We have the answers.

Here are some questions that are frequently asked about anti-spam filtering in general and specifically about ™ and its competitors. Click on a question to read the answer.

How Antispam Filtering Works

Spam is typically defined as Unsolicited Bulk Email ("UBE"):

Unsolicited
You did not initiate a conversation with or agree to receive email from the sender (for example, by subscribing).
Bulk
The same or nearly the same email was sent to many recipients.

So, spam is email that was sent in bulk without your implicit or explicit consent. As a result, if someone sends you a copy of a resume, or other targeted unsolicited personal email that is not sent in bulk, antispam filters generally will not (and should not) block it globally as "spam", even if you don't care to read it.

If you use , you can take advantage of the Personal Blacklist feature to block harrassing emails that are not sent in bulk. However, we recommend that you simply ask the party to refrain, and contact the sender's Internet Service Provider (ISP) or your local law enforcement if the harrassment continues.

Although it is usually obvious whether a message was targeted directly to you or sent in bulk, if you're unsure, please ask one of our analysts for assistance. We're always here, 24/7/365.

The first known email spam was sent in 1978 by a computer salesman to hundreds of government contractors announcing a new computer model. In those days, that was enough to overload university servers. Apparently, he still gets hate mail.

Email spam really got a boost in the 1990s, when the "Junk Faxing King" turned to the Internet, creating one of the world's biggest bulk emailing companies. He also helped popularize "phishing" scams, where you receive what looks like an important email from your bank, credit card company, etc., urging you to "log in" to your account. The login page actually belongs to the scammer, who can steal your identity, money, etc.

If you use email, the only way to stop spam is by using an antispam filtering program on your computer, email server or in the Cloud.

Otherwise, a lot of junk email will clutter your Inbox, making it very hard to find the emails you want. Worse yet, a lot of the spam will contain dangerous links, viruses and other malware.

Cloud-based antispam (like ) is great because it traps spam in the Cloud and keeps it off your server, where it can't harm your business or your staff. That's not only safer, but it can also help you reduce your bandwidth, hardware and IT support costs.

Antispam filtering is the process of evaluating an email based on different criteria to determine if it is spam. If it is spam, then it is usually either deleted or sent to a junk mailbox instead of the recipient's Inbox. Each set of criteria (for example, if the email contains words or phrases commonly used by spammers) is a different antispam "filter". has more filters than many antispam services

Global Filters:

IP Blacklist
Servers that are owned by spammers
URL/Phone Filter
Known spammer "click me" links and phone numbers.
Phrase Filter
Typical spam phrases, like "Cheapest V!agra on the Net
Pattern-Matching Filter
Techniques spammers use to try to defeat our other filters.

User-Customizable Filters:

Miscellaneous
Suspicious domains, foreign languages and pornographic words.
Country of Origin
You can block all email from specific countries.
Blacklists/Whitelists
Block / accept all email from specific mail servers.

See our documentation for descriptions of more filters.

Most antispam programs block spam based on "trigger" words and lists of IP addresses. They don't block enough spam and tend to send too much good email to your junk box, where you and your colleagues waste time hunting down missing

is different. It is database driven, like most antivirus programs, and uses a series of constantly updated "filters" to trap spam in the Cloud, where it belongs. And, instead of identifying spam based on where it came from (which changes constantly), we identify it based on where the "click-me" links in almost all spam want to send you, which change much less frequently.

That's harder to do (even though we do it), but it blocks more spam and is faster than other antispam methods.

Antispam filters need to do two things: block spam and deliver legitimate email. You want one that does both the best. In some fields, like health care and legal, missing just a few legitimate emails can be very costly.

How Antispam Accuracy is Measured

Antispam accuracy is often measured by stating the percent of spam blocked (the positive spam identification rate) and the percent of good email delivered (the negative spam ID rate). Larger numbers are better.

Sometimes, you'll see antispam accuracy measured by false positives and false negatives. Misinterpreting a legitimate email as spam (thus incorrectly blocking it) is a false positive. Failing to block a spam (and delivering it to you) is a false negative. When citing false ID rates, smaller numbers are better.

is more accurate than other antispam filters because it captures more spam (few false negatives) and delivers more good email (few false positives).

Accurate, Safe and Saves Money

Other spam-prevention techniques, like most of the free ones that come with email services, flag spam based on things like "trigger words" and lists of IP addresses only. They tend to miss a lot of spam and block too much good email, where you either never see it, or waste a lot of time looking for it in your spam box.

Like the antivirus programs you trust, SpamStopsHere is database driven, using filters that look for tricks spammers have used for years. And we update its antispam filters around the clock, to block more spam faster and deliver more good email to you.

SpamStopsHere not only performs better, it also blocks spam in the Cloud, where it belongs, keeping it off your mail server and away from your valuable business. That alone can save you time and money, because it reduces the load on your mail server.

If you have to sort through all your spam every day to find missing email, that defeats the purpose of having antispam in the first place.

