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Galaxynet :: Spam Information

What is Spam? | Why is Spam bad? | What we can do | What you can do
Galaxynet's Spam Policy | Why we don't host spammers
Sending mail to Customers | Limitations

What Is SPAM?

    Spam is commonly known as a pork and ham luncheon meat made by Hormel. It's packed in water with sugar and sodium nitrite added. Sealed in a steel can with no discernable product expiration date, it can be very tasty when heated. Actually, most of the staff at Galaxynet prefers it pan-fried with eggs.

    But that's not the "spam" we're talking about here.

    Specifically, "spam" is any undesired and unsolicited communication, usually of a commercial nature, via email. It's electronic "junkmail". The term also applies to postings that are commercially-oriented in Usenet newsgroups where they are either off-topic or otherwise undesired: we'll leave that one alone for now too.

Why Is Spam Email Bad?

    There is such a thing as "good" spam. All people's tastes are different; there is spam that people like and spam that people don't. If you get some email that says "You Won A Million Dollars!" and it was TRUE, that would be a good spam. It never happens that way, so we'll move onto the "bad" spam explanation since that's the type of spam you always get.

    Spam is bad for any number of reasons.

    First, how most email spam is usually bad for you:

    1. You get it without asking for it, same as postal junkmail.
    2. The topic of the email is usually something in which you have no interest.
    3. It consumes your valuable time downloading it and reading it.
    4. It contains information that may be considered profane or obscene.
    5. It NEVER comes in a "plain brown wrapper": a lot of spam is sexually oriented, and there is no way to keep from exposing your kids to it if they download email and read it themselves.
    6. It is at least difficult if not impossible to stop the sender from sending you more of it unless you take extraordinary measures.
    7. When you follow the "Remove me from your list" instructions - if any are provided! - you often are simply verifying to them that your address is correct.
    8. The spammers share lists of email addresses, INCLUDING the ones you sent them in your attempts to remove your address from future mailings!
    9. You get peeved with your online service or Internet service provider. If they are a fairly responsible organization, they already take all reasonable measures to prevent obvious abuses.

    Second, how spam is bad for the Internet (and online or service providers)

    1. It ties up bandwidth. That means that the speed of the Internet slows down because millions of spam emails are being transmitted EACH DAY, using resources that should be used for transmitting web pages, "real" email, file downloads, etc.
    2. It ties up email servers, sometimes criminally. ISPs transmit email to customer's accounts: that's their job. But the spammers send email to you using YOUR account and the ISP's servers without permission, neither of whom want the garbage!
    3. Every day, Galaxynet rejects thousands of incoming emails - yes, that's PER DAY - from known or detected spammers. The level of rejection is now skyrocketing again as we gain a little ground on "the bad guys", defeating their latest tricks. This constant "cold war" of server administrators vs spammers wastes enormous sums of time and money. The worst part of it is that the wasted time and money almost always belongs to the folks who OWN expensive servers, not the "spammer-thieves". There is enough work to do to ensure satisfactory performance and reliability of email servers without the additional load of others attempting to steal services.
    4. Many spammers will send their email in such a manner to appear from a different site on the Internet than where they really are. This is called "relay hijacking" or "email server hijacking". It's a trick to get someone else's email server to send the spam as if it was originated by the hijacked server. For all intents and purposes, it looks to the non-technical user as if it really came from that server, when in fact it didn't.

      Imagine that someone steals your car. They then use it to haul a trunkload of manure to your best friend's house and dump it in their living room. Worse yet, that person is masquerading as YOU! Would you be pretty ticked? You know your friend sure would be! Now have it attempted over one thousand times a day, and you'll know what it feels like to be an ISP.

    5. At best, it is utterly irresponsible. At worst, its absolutely criminal. How can anyone justify pandering pornography without regard to the recipient's age?
    6. It undermines the valid uses and value of Internet communications. In a nutshell, all the benefits and uses of using the net for education, legitimate commerce, and entertainment is diminished. When you hear that pornography, pyramid schemes, purchasing scams and more are pervasive online, how much more reluctant does it make many people to utilize the Internet to its full potential?

What Does Galaxynet Do To Help Stop Spam?

    Galaxynet Internet Services is dedicated to helping minimize the impact of spam on our customers. We use the latest techniques and technologies to help identify unsolicited commercial email (spam). Usually, there are often certain traits, characteristics and "signatures" that identify an email as potential spam. We scan for these characteristics in all email we receive, and modify the email header with the information we found.

