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Have you been blacklisted? Remember the fake collar bomb?

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Blacklisted IP Addresses stop emails from being receivedWe help people earn money as independent contractors as well as employees with our WordPress Website Design and Blogging Course and as a result we learn about internet issues that face our students and customers. We recently heard about something that would interest most people with their own website.

A customer was waiting to receive an order and was shocked to hear that emails being sent to their email address were being blocked. This began a long journey of discovery and if you have a heart for technical mumbo jumbo read on. If you know someone with their own website and domain name pass this onto them because they may experience the same problem.

What’s your IP address?

It all comes down to IP Addresses. An IP address identifies you via your connection to the Internet it also helps browsers locate a website that they’re looking for. Did you ever wonder how police are able to confirm that a criminal was looking at a specific websites? Remember the Collar Bomb Hoax in Sydney?

The modem in your home or office that connects you to your ISP has an IP address. Sometimes this IP address is fixed and sometimes it is temporary (also called dynamic) and it’s very easy to find out what your IP address is, just go to http://whatismyipaddress.com/ and your IP Address will be displayed on the website. Yep, that’s right, every website you visit can keep track of your IP address, even the training site for our online MYOB, Excel and WordPress courses keeps a record of the IP address you log into from!

What’s the IP Address of your website?

Every website you visit is really just a number of website files stored on a “host” computer somewhere in the world and most host computers also host other websites (unless you spend a couple hundred dollars per month for a dedicated server). This means that if another website is sending a lot of spam or even if their hosting has been hacked and spam is being sent illegally then the reputation of your website may also be affected. The good news is that these issues are often identified quickly and can be rectified quickly as well, but they are still a pain in the #$&web!

What can cause the problem?

Blacklisted IP Addresses - what can cause an IP address to be blacklisted
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The problem that we recently experienced was caused by a blacklisting at Barracuda Central, but rather than telling us exactly what the problem was, we were given a list of potential causes. See if one of these has ever happened to you? What you might notice as very strange is that the problem could even have been caused by a local PC that is infected with a virus! 

As you might imagine there are services available that claim to “protect” you from this type of thing happening again, but they charge a fee. We like the comment made at the WhatisMyIPAddress.com website:

WhatIsMyIPAddress.com does not run, manage, or have any direct relationship with any blacklist. We provide a single location to check the status of an IP address on 3rd party blacklists. WhatIsMyIPAddress.com does not recommend the usage of any specific blacklist and does not condone blacklists that require payment for removal. Our inclusion of such blacklists are for the purposes of completeness and should not be consider to be in support of that blacklist’s usage.

Do you want to read some more?

This is a great explanation of what a blacklist is and how they work, and if you want to read more about a company that wants to help you not get blacklisted read the about us at EmailReg.org.

You’ll be thrilled to hear that the problem was resolved. We asked to have the blacklisting removed, we signed up to EmailReg.org and did some tests, but we never found out exactly what caused the blacklisting and what we did to get of that blacklist….

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