Setting up email forwards in your web hosting account is beneficial as you can keep using your existing email account, but also have the luxury of using a personalized email address for your website/business (i.e. [email protected] -> [email protected]). This however presents a problem if your customized email address receives a lot of Spam.
External email providers such as Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc. have some of the best Spam filtering in the world. But if you're forwarding all email from your domain to one of these external services it appears to their filters that you're sending spam.
For example, if I'm forwarding [email protected] to [email protected] and I'm getting spam, Gmail begins to see ryangray.com as a spammer because it's routing directly from my domain (i.e. Spammer -> ryangray.com -> gmail.com).
This can lead to external providers such as Gmail marking all emails that are being forwarded as Spam and even potential blacklisting a domain entirely. To prevent this, you should remove as much Spam as possible before it forwards.
This can be done by going to cPanel -> Spam Filters:
This brings up Apache SpamAssassin™ which is enabled by default on all new cPanel accounts created at NameHero.
Despite being enabled by default, it only identifies the Spam emails by placing **SPAM** in the subject line, it doesn't discard them.
Therefore we need to adjust the rules to handle the spam appropriately.
There are two options:
Move New Spam to a Separate Folder (Spam Box)
Automatically Delete New Spam (Auto-Delete)
The first option will automatically send the spam emails to a unique Spam folder. This way you still get the email, but it's isolated from your other legitimate emails.
The problem you run into here is that folder (or box) will fill up rather quickly and chew away at the disk space on your account.
For me personally, I don't want to have to worry about checking something else and keeping it clean, hence I choose the second option to automatically delete them.
Regardless which option you decide is best for you, click on it to toggle it on:
Once the system know hows to handle the emails marked as **SPAM** it will handle them accordingly.
The next option you should be aware of is what it considers Spam and what is considers legitimate email.
This is adjusted by using the Spam Threshold Score:
By default the score is set to 5. The lower the score, the more conservative the setting.
As noted above, a score of 1 will have many false positives.
I personally recommend starting at 5 and then increasing to decreasing depending on how well it works.
On some of my biggest offending email addresses I will go down to 4 but normally not lower than that.
Finally, since we told the system to auto-delete, I like to whitelist important email addresses and domains to make sure I don't miss any.
You can do this by clicking on the Show Additional Configurations option:
Inside of here you have the option to whitelist and blacklist.
Apache Spam Assassin will simply ignore emails on the whitelist and completely block emails on the blacklist.
An example whitelist may look like this:
Notice how using an asterisk * as a wildcard so it will match any email on a specific domain. This is good for domains such as NameHero where we send emails from multiple addresses (i.e. contact, support, sales, etc.)
In addition, if you subscribe to emails from retailers, it maybe important to add them, so they don't get lost in a filter (i.e. target.com).
Blacklisting is good if you're constantly receiving Spam email from a specific domain (or if you're trying to block an ex partner).
For example, one of my email addresses gets a ton of Spam from qq.com. Therefore we can assign it to the blacklist:
Doing both of these options allows me to keep a nice clean email inbox without a bunch of garbage I don't want to read.
You also have the option to make some custom rules, called Calculated Spam Score Settings, which will match specific types of content, but I don't really see the need unless you're trying to get very specific.
With Spam filtering in place on your email forwards, you'll put an end to accidentally being place on a blacklist or RBL and ensure your emails are being delivered seamlessly.
How To Filter Spam On An Email Forward
I've filmed a tutorial on our Official NameHero YouTube Channel to show you this process from start to finish: