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Improve anti-virus and anti-spam in Plesk & cPanel

Recently, we have noticed an increase in unwanted emails attached to infected documents. These are things you can do on your Plesk and cPanel control panels

But I still reinstate that local protection on your computers and devices like smartphones are extremely important. Most malware remains inactive until users intervention. Thus, these protections are your last defense.

For Plesk, I suggest you buy the extension known as Premium anti-virus.  After you have obtained the addon license you need to install through your ‘updates & upgrades’. The add-on license is not too expensive and it is worthy especially you are in business and many mailboxes.

For cPanel, installing ClamAV is a must. However, if you are running a VPS with a Gb memory or below, you might want to think twice as ClamAV uses resources especially during updates ad you have plenty of emails.

You can enhance the ClamAV by using 3rd party rules, but again you will need memory. The next solution you might want to consider is the MailScanner from Configserver. I recommend the Front-End costs USD 55, one-tine fee for its license. Useful and it makes your jobs so much easier.

DKIM exempted you as Spammer?

A while ago someone came to me, asked if I can add DKIM so his company is not identified as a spammer. In a way, yes but in another way is a no. Why do I say so?

DKIM is easy to advertise in the zone records nowadays. Many popular control panels have such ability to publish whether your DNS is hosted on the same server or just copy them into your DNS hosted elsewhere. Whichever the case, DKIM allows you to sign an outgoing email is to match with the public key you have advertised in the public DNS, to tell others it is sent by real me.

DKIM is one of the best methods to identify email is spoofed, impersonating a person in the organization. Here’s the catch, only the authorized mail server signed that email. If you are using another email server signed with different keys, it will cause a failure if DKIM of your recipient mail server is validating DKIM.

2 things, if your recipient mail server is not checking on DKIM or no action is taken. The real sender email account has been compromised. For these cases, how can DKIM protect your organization?

Have you heard about Mailspring?

Malspring was formerly known as Nylas Mail, ok, I like the name ‘Mailspring’ better. Sound alien to you? Most I have spoken like if you are dealing email, you use Outlook. Apparently, there are many other mail applications, like Thunderbird is one of the popular too.

But why I want to mention Mailspring today? Read on to know why. If you have a big inbox and you are reading a lot of emails every day, you want something fast, does not hang when they are syncing with the mail server while downloading right?

Apparently, Mailspring is the fastest email application I have tried. Every click on Mailspring is instant. The RAM usage is so much lower. I don’t do fancy stuff on my emails so I can stick to the free version.  They have a PRO version, it is a monthly subscription type you can check the detail on their website https://getmailspring.com/pro.

However, there is one major problem for me otherwise it is perfect.  Mailspring does not have a ready-made addon like Thunderbird. I use the sort and alert plugins, they are important to me. Never know if I will need others but Thunderbird will give me that option.

ConfigServer MailScanner Front-End

Today, I want to mention a product or rather an installation for cPanel users is the ConfigServer MailScanner Front-End. Do not mix up with the Configserver MailScanner, even they are the same in the backend, MailScanner’s front end made your life easier and made anti-spam effectively. I recommend to cPanel users if they are looking for a cost-effective antispam solution.

MAILSCANNERMost anti-spam is not integrated. They use MX to help you filter spam emails. If it is injected to the mail server, it is local delivery though LMTP, this kind of solution is not effective. However, the integrated means you need resources, and there is on overhead especially to those have a high volume of email traffic.

MAILSCANNERIf anti-spam is your top priority, Configserver MailScanner with the Front End is worth considering. With my past experience, you are safe to quarantine emails with a score as low as 2. In addition, the front end gives you the ability on how you want to keep the quarantined emails.

Anti-spam is not 100%, users unwanted email considered to a user as spam might not be the case for antispam. Antispam a few rules and gives a score of each rule to add them up should the email’s score is more than the threshold. There are cases, spam or unwanted emails have slipped through your anti-spam, MailScanner Front End allows you to click on the button to learn, to learn and port as spam, or blacklist sender and its domain.

Configserver charges USD 55 onetime fee for MailScanner front end, I personally think it is affordable and cPanel users should install if they want effective antispam.

SPF, DKIM & DMARC

A few years back, I still telling many to use SPF to prevent outgoing email domain spoofing. For today, it is more than SPK record, DKIM & DMARC have become a must to prevent email domain spoofing and enhance your email delivery.

However, many still do not have these in their DNS records or just SPF. I personally think this is the moment to have all these 3 if you have not published them for your domain.

There are just too many spam, scam and phishing emails out there. Many email server administrators have tightened their email security, while this filtering rule is tighter, missing records on your domain DNS can be caused delivery failure if they are verifying, also receiving more spam emails.

Thus, it is important to implement all these three items. Modern control panels like cPanel or Plesk is just a few clicks away to seitch on SPF and DKIM. For DMARC, just Google and it is not difficult to have one too.

Cheap anti-spam?

Many have the impression that cheap things aren’t good. Yes but not exactly for all. For example, our cheap web hosting plans come with a good anti-spam filtering solution.

