People around the world send countless emails each day, and this medium is the heart of online communication. If you provide email services or run your own servers, it's vital that you protect their integrity. One of the greatest risks you face as an email provider is outbound spam. When spammers hijack your network to send malicious or fraudulent emails, it can destroy your reputation and harm your customers. By taking advantage of the five outbound spam control best practices, you'll be able to maintain the safety and integrity of your email operations.
Top 5 Outbound Spam Control Best Practices
Register for Feedback Loops
Feedback loops are a critical line of defense against outbound spam in that they provide immediate feedback on your emails. Ideally, they should promptly arrive in the inbox you sent them to. However, it's possible for them to head directly to the spam or trash folders, or perhaps not send at all. In these cases, a feedback loop is the fastest way to find out that your IP has been added to a blocklist.
Monitor IP Blocklists
IP blocklists such as Spamhaus collect information on spam and the IPs that send spam out to the wider internet. If your network ends up on a blocklist, it will hinder your ability to reach people through email. By monitoring popular blocklists, you'll be better able to monitor any spam emerging from your IP address, particularly hard-to-detect techniques such as snowshoe attacks.
Implement SPF In Your Outbound Mail Servers
In the same way that you can write any address on a letter, you can claim that you're sending an email from any address. This also means that malicious actors can impersonate the email addresses that a reputable organization uses in a bid to trick their targets. Sender Policy Framework, or SPF allows you to track and control emails that originate from addresses within your domain. While SPF provides organizations with a wide range of control over their email domains, one of the most important benefits is the option of stopping these fraudulent emails from delivering at all.
Automatic Software Updates
It's impossible to know whether or not security holes exist in the software you use or offer to customers until these holes are found. When a provider finds such a hole, however, their first priority is fixing it via a new update. However, repairing issues in software won't do you any good if clients aren't using the most up-to-date version. Offering automatic software updates will help ensure that you close any possible gaps in security soon as possible. While this is an important step toward preventing outbound spam from compromising your networks, it also works as a general-purpose way to improve security.
Maintain Accurate WHOIS Data
The WHOIS system tracks the personal data associated with websites and domain names. It plays a vital role in supporting internet security measures such as blocklists, registries, and much more. If you maintain accurate WHOIS data, then you'll be able to check the status of your own servers and websites much more easily. Likewise, spam-detection services will be able to send you timely notices of spam originating from your network.
Learn More with MailChannels
MailChannels is a company that's devoted to internet security. Get in touch to learn how MailChannels can help you protect yourself from spammers and other malicious actors.