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How can I prevent my Sussex mailing list from being spammed?

There are several ways in which you, as the manager of a Sussex mailing list, can protect it from being spammed or used by unauthorised persons.  The notes below give pointers to other FAQs in the IT Services collection which describe various solutions. 

  • In order to send email to a mailing list, a spammer has to know it exists. You can reduce the likelihood of your mailing list being discovered, by keeping it private, and NOT posting its address anywhere on the web.  FAQ 1153 shows how to make a private list public, but selecting No in step 3 of that item will have the reverse effect.
  • If you do need to put your mailing list's address on the web, then you can mask it to help prevent it being picked up by 'spambots'.   FAQ 1137 explains the principles of this but you'll need to know HTML to be able to act on the advice.
  • The best way of protecting a mailing list from spam is to set it so that only its members can post to it.   FAQ 1157 explains how to prevent non-members from posting to a list.   Spammers would then need to target the list specifically, either by subscribing to it, or by guessing the email address of a list member, and forging an email 'from' that member. We make it virtually impossible for people to forge University of Sussex email addresses, and FAQ 1176 shows how to restrict subscriptions to University people only.
  • Because we make it virtually impossible for people to forge University of Sussex email addresses, it's therefore reasonably safe to allow Sussex addresses to post to lists. FAQ 1175 shows how to prevent external email addresses from posting to a mailing list.
  • If specific people need to post to a mailing list, FAQ 1149 explains how to permit specific non-members to post to it.


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This is question number 1271, which appears in the following categories:

Created by Andy Clews on 17 November 2006 and last updated by Richard Byrom-Colburn on 29 September 2016