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Author Topic: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted  (Read 19637 times)

amy

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Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« on: January 07, 2006, 12:12:08 PM »
Hi Everyone,

I'm looking at a new product we can offer our customer base, however before we proceed, I'd like some volunteers to test this service and offer their feedback. 

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SPAM is an epidemic that has unfortunately not shown any sign of going away despite the efforts of ISPs, software developers, and even the legal system. However, Gafana has integrated a system that will ensure you will never receive SPAM again using our authorization and verification system. The process is simple; you tell Gafana who you want to receive emails from. If somebody that is not on your authorized list sends you and email, they will immediately receive a response from Gafana asking them to simply verify that they are an actual person trying to send you an email. After this, they will be added to your authorized list and their email will go directly to your inbox and all future emails from this person will go directly to your inbox without any further verification. Only unauthorized people sending you emails have to do this and for those not authorized, they only have to complete the verification process once which takes less than a minute to complete. Since all SPAM is sent from automated machines which are incapable of completing the verification process, this is 100% effective in blocking SPAM.

In addition to automatically blocking all SPAM, you can also manually add people's email address to your blocked list. Any email received from a person that is on your blocked list will be deleted and you will never see it. This is great if you are receiving emails from a person that you do not want to speak with or if you are being harrassed by someone.

The service includes:

100% Accurate Spam Blocking
Virus Protection
Content Filtering
Alerts and Notifications
POP3 Email Access
Web-Based Email Access
Email Backup and Recovery
Live Address Book
Keeping Your Email Address
Online Calendar
Multi-Address Accounts

You can sign up for a free 30 day trial at https://www.gafana.com/signup.php?ref=lunarpages

Once you have done this, please PM me with the email address you used to sign up with, and we will make this a paid version account on Gafana.

Gabriel from Gafana will also participate in this thread, to help us answer any questions and address your feedback.

If this service is as effective as we anticipate, we will be offering this for FREE to all of our customers.

Thanks for volunteering to help out!

:D
« Last Edit: January 11, 2006, 02:15:22 PM by amy »

Offline stapel

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2006, 12:36:16 PM »
This "Gafana" service sounds like a nice idea, but if you block access to any e-mail address you don't recognize, how will you ever communicate with anyone new?

I'll use my experience as an example: I'll have a visitor (usually on Earthlink) fill out my feedback form with some question he's got. The form will send me the question and send him an auto-reply "Thank you" receipt. But since we've never corresponded before, he doesn't know my e-mail address, so I'm not on his "approved" list, and the receipt bounces back. Then I have to take the time to follow the "please approve me so I can reply to you" process, and then wait to hear if I've been approved -- or else keep re-sending my replies until my message finally makes it through. Or if that takes too long, I may just give up. My site is non-commercial, so it's not like I've lost money if I can't get through.

Now think about your site: Do you have an online business with lots of new prospects? Do you receive many queries regarding your site?

And ask yourself: Do you want to put every potential customer through the process of having to ask permission and approval first, before they get to speak with you? How likely are your visitors to wait for permission, or will they just move on to your competitor?

Don't get me wrong: spam is a big problem, and I hope they're digging newer, lower, hotter levels of hell for whoever thought of spoofing the "From:" field in e-mails. But I don't think this method is the solution to the problem.

Just my $0.02....

Eliz.

P.S. I use MailWasher to screen my messages, and have been quite pleased with this software.

Offline gafana

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2006, 12:37:22 PM »
Hello Everyone!

My name is Gabriel Afana and I am the president of Gafana.com  I am here to answer any questions you may have about this service or if you need any help setting it up.  

If you need anything, let me know!  Thanks.

Gabriel Afana

amy

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2006, 12:40:58 PM »
Hi Eliz,

This is why before offering it as a solution we are testing it.  You can add contacts so they don't need to be verified at all.

I think it's important to become a tester before passing judgment.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2006, 12:42:41 PM by amy »

Offline stapel

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2006, 12:44:21 PM »
Quote from: amy
You can add contacts so they don't need to be verified at all.

But how can one know in advance who is going to visit one's site, or what their e-mail addresses are going to be, in order to do this pre-approval?

Thank you.

Eliz.

Offline SOU610

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2006, 12:44:54 PM »
stapel's situation is what's making me shy away from volunteering.  We're a museum so almost every email is from a new person.

