Does the title page screenshot look familiar to you?
Has, or is your inbox full of Mail Delivery Errors or Failure Notices that you have no idea where they came from?
Last month I noticed a flurry of strange activity in my inbox. It looked something like this:
Knowing that something was up, I immediately called my internet service provider (ISP) to find out what was going on.
At first I thought my account had been hacked. However, with the level of security that we employ at Ascend, I found that hard to believe; possible, but not probable. What they went on to explain to me was at first confusing, then frustrating, then what I considered a challenge to solve, or at least fight against.
What I Learned
Thankfully, my ISP quickly reassured me that my account was not hacked. I learned that day that what was happening to me is called email ‘Spoofing‘ and is apparently a big business for unethical spammers across the globe. Something that unfortunately happens to honest and unsuspecting business owners and organizations everyday.
Email Spoofing is when someone sends out an email that appears to be from you and/or your organization, but it’s really not.
How it Works
If you want a technical definition, contact your IT department or ISP. If you want a bottom-line common sense illustration and solution, you’re reading the right article.
How it works is like this, picture yourself mailing a letter and filling out the front of the envelop. You put the recipients address middle-center, the stamp top-right, and your return address in the top-left corner of the envelop. Email spoofing is when someone else writes the letter, fills out the envelop, but then writes in your name and contact info in the top-left corner. Dirty, huh?
In the digital world, it works the same way. Behind the scenes, computers see the mailing address the email is going to, the stamp of approval that this email is following the basic protocols to send, and a digital return address label tied to your organizations domain name (www.YourDomainName.com).
Bottom-line: Spoofers send emails that look like they are coming from you and/or your organization by digitally signing your name in the top-left hand corner of the digital envelop via your domain name. They are not actually accessing your account, hacking your systems, or even in your building- they are simply appearing to be you to outsiders.
It’s completely false representation and wrong, but to date there is no perfect defense against it. However, keep reading and I will share with you a simple trick that you or your IT department can employ to stop the novice and intermediate ‘Spoofers’ out there and help clean up your inbox, and reputation for FREE!
Why Would Someone Do This?
While there are many reasons why someone would do this to you, just like most areas of life, their empty motives typically boil down to two things- money and pride.
Some people just want to be a punk and cause chaos like most 15 year old hackers who need direction and focus. The majority though just want money. They use your hard earned reputation to trick people to open “your” email and then sell them their products, steal peoples private information, and infect peoples devices with viruses. Sad, but true.
A Simple Way to Stop This Easily, and for FREE!
So how do we stop email Spoofing? Well, there is no full proof way to stop expert Spoofers… yet.
In the meantime though, here’s how you stop the majority of the low-intermediate level ones:
- You call your IT department or ISP
- Tell them to change your DNS SPF records. According to CDE Marketing and GoDaddy, SPF records are:
A Sender Policy Framework (SPF) record is a type of TXT record that lets you explicitly define the outgoing mail servers that can send email from your domain name. You can use them to prevent spam. When incoming mail servers receive email messages from your domain name, they compare the SPF record to the outgoing mail server information. If the information doesn’t match, they identify the email message as unauthorized.
That’s it; easy, right?!
By simply taking the above, simple action, you stop the majority of Spoofers dead in their tracks. Congrats! 🙂
Hope this article helps you to get less spam mail, protect your reputation, and have more time to focus on what you need to- your business and your Life!
Please feel free to re-post this article or forward it to your friends, colleagues, and family as you see fit.
Thanks for spending part of your day with me today and look forward to spending more time together with you in the days, weeks, and months to come!
Helping You Ascend,
Scripture to Consider:
- Proverbs 22:1
- Ecclesiastes 7:1
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