    Spam filters usually have an unfortunate effect of "detecting" false-positive emails. This is an email from companies or people that you actually want to receive, but our spam filters determined may be spam. For this reason, we deliver ALL email to you, even though our spam filters may have determined it to be spam.

    Our spam filters could easily delete any spam it finds, but do you REALLY want some simple computer program determining what is and isn't spam? We hope the answer is a resounding NO! This is why Galaxynet gives you the option of setting how our spam filters deliver your email.

    You have the power to configure your own settings; you determine what's spam and what's not. You can enable our filters to add keywords to the subject line of emails that are determined to be spam. This allows you to set up mail rules in your email client so you can delete or "re-route" spam to another folder, keeping it out of your Inbox. You may also configure how the filter behaves when determining spam. You may configure your settings at our Spam Configuration Page.

What Can YOU Do To Help Stop Spam?

  1. Use your email's "Delete" function! It is almost always the best way to make sure no one gets your address confirmed, and having your email address removed from spammers' lists by simple attrition. NEVER click a link that states "Click here to remove your address from our list." These links actually VERIFY your email address is valid, and your address is added to the latest lists.
  2. Tell your friends to use the "Bcc:" function in their emails when they send jokes and such to all their friends. The Bcc: function is called "Blind carbon-copy". It lets you send emails to many people, but none of the addresses are visible to the recipients except their own. Jokes and such get passed around so much that they eventually end up in the hands of spammers.
  3. Be careful who you give your email address to when online. You don't go looking in every storefront at the mall and leave your home address with the proprietor, do you? Don't do it online either! When downloading programs, especially ones you purchase, your email address is often required. Uncheck any boxes that say things like "I would like to receive product updates and new offerings". This way there is less chance that your email address will be sold to other companies in that industry.
  4. Avoid taking online surveys at ANY site where you are required to leave your email address. Although there are many companies that use such surveys for valid, legitimate reasons -- heck, even Galaxynet does it sometimes! -- the site is collecting demographic information on its visitors to be able to identify what interests them. There are some companies that resell this demographic database WITH EMAIL ADDRESSES to others so they can then email you with their offerings also.
  5. Send an email to "abuse" at the domain name from which the email was sent. Although many spam emails come from non-existant domains, many others come from real online providers and they will take action against the offending spammer. Make sure you send a copy of the spam with your complaint.

Galaxynet's Anti-Spamming Policy.

    We are proud to have a strict "no-spamming" policy. It is a definite violation of Galaxynet policy (Part A, Section 2) and is cause for immediate termination.

    You may not use a Galaxynet POP account, virtual host, or any server operated by Galaxynet to send unsolicited advertising, promotional material, or other forms of solicitation to any other Galaxynet subscribers or users of the Internet, unless you receive the express permission of the subscriber/user. You may not use any part of Galaxynet, including but not limited to web servers, mail servers, ftp servers, etc., to collect or "harvest" screen names of other subscribers without the express prior permission of the Subscriber and Galaxynet Management.

    You may not use your domain name or IP address, any sites (names, URL's or IP addresses) belonging to Galaxynet, or the Galaxynet name in any non appropriate postings or e-mail solicitations you choose to participate in anywhere on the Internet.

    Galaxynet reserves the right to block or filter mass email solicitations from, on or through Galaxynet. Galaxynet can and will block certain know or discovered spammers from their servers if it becomes necessary.

    If a user chooses to ignore the advice of Galaxynet and use unsolicited e-mail as a form of marketing, they cannot list any form of their domain name or assigned IP address that would resolve to a domain or IP address associated with any Galaxynet server anywhere in the solicitation, including but not limited to return email addresses and email headers.

Why don't you host sites that spam?

    Contracts with telecommunications companies that bring Galaxynet its connectivity to the Internet have instituted similar policies that prohibit spamming by their customers, so we must abide by that contract. Besides, hosting a spammer gives Galaxynet a bad name in the Internet community, and hampers other customer's legitimate use of the Internet. We also wish to do our part as an ISP to eliminate spam from the Internet.

What about sending e-mail to our own customers?

    Perfectly okay. Email can be a very effective way to disseminate information to customers. However, this is where many grey areas rear their ugly heads. How are they a customer? Do they know they are a customer? Are you trying to sell them something or merely sending an announcement? Do they have a means of removing themselves from your mailing list if they request to do so? Technically, you shouldn't send them unsolicited email unless they were notified that you may send them periodic emails when they became a customer.

Is there a limit to the kind of business I can do on my site?

    Definately not! You can use your web site for any legal purpose (adult sites excluded) as long as you do not use unsolicited email to advertise your services or products.