Here's a theoretical question.  If the person sending me an email also has gafana or something similar, will the requests get stuck in a non-stop do-loop?  The original recepient's server would send a verification request email before delivery.  But the originator's server would block the verification request until it's own verification request email is answered. However the original recepient's server would request a verification of the verification, ad infinitum.

While I'm suppose gafana's code would allow gafana verification requests through, if somebody else develops a similar program hilarity could ensue as servers play verification request ping pong.

amy

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2006, 12:51:33 PM »
I think the solution is only applying Gafana to private addresses and not applying it to sales/info etc type addies so the public can access this.  Also if it's a genuine inquiry, you'd assume they would take the time to verify.

It's not done on a DNS level so you can choose which addies on the domain are added.

Offline gafana

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2006, 01:04:53 PM »
This is in response to the post by stapel.

You make very good points.  However I would like to clarify a few things.  

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if you block access to any e-mail address you don't recognize, how will you ever communicate with anyone new?

For those that you do speak with, you can add them to your verified list ahead of time.  When they send you an email, their email will go straight through.  For those that you do not know, they will be put into an Unverified email folder.  You can still view this folder and read all the emails, however they are "quarantined" in a sense until either they verify themselves or you see their email and verify them.

In addition to this, we provide SMTP service so when you send emails, the recipient is automatically added to your verified list so when they respond, it goes directly into your inbox without any delays.  



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...and then wait to hear if I've been approved -- or else keep re-sending my replies until my message finally makes it through

The Gafana process is instant.  You click the link, enter the code and your email immediately gets sent (and it will tell you right there on the screen).



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Now think about your site: Do you have an online business with lots of new prospects? Do you receive many queries regarding your site?

I use this for Gafana and never have a problem.  Most people that are competent enough to send an email are competent enough to perform the verification.  One of our customer's is a 74 year old man.  He is a violinist and still performs for weddings, receptions, business events...etc.  He is not very computer-savvy, but has praised Gafana for being so simple and effective.  He has not experienced any problems with his prospects getting in contact with him, and even his friends (similar age) have no problem performing the verification.  The point is, that although your argument is valid, in practice it has not been a real problem  :thumb:

However, if this is of real concern for any potential users, we have already begun development on a web-submission form that can be placed on your website which will pass all inquiries directly to your inbox without having to perform the verification process.  So for potential customers to reach you, they just fill out this submission form and there is no problem.  Please keep in mind, this is not ready yet and will only be available for those with business websites;  however this is to illustrate we work hard to find a solution for every foreseeable problem.



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...I don't think this method is the solution to the problem

Your input is appreciated.  However, I've been using Gafana myself since we started and I don't even remember what SPAM looks like anymore   :yey:

- Gabriel

Offline stapel

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2006, 01:05:56 PM »
Quote from: SOU610
If the person sending me an email also has gafana or something similar, will the requests get stuck in a non-stop do-loop?

Exactly: Your new visitor will send you a request. You won't know him (he's new), so your Gafana account blocks his query with a verification demand. But he doesn't know you either, so his screening service blocks your verification demand with a counter-demand.

He wonders why you don't reply, and you wonder why nobody's writing to you any more.

Quote from: amy
I think the solution is only applying Gafana to private addresses...

So my friends and family would have to ask permission to write to me, but the spammers would still have clear access to my public addy...? How would this cut down on spam?

Eliz.

Offline gafana

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2006, 01:11:54 PM »
Quote
Here's a theoretical question.  If the person sending me an email also has gafana or something similar, will the requests get stuck in a non-stop do-loop?


Another great question!!!

Gafana is designed to not play these non-stop-loop games  :(

Gafana will not continue to send out verification emails if it sees a loop is occurring.  Not many people use a verification response system (relative to the number of people using email in this world) so the likely hood of this is slim.  The more common occurrence of this is with auto-replies.  However, as I mentioned, Gafana will not continue to send Verification emails in either of these cases.

Both of the recent posted have dealt with the concern with business sites.  Like I said, I use it for Gafana and have never had an issue.  In addition, you are still able to view all these emails that are unverified; they are not put into purgatory  :)  They are just separated.  Besides that, the process works very well.  None-the-less, you can still use it for your person email accounts.  Its worth a try  :thumb:

- Gabriel

Offline gafana

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2006, 01:17:04 PM »
Quote from: SOU610
If the person sending me an email also has gafana or something similar, will the requests get stuck in a non-stop do-loop?

