Avoiding Email Problems

Here's a list of steps you can take to avoid email problems:
  1. Turn off virus checking. If you have a lot of stuff in your inbox, and if you use Windows and you use McAfee, Norton, or some other security software, turn off the online virus checking while you're checking your inbox. Otherwise, your virus checker will greatly slow down the data transfer from the server. Don't forget to turn checking back on afterwards.

  2. Clean out your Inbox. That brings us to the second step: Cleaning out your Inbox will speed up your email considerably. Some users have over a gigabyte of stuff in their inbox. Each time you check your mail, the computer has to read and parse that entire file. So keep it small.

  3. Don't send unsolicited email. This is the most important rule: NEVER send bulk unsolicited email! If you're considering sending a message to multiple recipients you don't know personally, don't! It is spam and it will get our server blacklisted. If you send even one unsolicited email, somebody out there who doesn't like it will complain that you are a spammer. From then on, mail you send will start to disappear. Even worse, mail sent by your colleagues and your boss will also start to disappear. It's almost impossible to fix it. And it will be your fault!

    Unfortunately, we can't do anything about big Internet companies who send spam to nonexistent people on our network, and then blacklist us when our server bounces it back to them, as it's supposed to do. But at least we can avoid contributing to the problem.

    Sending spam is an abuse of our network. We have a strict policy against sending spam. If you intentionally send any spam, your email account will be closed permanently.

    However, we realize that most spam is not intentional, but comes from trojans and other malware on the computers of innocent people. If you use Windows, check your computer for viruses and trojans frequently. If your computer unintentionally starts sending out spam, we won't cancel your account. We will just unplug you until it's fixed.

  4. Watch where your mail is going. A few companies tend to "lose" a large number of valid emails that are sent to their addresses. The biggest offender is Yahoo. Messages to Yahoo addresses may take several hours or even days to get to their destination, or, they might not arrive at all. If you experience delays sending to Yahoo addresses, you should tell the recipient to get a new Internet service provider, because he or she is losing email.

  5. Keep all your computers the same. Make sure you're not connecting to our server using IMAP from one computer and POP3 from another. This can cause your Inbox to become corrupted and unreadable.

  6. One computer at a time. Don't try to use two different computers to retrieve your email simultaneously, even if you have multiple personalities. As you may guess, this would cause one of you to get bumped off with a "Connection closed" or "Timeout" error.

  7. Don't send big files. Our Webmail server will not send any attachments larger than 500 megabytes. And while our regular mail server doesn't have any fixed limits, many commercial inboxes can be as small as 10 or even 5 megabytes. And, like many of you, the users keep their inbox full most of the time. So keep your attachments small. If it's big, put it on our website so the recipient can download it whenever they want. If you don't know how to do this, we'll be happy to help you.

  8. Keep us informed of problems. If someone sends you a note complaining about your computer attacking them, forward it to us. If your email is getting lost, tell us. If something on your computer looks wrong, let us know. We'll check it out. We might even help you fix it.

If you lose your email

We make backups of everyone's inbox once a week. If you accidentally delete an important message from your inbox, or if you accidentally wipe out your inbox, we may be able to recover it for you. However, if you use Outlook or Outlook Express, this is only possible if you have selected "Leave a copy on the server."

Suspicious activity

If you notice suspicious activity on your computer, let us know immediately. Suspicious activity would include:

  1. Strange files showing up on your computer. This could mean someone is using your computer to store files.
  2. The mouse cursor moving around by itself. This could mean your computer has been taken over by a hacker. (Or it could mean that your mouse is broken.)
  3. Sudden, unexplained slowness, especially on the network. This could mean that hackers are accessing your computer.
  4. Someone blackmailing you, or someone revealing to you the contents of a private email that you sent to someone else. This could mean your account may have been compromised.
  5. Weird file names showing up on your computer or in your account on the server. This could mean your computer's hard drive is going bad, or it could be a sign of an intruder.
  6. A sudden barrage of "bounced" email messages. This could mean that your computer is sending out spam.