What to do when your account is suspended due to spamming.

If your account sends out spam emails through our servers, it may be suspended to prevent the spamming from continuing. This is because spam is considered an abuse of our Terms of Service and is harmful to other users.  This article will help you understand what spamming is, why we suspend your account and how you can get your account unsuspended.

What is spamming?

Spam mail, also known as junk mail, refers to unsolicited or undesired emails sent out in large quantities to various recipients. These recipients are normally existing emails belonging to people who have not asked to be sent the emails or are non-existent emails accounts created by combining common names with domains e.g. [email protected] or [email protected]. Spamming is the process of sending spam emails

How does spamming occur?

The main method by which spam emails are sent is through use of spamming scripts. Spamming scripts are files (mostly .php files) that are designed to automatically send out spam emails when executed. These scripts are located in a folder in your account and are executed either using cron tasks or are accessed by malicious persons and executed remotely.

What are the effects of spam?

So, why do we care so much when your account is sending out spam emails from our hosting servers? There are two main reasons why we care:

Reason 1: On any shared hosting server, there are several users making use of the services being offered. These services include email forwarding. All emails from a particular server are forwarded using the same single IP address. Therefore, when your account sends out spam, the spam emails will appear to have been forwarded from the IP address of the server your account is hosted in. This will cause the IP to be blacklisted by Blacklist Organisations such as Spamhaus and/or even be blocked by the ISPs.

When an IP is blacklisted, emails sent through that IP will be treated as spam emails or even be rejected by some servers. This means you can send an email but it will bounce back or if it reaches, it is thrown into Spam/Junk folder of the recipient. On the other hand, when an IP is blocked, the server will NOT be able to deliver emails to recipients. The worst part is, these consequences affect all users on that affected server! They will all not be able to send emails.

Reason 2: Given that spam emails are sent in large quantities, they tend to enlarge the server mail queue such that those sending legitimate emails will have to experience delays before their emails are delivered. This is because the mail queue becomes so long when a server experiences spamming.

For these two reasons, we do not allow accounts to spam on the servers.

How to fix the issue.

Now that you know what causes an account suspension and what spam email is, how do you fix the issue so as to resume normal services? If your service has been suspended due to spamming, follow the steps below to get it back up and running:

1. Start by removing scripts sending spam from your account. If you are aware of a script you uploaded to send emails –  or are running an email campaign, remove the scripts responsible. Note that we do not allow email marketing through our shared hosting servers. We recommend email marketing solutions such as Mailchimp to accomplish this.

2. Update your CMS scripts. Due to their popularity, CMS like WordPress, Joomla etc. are always under constant attacks by malicious people who may upload unwanted scripts to your installation if they get any security loophole. Update your scripts to the latest secure versions so that to fight security vulnerabilities exploited by spammers.

3. Use plugins and themes from trusted sources only. Plugins/Themes that have not been updated for 3 months are not recommended as security loopholes are discovered more and more frequently. Replace all components that do not provide updates frequently enough.

4. Use strong passwords to prevent access to your account. Avoid dictionary based words as passwords. Use a combination of Upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers and symbols for your passwords. A strong password is something like lrp%pML<stz675. Strong passwords are needed for cPanel, WordPress accounts and MySQL database.

5. Scan your site for malicious links. Deploy the Virus Scanner in your cPanel and external security services such as sucuri scanner to clean up malicious links in your account and files.

6. Scan your computer with an updated anti-virus. A major source of stolen passwords is infected computers and accessing insecure websites – where common passwords are stolen. In case your computer has a trojan infection, passwords will be stolen even after changing them. Make sure your local computer is safe by scanning it using updated antivirus software to get rid of possible infections.

7. In the cPanel, under Cron Jobs icon, check for any cron tasks defined there that you did not add and delete them. If uncertain of which cron tasks are genuine, immediately contact the support team so you can get assistance.

8. If the problem persists or you are unable to determine what scripts are spamming, you may need to remove all files from the site and redesign it using alternative themes/plugins or even alternative CMS.

Once you have taken the above steps to secure your account, please contact us and we will restore your account’s full accessibility immediately.

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