What is the "Catch-All Alias"?
The catch-all alias is a special kind of forwarding alias. If you turn it on, it accepts mail sent to any address @spcm.org that isn't specifically listed in the "POP Mailboxes" or "Forwarding Aliases" sections.
For example, imagine someone sends an e-mail message to "email@example.com". If you have specified a catch-all alias, the message will be forwarded to the address you've chosen. But if you don't have a catch-all alias, the message will be rejected with an "unknown user" error.
The catch-all alias is a useful way to receive mail for many addresses without needing to add each address individually. It's also useful if you want to receive any misaddressed mail: for example, a catch-all alias would make sure that you receive a message accidentally sent to "firstname.lastname@example.org" instead of "email@example.com". However, you may also get more spam when using it, because some spammers send mail to random addresses in the hope that they will be delivered.
How do I create a catch-all POP mailbox?
To direct mail sent to any address @spcm.org into a POP mailbox, create a POP mailbox with an address like "firstname.lastname@example.org". Then change the catch-all alias to forward all mail to email@example.com.
To read the mail, you would then set up your mail program to read the "firstname.lastname@example.org" POP mailbox, or read email@example.com using our Webmail system.
How do I decide whether to use a POP mailbox or a forwarding alias?
The simplest choice is to use a forwarding alias. It allows you to forward incoming mail to a different address you already have, and you don't have set up any new accounts in your mail program.
However, forwarding aliases have three drawbacks. First of all, mail forwarded to another address will be mixed with other messages at that address. Secondly, if you reply to a message, the recipient will see the address of the other mailbox as the "From" address. Finally, you can't read forwarded mail using our Webmail system.
If these drawbacks bother you, you should use a POP mailbox instead. A POP mailbox stores your mail separately on our servers; your mail won't be mixed with mail at other addresses, and it can be read using our Webmail system. Your mail program (or Webmail) will also insert the correct spcm.org "From" address when you reply to a message.
How do I set up my mail program to read my e-mail?
You only need to set up your mail program if you're using a POP mailbox. (If you're using a forwarding alias, the mail will be forwarded directly to the destination address, which you can already read with your existing mail program settings.)
To learn how to set up your mail program to read mail in a POP mailbox, click "show mail program settings" next to the mailbox name after creating the mailbox.
How do I change a POP mailbox password?
There are two ways to change the password of a POP mailbox after it has been created.
If you're changing the password yourself, you can do so by clicking "Edit" next to the mailbox address in the list above.
If you're setting up mailboxes for other people, and you want them to be able to change their e-mail password without giving them the master account password, that's possible too. Just have your users login to the Webmail system at webmail.tigertech.net and click "Preferences", then follow the instructions.
Can I read my e-mail on the Web?
Yes. Just set up your mail address as a "POP mailbox" above, and you'll be able to use our Webmail system to read your mail. Webmail is particularly convenient if you don't want to hassle with setting up a mail program to read your POP mailbox, or if you're away from your normal computer — you can use it to read your mail from any computer that has a Web browser.
To read your mail with Webmail, just go to webmail.tigertech.net, then type your e-mail address and your password.
(If you have trouble, remember that Webmail only works with POP mailboxes, and not forwarding aliases. You have to make an address be a POP mailbox before you can read it with Webmail.)
What is the spam filter?
Our e-mail servers can reject messages that are likely to be unwanted junk mail, or "spam". So how does our mail server know which messages are spam? We use several different methods:
First of all, we block mail matching a list of egregious, abusive senders that we manually maintain. For example, if a spammer sends our users dozens of pieces of spam containing the same "From" address, subject, or Web page address, we'll add them to the list, blocking matching messages for a period of time. (We also use this method to reject a few common viruses that have consistent "From" addresses or subjects.) This step is applied to all messages, regardless of whether you have the spam filter turned on. The list is narrowly defined to include only extreme abusers, and should never incorrectly block any legitimate messages.
Next, we pass all incoming mail through an anti-virus scanner. Any messages containing viruses are blocked.
If you have the spam filter turned off, a message that passes these two checks will be delivered to your mailbox. If you do have the spam filter turned to "Low" or "High", the message is subjected to additional checks to see if it should be blocked.
