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When You Are Accused of Spamming…

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Question: My web host has accused me of being a spammer and has suspended my account. How do I prove I am not a spammer?

Answer: Usually, you will only be accused of spamming in one of three situations: (1) you actually are a spammer, (2) your account is hosted on an unsecured mail server, or (3) You have a dedicated server or VPS, and you have left your mail server unsecured.

In the case of the first situation, I cannot help you. If you are in situation number 2, then you are truly one of the victims, and whoever is running the server needs to fix the problem. Usually this will happen if the server admin is someone different than the web host. Contact the web host and let them know that you are not in charge of the server but have been blacklisted.

In the third situation, you need to find the security hole in your server and fix it. You could have an open relay in your SMTP system. Another possibility is that a user account has been comprised. And the third unfortunate possibility is that one of your users may knowingly be a spammer. In any case, get the problem fixed first and then tell your web host. You should then automatically start dropping off of DNS blacklists, and everything will go back to normal.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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