Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Ever sent email to someone and it ended up in their SPAM filter?  You know it's not SPAM (not the luncheon meat but unsolicited electronic mail) because you wrote it, but it ended up in the filter anyway.  There's a very specific reason why this happened and it has everything to do with your Internet Protocol (IP) address.

In order to access the Internet, you have to be a part of it.  Your Internet Service Provider assigns you an address much like the Post Office.  Some addresses are dynamic (they change from time to time) and some are static (never changes).  When you transmit data, such as an email, your IP address is attached to that data.  When it hits Internet routers, it reports where the data came from, what's in it and where it's going.

If you ever catch a computer virus or malware, one of the symptoms may be to turn your computer to what we call a zombie.

Zombies just shoot off SPAM.  And guess what's paying attention to all that SPAM now being sent with your IP address: Internet routers.  After a while, you end up getting blacklisted.  The Internet router tells all the other Internet routers on you and you become an Internet pariah.

So what do you do now?  Well, you could just ignore it.  If you're using web based email you wouldn't even notice.  But I digress, because I wouldn't have gone through the trouble of a long and elaborate blog entry just to tell you to ignore your problems.

Step 1: Zombie Killing

Put down the pitchfork and torch.  What you need is an antivirus and antispyware solution.  There's a few available for free online.  I'd recommend a combination of the two.

Step 2: Checking the Blacklist

You can actually check to see if your blacklisted by going here.  If you find that you are you're going to have to apply to every site you are blacklisted on to be removed from the list.

Haha!  Safe.
If you've followed both steps and found you were safe then just consider all this preventative maintenance. ;)

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