Setting your Default Address
The default box is a primary source of spam. This is because this is address collects all messages that are unroutable at your domain. Unroutable mail is defined as e-mail addresses that do not exist as a POP account or a forwarder on your account. Basically this means that email@example.com will arrive at this address. The best solution is to set the default box to :fail: so that messages are rejected and bounced back.
Differences between :fail: and :blackhole:
Setting specific forwarders to an e-mail address
The terms :fail: and :blackhole: have special meaning in your control panel. This means that they must be typed or copied exactly for them to work correctly. :fail: will reject any message as soon as it reaches the mail server. Because the mail server is configured to read :fail: as a fail attempt, the e-mail is rejected and sent back to the user, without ever reading the message. This saves cpu consumption on the server, because the message is never read or parsed. Further, because the message is properly rejected, we are better able to detect the rejected recipient message and block potential spammer IPs. Using :blackhole:, the message is accepted for delivery. However, instead of being delivered to a mailbox, the message is sent to a blackhole. However, the mail server reads this as accepting the message and the message is fully read and parsed, using cpu cycles, and then thrown away. If you want to disable your default box, please use :fail:
If you have several e-mail addresses you receive legitimate e-mail for and have been using the default box to catch these messages, it may be better if you instead setup forwarders to do this work for you. By using a forwarder you can single out specific e-mail addresses you want to receive e-mail at, and only those messages will be sent to you. If you currently have your default box set to forward to an e-mail address, you would simply setup forwarders for specific e-mail addresses and forward e-mail from those addresses to your real e-mail address, the one you have set for your default box. If you don't have your default address set to forward to an e-mail addresses, you will need to create a POP account and forward those e-mail addresses to that POP account. I will detail both ways below.
Why is forwarding your default address to an off-site e-mail address a bad idea
Forwarding your unroutable mail to an off-site e-mail address is generally a bad idea because of the sheer volume of e-mail this address will produce. This means that everytime an unroutable address receives a message at your domain, an SMTP connection must be opened with the remote mail server. Any time you have to open a TCP/IP connection causes several cpu cycles to negotiate the connection and send the data. This becomes increasingly cumbersome when the messages you are sending are likely spam and are not very relevant. Further, some remote mail servers will view these spam messages as spam originating from our server and may be forced to blacklist our server. It is difficult, if not impossible, for a 3rd party mail server to realize that the message did not originate from our server. Because the message was sent from our server, it does look like the spam message was sent from our server, when really it did not originate at our server. You should also be extremely careful when marking messages as spam messages if you are using a 3rd party e-mail service and forwarding your mail from your domain name to this service. Reporting those spam messages may lead to our server being blacklisted and your forwarders will no longer forward.
For this guide, I am using the following:
Default Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Now, say that I want to receive legitimate e-mail from the addresses at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org. I would want to setup these addresses to forward to email@example.com
After I have setup all of the forwarders, my main forwarder page will show
Now I need to go back and change the default box for my account to :fail: so that no other messages reach me.
Now I am all set. I will only receive messages from my domain, to my hotmail account if the e-mail address is specifically, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
Setting up specific forwarders and setting up a POP account
For this example, I am wanting to receive e-mails from specific accounts, but I will have to create a POP account to forward those e-mails to. For this guide I will be using this information:
My Account Username: amsnac
Default Address: amsnac
If you are using this setup for your domain, you may be familiar with the settings you are using in your e-mail client or accessing the e-mail through webmail. This information will change and I will discuss this later in this portion of the guide.
Again, lets assume that I want to receive e-mail at my domain that is specifically addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com.
The first step I will need to do, is create the POP account which will act as a collector. This POP account will collect e-mails for all of the above e-mail addresses. To simplify the process, I am going to pick one of those addresses to act as my collector. Doing this means that I will not have to create a separate forwarder for that e-mail address. For this instance, I will create a POP account, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Now with this POP account created, any messages that are addressed to email@example.com will arrive at this mailbox. However, I am also wanting to receive messages that are sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, or firstname.lastname@example.org, so I will setup specific forwarders for those addresses, to go to email@example.com.
PLEASE NOTE: The quota I set for this POP account was 10MB. If you are intending to use only webmail to access the POP account or do not intend to delete the messages from the server with your e-mail client, then you may want to raise this limit or disable it entirely. Please be aware that if you choose to leave the messages on the server, they will take up space on your account. If you do set a quota and do not delete the messages from the server, whether using webmail or some other means, once the mailbox has reached this limit, the mailbox will no longer be able to receive messages.
I will do this for all of the e-mail addresses I want to receive e-mail from.
Now messages sent to firstname.lastname@example.org will arrive directly to the email@example.com mailbox, and messages sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, and firstname.lastname@example.org will be forwarded to email@example.com, so they will all arrive at the same mailbox.
Now I will need to go back and set my default box to :fail: other unroutable messages.
The next step is to setup your e-mail client to download messages from this POP account. If I am just going to use webmail to read my messages, I can go to:
I will be prompted for a username and password, I would enter:
PLEASE NOTE: The username for the POP account is the complete e-mail address. In my case, the complete e-mail address is the POP account that I created or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To setup Outlook Express to check this account, you must first remove the account from your Outlook Express account list. To do this, go to Tools -> Accounts.... You should see a dialog box pop up similar to:
Highlight the account that you want to remove, and click on Remove.
Now you want to create a new e-mail account, so click on Add and select Mail.... Proceed through the wizard just as you normally would. When you come to a screen asking for an e-mail address, enter the POP account that you created in your control panel, or in my case email@example.com.
Then when you see a screen asking for a username and password. Enter the complete e-mail address and the password you chose when creating the POP account in your control panel.
When these steps are completed, you will have everything setup. You will only receive e-mail for the addresses you are forwarding to your POP account and e-mails that are sent directly to your POP account. Any other e-mail, will be rejected and returned to the sender.
Unfortunately, I am not able to show how to set this up for every e-mail client. You should be able to duplicate these steps in whatever e-mail client you are using.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to use our contact form to reach our support staff.