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Spam Resource Center
Last Updated: Fri, 22 Jul 2016 > Related Articles
Learn more information on spam and anti-spam resources.
Cox provides anti-spam service to further combat unwanted junk email. This service is called Spam Blocker and is provided at no charge to Cox High Speed Internet customers.
Spam Blocker is a network-based, anti-spam solution that scans incoming email. It is compatible with any email client, Cox WebMail, and both Windows and Mac OS operating systems because it scans email before you see it. Spam Blocker is more than 90 percent effective in eliminating spam. By default, Spam Blocker is set to delete incoming junk email.
Cox takes the following steps to address the spam issue and help prevent it.
- Blocking Spammers — Known spam abusers are blocked from sending spam over the Cox network. Staff members and special software are dedicated to searching outgoing and incoming email. Senders tagged as spammers are blocked from sending large-batch emails.
Refer to the Protecting Yourself from Spam section below for more steps that you can take to reduce the amount of incoming and outgoing spam.
Use the information below to help reduce incoming spam.
How Spammers Get Email Addresses
Spammers use a variety of methods to gather email addresses, send messages, and cover their tracks. Sometimes they use computers set up as email servers specifically configured to send spam. They also use computer viruses designed to access others' computers to send spam.
Spammers generally get email address lists from several places. Searching public bulletin boards, websites, and newsgroups for valid email addresses is one common method. Preparing a list of common names such as Jim, Joe, or Jane, and then adding the @cox.net domain name is another.
How to Reduce the Amount of Spam Received
Use the following tips to help reduce the amount of spam you're experiencing.
- Do Not Use Your Primary Email Address to Sign Up for Anything — Consider creating separate addresses that can be used for online purchases, chat rooms, and other public postings. Many customers create a secondary email address for ecommerce, signing on to websites, and entering sweepstakes.
- Use a Unique Email Address — Select an email address that is difficult for spammers to guess. Consider using a long email address that includes more than one word, numbers, and an underscore. Also, if chatting online, use a unique screen name that is not associated with your email address.
- Do Not Unsubscribe From a Spammer's List — Some spam messages will include links for you to click on, such as an unsubscribe link. However, once you click on the link, it validates your email address and ensures that additional spam messages are sent. You should not use an unsubscribe link in an email, unless the email is from a company you trust.
- Remove your name from major online directories.
- Assume Mail from Unknown Senders is Spam — Friends and family do not typically spam you. If you receive an unsolicited commercial email or spam, you may report it to the sender’s Internet Service Provider (ISP). In order to do this, you must first view the complete message header for the spam message to identify the source network and send a report to the network administrator.
Cox identifies addresses of known spammers to add them to our black lists. This is one step in our investigation of network-based anti-spam solutions that integrate with our email platform. It allows us to recognize and block spam from known spammers using both rules-based methods and white or black lists.
Controlling Outgoing Spam
To reduce unsolicited bulk email sent on our network, Cox uses outbound SMTP traffic filtering, which is also known as port 25 filtering. Cox also filters all inbound SMTP traffic to help protect unsecured computers from being used as spam mail relays.
- Outbound SMTP traffic blocking protects Internet users and the Cox High Speed Internet network. The vast majority of customers are not affected by this security measure. However, a small number of customers using email addresses outside of the @cox.net domain and do not have their SMTP servers set for Cox mail servers need to change their settings. The requirement that Cox servers be used for all outgoing mail is so that Cox can locate and control spammers by removing them from the network.
- Outbound SMTP traffic blocking is an industry standard. Other ISPs blocking port 25 include Charter, Comcast, MSN, and Verizon. You can search the Internet for a complete list of ISPs blocking port 25.
- Since implementing port 25 blocking, Cox has seen significant reductions of residential Internet abuse reports. Reports for port scanning decreased by 36%, viruses by 41%, spam by 52%, and open proxy by more than 78%.
If your computer is using security software, check its spam settings to ensure they are not interfering with your Cox.net spam settings.
Spam Blocker filters email for viruses and other potentially abusive messages by default for all email addresses. To change your Spam Blocker settings, use the following steps.
- Visit www.cox.com to view the Cox.com homepage.
- From the homepage, hover your mouse over My Connection, then click Internet Tools.
- Enter User ID and Password, then click Sign In.
- Under the Account Management column, click Manage Spam Blocker.
- Choose a setting from the following three configuration options.
- Delete incoming junk email automatically — You can set Spam Blocker to identify unwanted email and remove it before you ever see it. There is a small chance that this option may delete an item that you wish to keep — for example, a subscription newsletter.
- Deliver junk email to the WebMail Spam folder for later review — Spam Blocker identifies unwanted email and delivers it to a Spam folder in WebMail. Mail in the Spam Blocker folder is deleted 21 days after receipt.
- Tag junk email with -- Spam -- in the subject line and deliver to your inbox — The word "Spam" appears in the subject line. The email is not moved or deleted from your Inbox.
You can go back to Internet Tools to change this configuration at any time, or make changes on the Spam Blocker settings page in WebMail settings.
Spammers are very inventive and come up with new ways of sending unwanted email every day. Cox and its partners work diligently to provide the very best experience to every Cox High Speed Internet customer.
In the event you receive an email that Spam Blocker did not detect as spam, you can send it to Cox for review. We work with our partners to ensure that this type of unwanted email is added to the blocked list.
Additionally, if Spam Blocker identifies an email as Spam but you believe it is not, you can submit this to Cox as well. We work with our vendors to ensure that this type of email is not flagged in the future. This is known as a “false positive."
To submit an email as spam, refer to Reporting Spam, Phishing, and Virus Abuse.
All suspect and false positive email must be forwarded as an attachment. Do not just forward the message.