If you've been the unfortunate victim of a computer virus or hacked email account you might find yourself suddenly black listed from sending email.
But how would you know if you were?
Here are some warning signs that your emails are not getting to their destination...
1. People do not reply to your emails.
2. People tell you that they did not get your emails.
3. You stop getting emails.
4. You start receiving unexplained "Mail delivery failed" or other messages from a "Mailer-Daemon"
The last one on that list is probably the easiest to figure out. The Mailer Daemon is a software program that runs on all email servers. There are always at least 2 email servers between you and the recipient of your email. Each of those email servers has the potential to black list your email address, and if they do, they might abort your email and send you back a delivery failure message.
Those delivery failure messages usually have a lot of good clues that your IT person will need to see, so make sure you save them.
On the other hand, if you don't have a Mailer-Daemon but still suspect blocked emails then here are some steps to take before you start panicking...
1. Send yourself an email from a different email account. In this case you have to use a totally different system. If there's something wrong with your work account then send a test email from Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, Mac.com, AOL, etc.
2. Go to www.spamhaus.org and look your information up in the Blocklist Removal tool. They will ask for your email address and your IP address. You can visit http://whatismyip.com to find out your IP address.
If you're infected with a virus you might be listed in SpamHaus.org, but it might only be temporary. SpamHaus will give you general guidelines and courses of action to clear the specific problem.
In general, these are the steps you need to go through to reverse your black listing from automated systems...
1. Update your anti-virus software
2. Change your email passwords
3. Appeal to SpamHaus.org according to their guidelines when you find yourself in their system.
4. Appeal to whatever ISP blacklisted you. You'd have to ask your IT person to help figure this out.
5. If you cannot reverse your black listing, you will need to change your email address
6. Some ISPs will permanently filter your domain name from use as an email, in the subject, or in the body. Yahoo and Verizon are notorious for this. In this scenario you have no choice but to change your domain name!
7. If you have a static IP address, you will have to request a new address from your internet provider. If you are using a modem, you should be able to power cycle it to get a new IP.
Removing yourself from a black listing situation is tricky business. You should just call your IT person to take care of it if you don't have a day or two to waste fixing it yourself.