The anti-spam solution is as effective as you can find in the market available commercially in hundreds a month. Seriously speaking, many web hosting users are getting a lot of emails. Because they are paying little, so they might have an impression, anti-spam filtering is an addon and you have to pay more for anti-spam。

This is in the past, you are paying for anti-spam. Vastspace‘s web hosting is an exception, we feel that this is essential and it should be part of the web hosting. We have included anti-spam filtering. This is not the ordinary DNSBL anti-spam blackhole you find in most control panels.

anti-spam rulesWe use complicated anti-filtering with more than 10 rules to determine should the email classified as SPAM. We will quarantine SPAM emails in case you have decided to read it or it is a false positive. The anti-spam filtering is too effective with newsletters, with success rate up to 90%, they are quarantined if you choose to accept them in the future.

If nex time someone said to you that you have to pay for anti-spam. Try our web hosting, you will notice the difference.

Anti-Spam for everyone

On 1st Aug, we will launch an affordable anti-spam solution. Many have subscribed to a web hosting service, but their users have received many spam emails, using the DNSBL for anti-spam. On the market, anti-spam solutions are not cheap and most are per mailbox charge.

Per mailbox does make sense, it creates load on an anti-spam device if you have a lot of emails to filter. However, this is expensive for a small business. We understand the shortcoming. We launched 2 affordable anti-spam solutions to reduce unwanted emails. No more complicated billing and the price of a cheap hamburger.

just S$5 a month(30 mailboxes & below), you have a shared anti-spam solution to reduce unwanted emails effectively or a dedicated anti-spam gateways cluster if you are expecting a lot of emails and you have many mailboxes each month.

We are giving a 14-day trial, so you can experience how effective is the anti-spam. Speak to us, for details.

How Domain works for hosting?

How Domain works for hosting?

There 3 things for a domain to work with a web hosting. Many do not know the existence of DNS. DNS is actually important. It works as a directory to tell your visitor to go to the website or deliver your emails. Without DNS, your domain and web hosting will not work even they are valid or running.

Website hosting and email server are recognised and talked to each other using the IP address. An address numbers, e it an IPv6 or IPv4. Numbers are difficult to remember and it is not practical in the past using IPv4, thus there is such thing known as a virtual host, so many domains can use the same IP address.

This is where and how the DNS works. It helps to translate a name to numbers Like what I have said, DNS direct traffic for email or website. Without DNS, the name cannot be translated or resolved, everything will stop working on the internet.

Domain names registered with the registrars require 2 or more DNS. I personally prefer they are from different networks and GEO locations. So, if one DNS is down, the others are not affected should its network is having troubles. If you have 4 DNS but they are set up on the same network. It will defeat the purpose of having 2 or more DNS.

This article tells you DNS is relatively important but usually neglected. Hope it helps.

Before you email

Hope this article is useful to our readers. We discuss a few things you must do to ensure before sending emails to someone.

These are common mistakes from many. Even for the service providers, it is common to find these mistakes for those incoming emails.

I’m listing them here and you can check if you have done these or you should you quickly rectify them.

a. Find out your SMTP Mail server IP address, It is important to know which IP address your emails are sending out from.

b. Once you know the outbound IP address. Go to MXtoolbox https://mxtoolbox.com/blacklists.aspx to check if your outbound IP address is blacklisted by the popular RBLs.

Make sure your IP address is not blacklisted, otherwise your emails might be rejected at your recipients’ mail server.

c. Now, we make sure this outbound is listed in the DNS SPF record using this tool https://mxtoolbox.com/spf.aspx.

d. PTR record or rDNS on your outbound IP address. Using this https://mxtoolbox.com/ReverseLookup.aspx

e. You can enhance your email delivery by adding DKIM. DKIM is a kind of signature acts as the emails are sent by the sender via the permitted mail server. Most tools online are not friendly for the layman. Just write to our support team with the email address you want to check, our engineers will find out for you.

f. DMARC – This is yet widely practised and this will not work if your recipient’s mail server does not do a DMARC check. DMARC prevents spoofing and phishing like you have SPF, DKIM or both. DMARC does a bit more, like sending reports and action published in the DMARC record.

We encourage domain to publish DMARC and the above to protect your business and brand.

SmarterTools has no more Bundle Partnership

SmarterTools has no more Bundle Partnership

We wanted to let you know about some upcoming changes to the partnerships available from SmarterTools.

Beginning on July 1st, we will no longer be offering the Bundle Partnership. However, the Lease – Reseller and standard Reseller Partnerships will not be affected.

Existing Bundle Partners have the ability to issue Bundles until July 1st, and all Bundles issued prior to July 1st will be able to be activated as normal, even after the July 1st date.

Over the years, we’ve done our best to provide hosting providers and ISPs with the ability to provide $900 of free software that can be used as a sales incentive for their own products and services. In addition, making that software available offered a potential revenue source for partners as there was an established customer base for selling or leasing additional SmarterTools licensing, product upgrades, Maintenance and Support renewals and reinstatements, etc.

The Bundle Partnership was extremely successful but also came at a high cost. We constantly needed to maintain and monitor the issuance of Bundles to ensure that individual customers weren’t receiving multiple Bundles, that Bundles weren’t being provided for software upgrades, etc. We also tracked activations, free license conversions, and revenue generated from each Bundle Partner. As a result of all this maintenance and the associated costs in time and development hours, we have decided to discontinue this particular program and instead allocate resources to product development, quality control and other products and services coming in the near future.

As stated, we have no intentions to modify our Lease – Reseller and Reseller Partnerships. That said, as partnership renewals are coming up in June, it was important for us to notify partners early so that Bundle Partners have time to modify their automated order processing, etc. to account for the end of the Bundle program.

For those on bundle package and wish to renew their license protection can approach us for additional discount.