Sent Emails being Blocked

Blocked emails can be a real problem especially if you rely on email for business. I have not experienced this problem personally but many of my clients have had the problem. The issues I have seen appear to be much greater with clients of mine that are sending overseas emails. Due to the ever increasing number of infected emails, spam and junk mail, everyone is trying their best to block or at least reduce the number of bad emails that get through. So when you take into consideration the complex electronic journey that email must make and the number of possible places that your email could be stopped, it is amazing that any of it gets through at all. Unfortunately, since all parties involved are trying desperately to improve the detection of bad emails, the rules are changing constantly.

Where can email be blocked? - Your email can be block by anyone of the following:
1. The security software on the sender's own computer (least likely).

2. Spam and Virus filters at the sender's Email provider or company email server.

3. Spam /virus/Black list filters at the recipient's email provider and/or company email server. Some companies may even pay to reroute email to a 3rd party company to check mail before it even gets to their own email servers
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4. Spam and/or virus software on the recipient's own computer.

5. Spam filter within the recipient's own email client program such as Outlook

How is E-Mail Blocked? - There are many types of scans, filters and methods to check mail for viruses and spam and the rules change constantly to attempt to keep up with the bad guys. But just to give you a few quick examples:
A. Some systems may check for key words within the subject line and the body of the message. Some of the obvious words like Viagra would trigger the email to be blocked. Did you happen to notice how may junk emails will now misspell key words like Viagra to try to avoid being picked up by spam filters.

B. Other filtering m ethods may include checking mail against a list of known bad email senders. Thus the reason many spammers like to break into Yahoo, gmail and AOL accounts so send out spam under someone else's email address. This also gives them your address book to send to and increases the likelihood that the email will be opened because it looks like it is coming from someone you know.

C. The Senders IP address may be checked against a list of IP addresses known to be sending out Junk mail.
There are many, many more methods to scan and filter e-mails.

How do I reduce the chances of my email being blocked? - Here are a few way that you can reduce the likelihood of your email being blocked.

1. Avoid sending emails with links to websites. If you must send a web address to someone, send the address as text and not as a link.

2. Avoid using images within your emails such as company headers, logos or custom stationary.

3. Change your email settings to send emails as plain text. This is especially helpful when sending emails overseas.

4. Avoid using obvious key words within the subject line and body of your message. Words like Viagra, Sex and many 4 letter words may cause your email to be blocked. I have found that even placing the Word "TEST" in the subject line when I am testing clients email will get blocked my own email system.

5. Be very careful when forwarding someone else's email. It may contain links to infected websites or contain items that may be blocked. If you forward too many junk emails, you could be black listed yourself.

6. If you are having trouble receiving emails, you may want to log into your email providers site and change your spam filter settings. Many providers will have adjustable settings that you can change or even place specific email addresses in a do not block list (White List).

7. If you are really only having problems sending email to a single person, you may need to tell him to put you in his email address book or he may need to add you to a list of acceptable email addresses with his email provider.

8. Protect your email account by changing the password often and use a secure password that includes both letters and numbers as well as upper and lowercase letters. Avoid common words that would be easy for a computer to guess. If your email account does get compromised and someone sends out spam or infected emails under your account, your account could be black listed and then blocked by some email systems.

9. If you find that your emails are increasingly being blocked to many different people and you have tried all of my suggestions, then you or your email provider may be blacklisted (on some list of spammers). You may need to contact your mail provider or even move your email account to another hosting company.

I have noticed some suggestions of sending emails with received requests and using 3rd party email systems that send what is similar to a registered letter. It was once popular to send emails with the Delivery Receipt or Read Receipt request and many company email systems rejected this because it was clogging up there email servers with sending back delivery receipts (Thus doubling the number of emails that their servers needed to process). I am not sure how this is being handled today or if this is still a problem. I know that occasionally I will receive an email with a read receipt request and I always refuse them, on principle.

I hope this may help you a little and sometimes it takes a little experimenting to determine exactly where the problem is coming from.

Dana
Wayland Computer