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Don't Lose Out: Check Your Email Reputation

Dan received the CompTIA IT Operations Specialist (cert.) in 2010 and worked in the computer repair/networking industry for several years.

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Establishing trust with your blog readers is important. It builds relationships and urges customers to return for future business.

The internet is loaded with services for carrying out business-related tasks. Moreover, checks are put into place to sort out safe from unsafe options. Computer servers — devices configured to provide for connected computers — are programmed to filter inbound traffic for general safety.

This is especially true as it pertains to email servers. In a well-secured recipient server, settings are placed to ensure inbound mail is not malicious. Be sure that your email can traverse security and be delivered where intended.

What Happens when Sending Email?

Ideally, confidence should be high that the email will be delivered. If a recipient server flags inbound email as spam — unsolicited or suspicious — it will end up in a spam folder. The chances of it being opened or read at that point are slim. In a worst-case scenario, an email will be outright blocked by a recipient server and not delivered.

Checking your email reputation score helps determine the probability of delivery. Reputation checking is a task handled well by IT service providers, but a DIY approach can work. There are tutorials on the internet that can help although I've included some tips below.

Security Nuts and Bolts

Recipient email servers can get bombarded with different kinds of unsolicited traffic. Technology has been implemented to help, however. Resources are preserved and protected against cybercriminals — the folks using computers to commit crimes.

DMARC is the open standard used for this purpose and is implemented in email services as well as in customized alternatives. Depending on the outcome of inbound-server security conditions, one of three different actions will occur when intercepting an email — it will be flagged as quarantine, reject or protect.

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Quarantined mail is typically sent to a spam folder. Rejected mail is not accepted — the sender address is subsequently added to a reject list. Protected mail is forwarded to the inbox of the recipient. The reputation of an email address should be checked to ensure deliverables pass these checks.

How to Do It

Checking the reputation of an email address without specialized software is possible, although difficult. Email servers would have to be parsed (ideally from consolidated email logs) and monitoring would need to be done in which discovered bad actors are blacklisted.

Blocking countries doesn't work anymore because cybercriminals are now using infrastructure in the United States to send emails. Amazon email services, for example, are taken advantage of for this purpose.

Valimail, a service that provides reputation checking, is an easier way to go. It's a streamlined, quick and cost-effective alternative to using the other method. Self-managing IT infrastructure can be tempting because of its reduced costs. There's generally a trade-off between saved money and stress, however.

Several big companies use this type of service as well. It's a tried and true method.

Be Sure Your Email Gets Delivered

When sending emails, you'll want to be sure they're efficiently delivered. Technology is in place to ensure this can happen. There's no practical reason not to use it.

Trust is maintained when email-check services are used and steps are taken to improve reputation. When a promise to deliver email is kept it's a win-win.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2022 Dan Martino

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