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Newsletter 81: Spam traps and Email Delivery Issues. July 2011


The world of Email is now filled with many land mines that can directly impact your organization’s ability to reliably send emails out. One of those land mines is the Anti-spam companies’ new tactic called a Spam Trap.

Spam Trap is an email address such as that, if you send an email to that address and it is picked up and processed, your organization domain name could be instantly listed as a spammer and blacklisted by many ISP’s without any notification.

It’s easier than you think to have almost anybody in your organization accidently send an email to a Spam Trap address. Many groups and organizations have a simple form that asks for your email address to be included in an email distribution group. If someone were to fill out a form with an email address of and later an email is sent to that address, your entire domain may be marked as email spammer or blacklisted by various anti-spam companies that many email systems subscribe to as a way to identify spammers.

There are many spam trap addresses, and anti-spam companies may even take a once valid email address like or just “aged” email addresses that are now expired and use them as spam traps.

Although this does help to identify spammers, spam traps can easily incorrectly identify ethical companies and organizations as spammers if they have large email distribution lists and accidently send a single email to an address that has been configured as a Spam Trap. Once you get caught by a spam trap, your domain IP is then shared with a collaborative of anti-spam companies that provides lists of spammers for various email firewall devices. You are never notified officially that your domain has been identified as a spammer, and email delivery may be blocked for various ISP’s but not others, so detection is difficult. Most of the spam traps do have a time out feature so that if you are blocked, it will unblock you at some point later.

For several years, our download and opt-in email registration form allowed people to enter email addresses without verification. When we recently tried to switch our email newsletter distribution to a very large email distribution company that sends newsletters, they indicated our list had spam trap addresses in it and they could not send newsletters to our email list fearing they too would be blocked by ISP and defined as a spammer. We are looking now at email list cleaning services and other options to effectively deliver newsletters to users who have opted-in in the past. We are also changing our registration options to validate email addresses to prevent spam trap addresses from creeping into our newsletter distribution lists in the future.

Since IT departments are often responsible for email delivery, knowing current technologies and strategies with the ever-changing anti-spam tactics is helpful if you want to maximize your email delivery rates. Just because you could send an email to a user on Tuesday does not mean that you will be able to send that same user an email on Thursday!


Web+Center Version 7.0 Production – Upgrades and downloads now available 


The Web+Center Version 7.0 has been production now for several months with many users already upgrading. It can be downloaded from our website or tested on-line from various links from the ISS Home Page.

For existing users wishing to upgrade, please review the various upgrades options listed below. To contact Internet Software for the upgrade script, please email ISS at: or contact by phone at (650) 949-0942 or toll free (888) 949-0942 (9-5 PM Pacific Standard Time). A database upgrade script and upgrade instructions will be emailed to you.

Upgrading Policies and Costs

  • Licensed Users with current annual support/upgrade contracts – FREE upgrade script available – Contact ISS to obtain instructions and scripts.
  • Licensed Users without current annual support/upgrade contracts – Annual support contracts for your licensed number of technicians must be renewed first – Contact ISS for support renewals options and pricing.
  • Free 2 Tech or 3 Tech Web+Center Users in any previous versions 5 or 6 must purchase a minimum of 3 tech licenses ($300) and the annual support ($100) to obtain the scripts necessary to upgrade your Web+Center data to version 7.0 from a previous version.
  • New installs (without database upgrades) of Version 7.0 for 2 techs are FREE.