The first spam filter check uses a form of greylisting. When our servers receive "suspicious" mail from a first-time sender, we send an error code meaning "we can't accept the mail now, but try again later". Spammers usually won't try again (they have special software that tries once and gives up), so you won't receive their spam. In the few cases where the "suspicious" mail wasn't spam, the other mail server is required by Internet standards to redeliver the message a few minutes later, and our servers will then accept it. The end result is that about 1% of your legitimate incoming mail will be delayed for a few minutes, but no legitimate mail will ever be lost.
If you have the spam filter set to "Low", the message is delivered if it passes the greylisting check. If the spam filter is set to "High", further checks are performed.
The first "High" spam filter check is to block mail with "From" addresses that aren't real e-mail addresses. This includes obviously incorrect addresses that don't contain an "@" sign, such as "Special Offer!", as well as addresses at domain names that don't actually exist. This filter blocks some spam, as spammers often use fake addresses.
Secondly, the "High" spam filter blocks messages if the sender address matches a manually maintained list of senders who have been reported as spammers. We add addresses to this list if someone sends spam to us, or if one of our customers reports that someone has sent them spam. This list is not as narrowly defined as the first "abusive sender" list mentioned; it can include run-of-the-mill spammers who have previously sent only one or two messages, for example.
Finally, the "High" spam filter rejects messages from computers appearing on certain "spam blocklists" that are run by other organizations. These blocklists include:
- Mail servers run by known spam companies;
- Mail servers that are misconfigured to allow spammers to send unlimited amounts of mail through them; and
- Computers that should not be directly sending mail without using their ISP's mail server (these are usually personal computers that have been hijacked by spammers).
The blocklists we currently use are:
We may change the blocklists from time to time as we attempt to keep ahead of spammers while ensuring that little to no legitimate mail is rejected.
If mail sent to you matches any of the "High" spam filter checks, the chances are good that it's unwanted spam. However, you should keep in mind that although it's probably spam, we can't guarantee it's always spam. For example, one of your friends may have misconfigured his mail program to use an invalid "From" address, or he may have signed up with an ISP that has misconfigured their servers to allow spammers to send messages through their network. For this reason, you may wish to turn the spam filter to "High" for any addresses you list in a public place where a spammer could find them (such as on your Web page), and turn the spam filter to "Low" for private addresses you give only to friends.
How can a friend of mine bypass the spam filter?
In the unlikely event our spam filter is blocking legitimate messages from one of your correspondents, but you don't wish to turn off the spam filter entirely, you can create a special forwarding alias, and tell the person to send to that address.
For example, if your normal address is firstname.lastname@example.org with the spam filter set to "High", you might create email@example.com — a private address that forwards to firstname.lastname@example.org but has the spam filter turned off. As long as you keep the extra address secret, spammers will not find out about it (obviously, don't put the secret address on a Web page or somewhere else that a spammer might find it).
Which spam filter setting matters for forwarding aliases?
If you use a forwarding alias to direct mail to a POP mailbox, the spam filter setting of the the forwarding alias is used when mail arrives for that address, and the POP mailbox spam filter setting is ignored.
For example, if you created a forwarding alias "email@example.com" that directed mail to a "firstname.lastname@example.org" POP mailbox, and someone sends mail to email@example.com, the setting that matters is the spam filter setting for firstname.lastname@example.org. The spam filter setting for email@example.com would not make any difference for that particular message (but would be used if the message were sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org, of course).
My mail program shows some headers that mention spam. Are these from the spam filter?
You're probably seeing headers with names like "X-Spam-Status", "X-Spam-Level", "X-Spam-Flag", and "X-Spam-Report". These headers are unrelated to the spam filter system that rejects messages — they're added by a separate scanner called SpamAssassin that we use.
Unlike the spam filter option, SpamAssassin never blocks any mail directly. It merely adds these headers to each message. The headers don't affect anything, and are usually invisible unless you show the "full Internet headers" in your mail program. The reason the headers exist is because if you're an advanced user, you can create rules in your mail program to sort or delete mail that receives high SpamAssassin scores.
