Email Security - Auto-ban

If you are struggling to send or receive emails you may have been blocked by our email server, also known as auto-ban. You can see if you have been blocked by following this knowledgebase article.

This article aims to help you understand why we have auto-ban in place so please take a few minutes to read on.

One of the most common security problems of shared email servers is that when an email account is compromised by hackers then it can be used to send out thousands of spam emails which can ultimately get the email server blacklisted on the internet and effect ALL users using that email server.

Most email servers use the same details to create email accounts. The email server address is usually mail.yourdomainname and your email address is usually the username to login. That just leaves the password to guess if you want to try and break into the email account. Hackers (area 3) employ automated programs, which run 24/7, to keep trying passwords on your email account until they find the correct one.

To prevent this from happening we allow only 5 invalid login attempts within a 20 minute period before we block the IP address that is attempting to login. This block remains in place for 30 minutes. Alternatively it can be reset straight away via our portal. You can also reset the password for your email account in our hosting control panel if you have forgotten it.

So using our diagram we will describe a number of scenarios that auto-ban could affect you after you have changed your email account password

1. You update all your devices (areas 1 and 2) except your laptop which you only switch on when you go away. Two weeks later on the day you go away you switch on your laptop to update your emails but have forgotten that you changed the email password. After 5 attempts the IP address gets blocked. ALL you devices in areas 1 & 2 can no longer send or receive emails on all email accounts on our email server. You must update your laptop and remove the ban for it to work.

2. You update all your home devices but forget to do your smartphone. You never connect to your home Wi-Fi so you just use your mobile data. After 5 invalid attempts to login your IP address gets blocked. You can no longer send or receive emails on all your email accounts on our email server on your smartphone but you can at home (area 1). You need to update your smartphone and remove the ban for it to work.

In both scenarios if you turn off your router (scenario 1) or your smartphone (scenario 2) you will likely get a new IP address. Your email will work for a while until there have been 5 invalid login attempts and then it will get blocked again

Generally the problem lies with the SMTP authentication part of the email account setup. This is because this is often an additional step. Please read our knowledgebase article to setting up your email account using the most popular email programs.

The only reason for you to get blocked by our auto-ban security policy is because

YOU have used the INCORRECT login details

Please follow this knowledgebase article to troubleshoot which one of your devices maybe causing you issues.

Here are our other email server security policy articles

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