Have you ever tried to send an email and instead you got an error message that said your ip address was blocked? A common error message may read ”ip address blocked by spamhaus.” If you have then you are a victim of having your ip address listed on spam databases.
How does this happen? Well, most commonly, your ip address was reported to a spam database. It can be reported by anyone who may or may not have received an email by you.
What does this mean? Well it means that if you are listed on a spam database and the person you are trying to email subscribes to that database they will not receive your email. Scary huh? Well unfortunately this is happening more and more as technology advances to fight spam.
How does this affect you? Well, EZ-NetTools in our efforts to fight spam is subscribed to the top three spam databases. These three databases are in turn affiliated with about 200 other spam databases. If you are listed on any one of these 200 your email is blocked by EZ-NetTools and almost everyone else.
Don’t think this can happen to you? Think again! EZ-NetTools Technical Support addresses this issue almost daily with customers.
Here is what we have found. We found that most customers this happens to send out email to people who they have not verified their email address with. The person receiving the email marks it as spam or reports it. Most major internet service providers are integrating this feature so all you have to do is mark it as spam and the ip address it was sent from is reported. This is great that it is automatic but if someone even accidentally marks your email as spam your emails will be blocked by more than just that one person.
How do you unblock your ip address? Well this is the tricky part. You need to contact each and every database that has your ip address listed and tell them to remove it and that you will never spam again. Is this method too hard? Yes. An easier solution is to contact your internet service provider and have them change your ip address, or if it is already a dynamic ip address just wait for it to change. What if the new ip address is also listed? Get a new one again and again. Believe it or not, but the person who had your ip address before you may have abused it.
What if you get a good ip address not listed on any spam databases and then all of a sudden it is? Well, this means that somewhere on your network, there is a computer that has a virus, or spyware that is spamming for you. The best thing to do at this point is to use several anti-virus scanners and anti-spyware programs to try to clean up all the machines or reformat them all and start over. If you do not know how to do any of this then you will have to find a local computer repair company to do this for you.
Here are some tools that EZ-NetTools technical support use to help diagnose this problem.
The first step is to find out what your internet ip address is. To do this go to www.whatismyip.com
The second step to is determine if you are on any spam databases. To do this you go to www.dnsstuff.com Once you are at dnsstuff there is a section on that page called “IP Tools” The first bloc in that section is “spam database lookup.” What you need to do now is copy your ip address into this block and click the lookup button. If any of the spam databases read “listed” or are colored red then this means your ip address is listed.
What do we recommend? We recommend first, that you make your ip address static so it never changes. Second, make sure it is not listed on any spam databases. Third, always run virus scanners and spyware scanners to detect if there is a virus or spyware on any of your machines on the network. Fourth, make sure that you do not allow anyone to use your internet unless you trust them. This also includes sharing your internet with other businesses. Fifth, make sure all your wireless units are secure. It only takes one person one time to do something to get your ip blocked. Sixth, make sure the email you send out goes to legitimate people.
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