The result? SpamStopsHere not only remembers yesterday's spam, but it can also predict tomorrow's spam and block it as soon as it hits our servers, preventing it from clogging your mail server, bothering your employees or injuring your business. SpamStopsHere is guaranteed to stop spam or your money back, so why not give it a try?

Using SpamStopsHere

As soon as you point your MX records, is active and immediately begins blocking your email spam.

But, don't turn off your current antispam or antivirus programs for at least a few days. It might take a day or so before all of your emails are passing through our SpamStopsHere servers. That's because the change to your domain's MX records do not take effect immediately, but must propagate through the Internet.

Our email servers will relay email messages up to 100MB in size. Keep in mind that any files you send as attachments will be about 33% larger than they were on your computer. That's true of all email systems.

So, depending on the size of your message, you can attach files that are about 75MB total on your computer. That should be more than enough for most of your email. If you routinely transfer more than that, you probably don't want to do so with email anyway.

Yes!

works with almost all email hardware servers and software; including Microsoft Exchange, Novell Groupwise, Lotus Domino, Sendmail, etc.

Nope. You only need your own email domain (the part that follows the "@" sign) and the ability to change your domain's MX records.

When you sign up for we'll send you an email that tells you how to change your domain's DNS MX records. Some hosting companies let you change your own DNS settings yourself through a control panel. Others require you to request the change, which might take a little longer. Either way, within a few minutes of switching the MX records, SpamStopsHere will begin filtering out your incoming spam.

That being said, there are a few web/email hosting providers that don't let customers change their MX records. See the next question/answer for more details.

works with all major business email platforms and providers. It's a powerful service that does not depend on specific email hardware or software. Just sign up and spam stops...now!

If your organization has its own internal mail server, you (or your IT staff) can easily configure it to work with SpamStopsHere. Changing MX records is usually a trivial operation for them.

Most hosting companies also support "local delivery", which allows a mail server to deliver mail even when the MX records do not point to it. If you want to, you can contact your hosting company to ensure that they 'support local delivery' or that they 'support third party anti-spam filters in the MX records'. If after signing up for our service you find that you have one of the few hosts that cannot change your MX records appropriately to use our service, we will gladly give you a full refund during the 14-day money-back guarantee period.

Yes! We monitor all new signups.

We regularly check the MX records of new signups until we see that our service has been activated; we then check our service log files to make sure everything is working correctly. We'll call you immediately if we see a problem.

We also encourage you to call us so we can answer your questions and address your concerns. Remember, we're here 24/7/365.

When you sign up for , we send you an email with a few simple instructions on how to get started. Since only you and/or your hosting company have legal access to your MX records, we can't change them for you.

If you're not an IT administrator, you can forward the email to your IT people or hosting provider. You're also welcome to contact us 24/7/365, via phone, chat or email if you need assistance.

That's no problem. We email you the steps you need to take to do so. You can simply forward the email to your hosting company or IT department if they need it.

Canceling the service is just as easy as starting it. Simply remove the SpamStopsHere load balancers from your domain's DNS MX records and list your actual email server (or new anti-spam service) in the MX records instead. After the DNS changes propagate (we recommend waiting 72 hours), you should then be able to cancel the SpamStopsHere service without any interruption of email.

Discontinuing service before removing the SpamStopsHere load balancers from your domain's DNS MX records may result in email sent to your domain being undeliverable.

Although we hope it never happens, in the event we must disconnect you due to non-payment, we will give you a 10-day disconnect notification. If the issue is not resolved or we receive no reply at all, we will remove your domain name(s) from our servers. Until your MX records are changed, this may cause you to lose some or all of your email. We certainly want to avoid this and will be as flexible and understanding as reasonable.

Other SpamStopsHere-Related Questions

Yes!

can work with almost any Exchange or other hardware-based mail server, and with many Cloud email providers (like GoDaddy.com) to improve antispam filtering.

All antispam programs and services cause a delay as they filter your email, some more than others.

Delay times with are barely noticeable (often only a few seconds) because it filters messages in real time as they arrive. Other antispam products can cause more of a delay because they process messages in intervals.

That depends on what you mean by "back up". is not an email archiving system. However the "Store and Forward" feature (included with all editions) preserves 5 days worth of email if there is a problem delivering it to you (like if power to your server goes out).

How Store and Forward Works

If your email server is down for a few days (e.g., during maintenance or an unexpected power outage), SpamStopsHere continues to filter out spam from your incoming email and "spools" (stores) each good message for 5 days. When your server comes back online, SpamStopsHere automatically delivers the spooled messages to you.

If you know that you're going to be down for longer than 5 days, you can contact support to request a temporary increase in the spooling period.

Do You Need Short or Long-Term Email Archiving?

If you need to archive your email messages, as many businesses do, look into our cloud-based email archiving service, RestorEmail.

Yes we do!

and our parent company, Greenview Data, have developed an exceptional partner program. Our partners enjoy generous margins as well as best in class products, support and customer satisfaction.

If you're interested in reselling our services, please contact sales to apply for a reseller account.