IT people are (by and large) a cautious group, and for good reason. Even the slightest change or hiccup and the wrath of the entire executive team and user community will come down on them. While completely unfair this is the world we live in.
Unfortunately this has created an environment where IT people have simply become (for lack of a better word) afraid to take chances, choosing instead to continue with the tried and true.
Think about it - when was the last time your IT group really went out on a limb with a new solution that they just knew would help the company despite the fact it was “new” or “different”.
Go ahead, we'll give you a minute to think about it.
Not for quite some time - if ever, right? This is dangerous, and problematic. This crisis means “tried and true” rules the day - despite the game-changing (yet different) technology solutions now available.
In the world of IT different = risk + challenge = bad. But in the world of reality, this is simply not true. "New" doesn't have to be a loaded term, it can just mean new. "New" can actually be a good thing (gasp) - and can breath new life into a department that is already stressed to its limits.
If there are 2 things IT has never had enough of its time and money. Taking intelligent risks on new technologies can mean more of both of those things - time back for your team and money back into your budget.
The 800 pound gorilla here is the content filter. Its a technology based on keeping the bad guys out and was created during a time when there were fewer bad guys than good - so we can follow the train of logic. But today the bad far outweighs the good and the conversation needs to be reversed.
All of our lives (IT personnel included) would be far easier if we focused on the good: let just the good people in and don't worry about the bad.
Why have to deal with 17 layers of protections and which one falsely identified the message as spam this time? Why not let users decide for themselves who to allow in (or not allow) and free up some valuable IT time for other, more important things?
Oh, that’s right, this is new and new is bad. And don’t forget, our users couldn’t possibly handle something like this (despite the fact they are already comfortable with places like FaceBook and LinkedIn which do the same thing). Come on – take a chance! Break the shackles of fear and complacency – there’s a brave new world of technology ready to make a difference for you and your users if you’re ready to give it a try. And what better place to start than here with anti-spam, and what better time to start than now?
Remember - if you send us an idea for a topic you'd like us to cover here, and we post an entry on it - we'll send you a super sweet Revolutionary Mail Enhancement t-shirt FREE. It will enhance your life. Make one yours today by sending us your topic idea using the feedback box to the left.
Introducing Groove and Dude in: Where are Your Totally Awesome Emails Going?
Written by Save the Mail!
Wednesday, 10 March 2010 17:56
In our first ever installment of Groove and Dude, Groove asks the age old question: why do totally awesome emails get blocked by those gnarly content filters?
When you can't get that totally righteous recipe for Chicken from your best mate, it might be time to consider a different approach to your email security solution.
Email end-users are tired of bugging an IT person for help finding that latest missing email (think email false positives) – but we think you brave email users are more than capable of handling your email yourself.
You seem to manage just fine with your Facebook and LinkedIn accounts – deciding without the help of an IT person who you’d like to communicate with. And while we may occasionally hear from people we don't want to, none of us have managed to take the system down yet.
So Dude, why can’t people have the same ability with email? (Video created using the very fun Xtranormal program)
Hey its that time of the week again! If you're up for the challenge, tell us what you think about whats going on in the world of email and we will hook you up with one of our Revolutionary Mail Enhancement t-shirts (its what we serve up daily here at Save the Mail - pun totally intended).
Listen up all you cool kids! The highly coveted Revolutionary Mail Enhancement t-shirts have returned, and we want to make one yours.
This t-shirt will tell the world you don't mess around with your mail and you're ready for the revolution (get ready to pick-up your morning cup of coffee in this and you are guaranteed one new friend daily, and yes - we guarantee it!).
This great conversation starter is yours when you share an idea for what you'd like to see Save the Mail talking about: if we post on it, we'll ship you one of these free.
Get started using the handy feedback box on the left!
To anyone not in the loop, let’s summarize: Barracuda’s antispam appliance (spam assassin) is blocking certain legitimate safe domains that are sending email to receivers behind a barracuda box. The autokickback messages senders have been receiving, from this barracuda box, basically say that their IT administrator needs to register their domain at EmailReg for $20 per domain per year. IT admins of course are objecting to this, but don’t really have a choice because the Barracuda box will keep blocking their sender’s emails from their domain. So cough up $20.
Now, allegations are swirling that this is – in some form or another – blackmail because of a number of connections that have been dug up between EmailReg and Barracuda. EmailReg is a not-for-profit safe domain list. Barracuda has donated $$ and boxes to EmailReg, and says so, on their web site. http://www.barracudacentral.org/about/emailreg People that have paid that $20 to EmailReg are thinking that they are having to pay because barracuda is intentionally blocking them.
However … EmailReg has this posted on their website: http://www.emailreg.org/index.cgi?p=news&id=4
As fun as it would be if all of the conspiracy theorists were right on this, it looks like there really is no funny business happening here. Yes, Barracuda has given money to EmailReg, but EmailReg is trying to fix the spam problem everyone is facing – albeit in a bit of a convoluted way (a whitelist you have to pay to get on? my mind is flooded with a hundred ways to work around this or simply abuse it).
The take-away here though: Barracuda is not winning the battle with spam, and is being forced to look elsewhere for a solution. Spam is getting worse every day and no matter what filtering technology you are using, IT DOES NOT WORK. Barracuda is taking a stance and supporting EmailReg, most likely to, in the future, put another bandaid on the problem of spam and charge their users accordingly. Gotta pay for that large marketing budget, right?
But instead of forcing the good guys to cough up money to solve the spam problem, isn’t there a better way? We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: SPF, DKIM and challenge response are the way to go when attacking the core problems we’re facing here. Let’s demand solutions that don’t involve a $20 credit card charge and that sinking feeling that you really don’t know where your money is going.
Whspr! is a cool new web app, which was released in January 09, that enables you to safely receive email from a real person without revealing your email address. The initial contact you have with someone who is anonymous is tricky. You don’t want to just throw your email address up on some website for any web crawler to pick up. This is a sure way to start receiving loads of spam almost immediately. Whspr! is a safe way for that anonymous person to contact you. Once this relationship has been setup you can reveal your email to that person.
A new report from MessageLabs holds more bad news for legitimate email marketers: spam levels are now about the 85% mark. This is a 19-month high and not good news for email marketers. The higher the spam levels go the more resistant consumers are to opening any type of advertising message. (Full story: http://www.bizreport.com/2009/04/messagelabs_spam_reaches_19_month_high.html)