For more information about SpamAssassin, including descriptions of what a high score actually means, see the SpamAssassin Web site.
What is the autoresponder?
The autoresponder sends an automatic reply whenever a message arrives for that address. You can use this feature to tell people you're on vacation until a certain date, for example.
You can enable the autoresponder for any address (except the Catch-All Alias) by adding or editing an address above, then clicking the "Enable Autoresponder" button.
The autoresponder does have certain restrictions. To minimize the possibility of bothering people, the autoresponder won't send a reply:
- If it's already sent a reply from you to the same address in the last week;
- If the original message appears to come from a mailing list or be automatically generated, such as a "bounce" message;
- If the original message appears to be spam, based on its SpamAssassin score; or
- If your address does not appear in the "To" or "CC" headers of the original message (this helps ensure that it won't mistakenly reply to automatically forwarded messages or mailing lists, but also means it won't reply to BCC messages).
How do I make mail for two different addresses go to the same POP mailbox?
You can do this by creating a normal POP mailbox for one of the addresses and a forwarding alias for the other address.
For example, to deliver mail for email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org into the same POP mailbox, you could create a POP mailbox for email@example.com, plus a forwarding alias for firstname.lastname@example.org that forwards to email@example.com.
(You could do it the other way around if you wanted, making firstname.lastname@example.org be the POP mailbox and email@example.com be the forwarding alias. It doesn't matter which is which, because the end result is the same: messages sent to either address end up in a single POP mailbox that you read, and only you will know which is the "real" one.)
How do I make mail for a POP mailbox forward to another address as well?
You can't do this directly, because a POP mailbox never forwards mail anywhere. However, you can get exactly the same effect by thinking about the problem slightly differently.
For example, people often say something like "we've created a POP mailbox for firstname.lastname@example.org that Roger normally reads, but any mail sent to email@example.com also needs to go to firstname.lastname@example.org."
In a situation like that, email@example.com should be a forwarding alias, not a POP mailbox. You can create POP mailboxes for firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com, then direct firstname.lastname@example.org mail to both email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
This works because a forwarding alias can forward mail to multiple addresses.
How do I create a mailing list?
Your account includes the powerful Mailman mailing list software, which can be used to create group discussion lists or announcement-only lists that other people can subscribe to.
Although setting up a Mailman mailing list has traditionally been a complicated task, we have a simple list creation screen that takes care of most of the details for you. Just click "Add Mailing List" (toward the top of this page) to learn more.
The number of mailing list messages you can send each month depends on your Web hosting plan. See our plan description page for details.
How do I create more than 250 POP mailboxes?
You can add as many POP mailboxes as you wish. If you use more than 250 POP mailboxes, an extra charge will apply; see your plan description on the Billing and Usage page for details.
How am I billed for e-mail usage?
In addition to any fee for extra POP mailboxes, e-mail data transfer (bandwidth) is counted toward your account's monthly data transfer allowance, just like Web site data transfer usage. However, in most cases, e-mail usage is a very small amount.
As an example: if you receive 100 average-sized text e-mail messages per day, that's less than 20 MB data transfer usage per month. Since even our basic account includes thousands of times that amount, it's unlikely to lead to extra charges.
However, if you regularly receive dozens of multi-megabyte file attachments by e-mail, the usage would be higher, and could cause extra charges if your total usage exceeds the amount normally included in your plan.
You can review your data transfer usage on the Billing and Usage page.
Do your servers support IMAP?
IMAP is a technical term that describes a relatively new method of connecting to a server and reading incoming mail. Some modern e-mail programs support IMAP as well as the older POP3 standard.
We recommend sticking to the more popular POP3 method, as you're likely to encounter fewer mail program problems. However, our servers do support IMAP for advanced users. The instructions above for POP mailboxes apply to IMAP mailboxes, too: when you create a "POP mailbox", the mailbox on our server can actually be read using either a POP3 or IMAP connection.
Are there any addresses @spcm.org I can't use?
You can use any address except "email@example.com". Internet standards reserve that address for special purposes, and any messages sent to it will be received by our technical staff, even if you have the "catch-all alias" turned on.