are running your own SMTP server on your box (sendmail etc.), then configure it in such a way that it always delivers to your ISP's SMTP server (sendmail calls this a "smarterhost" setting), i.e. do not have your personal SMTP server deliver directly to the destination. - If you use a Yahoo account as the address in your From: line then post only from Yahoo, through Yahoo's SMTP servers. Do not use a Yahoo "From:" address while posting from a different site or mail server, or your email will almost certainly be flagged as spam for a lot of people. Same for Hotmail. - If possible, try to post to the list only by replying to another mail you received from the list. Most email programs will create additional headers for that, which help identify your email as not being spam. That's it for now. I'll add more items to the list as necessary. -- Holger Kruse [kruse--nordicglobal--com]