Autoresponders and bounces
Autoresponders are useful in replying to email in and automated way, and may be set up easily via cpanel.
However, we recommend using care in setting up your autoresponder:
1. An autoresponder may contribute to web site space overages, which may then result in legitimate email bouncing back to sender.
How does this occur?
Junk email senders may send email to your autoresponder; sometimes in an attempt to use your autoresponder to send their spam email.
Since most junk email is sent via nonexistent email address, which then bounce back to the server, there is a possibility that these bounce back email messages may accumulate in your account, resulting in your account running out of space unexpectedly.
2. An autoresponder may result in your server becoming an email service attacker or blacklisted as a result of a reverse email bomb.
For example, a would be hacker may write a script that would send email from real or random email addresses at a domain name every 1/2 hour. The result would be that email sent from those addresses would be repeatedly replied to by your autoresponder, potentially causing an overload of your email server, or the other unsuspecting email server.
How can I help reduce or prevent autoresponder abuse?
1. Ensure you have plenty of space available on your account prior to setting up an autoresponder.
2. Because bounce backs to server will be delivered to your default account at your domain name (your FTP username @ your domain name) and not the email address you set the autoresponder for respectively, you have a couple of options (see explanation of default account below):
- Set up forwarding of your default address via "E-mail Forwarders" to forward to another email account at your domain name.
- Or, via "E-mail Forwarders," set the email to "Discard with error to sender (at SMTP time)."
What is a default account address?
If you are on a Linux server every account has a a username. This username is used by every service, FTP, Email, cPanel, etc. This default server address is normally not used by the owner of the account and cannot be deleted. Due to the way the server manages email, bounce backs may be sent to this address, particularly in the case of autoresponder bounce backs.
If, like in the case above with autoresponder bounce backs, excess numbers of message accumulate in this account, an out of space situation may occur.
Your control panel will alert you when your account reaches 85% of the maximum space allowance.
To clear this default email account, log into Webmail (your_domain/webmail) using your FTP username/password. This log in will give you administrative access to all of the email addresses under your domain name. To clear an account of excess email:
Click "Folders" button at top, then select folder you wish to clear, then Choose Action: Empty Folders