Exactly: Your new visitor will send you a request. You won't know him (he's new), so your Gafana account blocks his query with a verification demand. But he doesn't know you either, so his screening service blocks your verification demand with a counter-demand.

He wonders why you don't reply, and you wonder why nobody's writing to you any more.

Quote from: amy
I think the solution is only applying Gafana to private addresses...

So my friends and family would have to ask permission to write to me, but the spammers would still have clear access to my public addy...? How would this cut down on spam?

Eliz.


Hi Eliz,
   Please read my response above.  This should answer some of your questions.

Also, in response to this: So my friends and family would have to ask permission to write to me, but the spammers would still have clear access to my public addy...? How would this cut down on spam?

This implies you do not get spam on your personal email addresses.  We all get spam on every address we have.  Give it a try Eliz on one of your email addresses and then tell us what you think after using for a week or two.

- Gabriel

Offline GMTurner

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2006, 01:18:02 PM »
I think that last part answered my question.... but here are/were my questions...

if this is put into place, can we opt out for an entire domain? Can we apply it to selective email addresses on our domain, rather than an all or none setup?

And an additional question...
Will this be software run on LP servers or will this require redirection of incoming email through a 3rd party server?  I've used similar "services' in the past that caused all email to be rerouted through an additional server before being delivered...

And, if we opt to be one of the testers, will our account be moved to a different server? Just our email will get rerouted? Or basically, how will becoming a tester impact our account beyond email?

Again, I've used similar services in the past at various times and have mixed feelings about them... though the "approved" senders list does definitely cut down on the amount of spam received... and with the amount of spam slipping through SpamAssassin with scores below 4.0 right now, it is tempting...



The above information may or may not reflect current policy, opinions, or views since it was likely made almost 10 years ago.

Offline GMTurner

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2006, 01:26:08 PM »
Just adding based on some comments while I was typing my last post...

First, I think it is a good sign that Gabriel Afana is here helping to answer questions for us... so thank you for that :)

I think the issue of having a verification process for business contacts is definitely an issue... I know people that look at it as "if the business doesn't want my first email, why bother with a verificiation... especially when these other 3 competitors don't need the verification from me?" Basically, you want to make it as easy as possible to get emails from new clients... it sounds like the web-based form helps will help with this in time...

I teach at a university and have actually heard some of my fellow faculty comment on refusing to verify or add themselves to the "approved list" for students who email them... (It sounds like you system gets around this by adding recipients to the approved list so replies automatically come through without needing verification.) But the issue of people not taking the time or making the effort to do the verification is an issue... it isn't that they aren't capable of doing it, just that they end up not doing it...

Also, it is sounding more and more like emails are going to get routed through a third party server, which I admit makes me nervous based on some of my past experiences...

« Last Edit: January 07, 2006, 01:28:10 PM by GMTurner »
The above information may or may not reflect current policy, opinions, or views since it was likely made almost 10 years ago.

Offline GMTurner

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2006, 01:32:37 PM »
And finally one more, put into a separate post just for the heck of it today...

Let's say we have a "contact us" form on our website. When this form is submitted a thank you email is automatically sent to whoever submitted the form. Could this thank you email be sent through your SMTP server so that person's email would automatically be placed on the "approved" list? If so, when they replied to the thank you email they wouldn't have to verify themselves... so basically that new contact would never know they was a "verification" process in place since everythign would happen behind the scenes so to speak... and this would help to get around some of the issues I think people might have with using this for a business contact...

and along the same lines, that contact form could send to the business owner using a pre-approved "from" address so it wouldn't need verification to get to you...

Just thinking out loud about the system and questions I have to consider before signing up even as a tester...
The above information may or may not reflect current policy, opinions, or views since it was likely made almost 10 years ago.

amy

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Re: Spam Protection Trial - Testers wanted
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2006, 01:36:40 PM »
Gabriel will be back later today to address these questions.

One that was mentioned:

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if this is put into place, can we opt out for an entire domain? Can we apply it to selective email addresses on our domain, rather than an all or none setup?


Answered above:

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It's not done on a DNS level so you can choose which addies on the domain are added.