Posted 20 February 2019 in Blog News

Why has the spamfilter stopped an e-mail that I wanted to receive?

It’s a common complaint that users have: the spamfilter stopped an e-mail that they needed. They didn’t realise what had happened for a while, now they might have lost a sale or an opportunity. It’s annoying.

Can this be avoided?

Well, not entirely, no. To do its job, the spamfilter checks the header information of all the e-mails it receives. The header information tells it what mailserver has been used, and whether there are authentication keys indicating that the e-mail really is coming from the person that it looks like it’s coming from, (scammers can fake your e-mail address, see our blog on spoofed e-mail addresses for further information). It is relying on the sender having their sending mailservers fully configured according to best practice, and not everyone can be bothered to do this. Sometimes innocent senders have their mailservers blacklisted because spam got sent from them. If your spamfilter settings are very strict, a fair few innocent e-mails will get stopped.

What should I do?

It’s probably best to use a spamfilter that sends you a daily report of the messages that it has captured, as this will prompt you to have a look at what is in there. Beware though: don’t assume that e-mails that appear to have come from someone you know are legitimate. A virus could be sending from their account, or the address could have been spoofed by a spammer.

You might be able to get the settings on the spamfilter changed so that the reports come through several times a day, if you want that for your peace of mind.

You can also get the filter strength on the spamfilter relaxed, but we don’t recommend this. Better to err on the side of caution, and check your spamfilter reports.

One last thing:

If you want people to receive your messages without undue delay, ask your IT support provider to make sure that your sending mailserver settings are fully configured with SPF and other authenticators – these are settings that will allow the recipient mailserver to see that your messages are not spam.


If you want to know more about spam filtering and mailserver settings, contact us.