Nov 19, 2009

I recently read a blog post on one of my favorite web hosting forums about a client who was terminated for SPAM from his hosting provider.  I am not talking about the stuff that is concocted out of god knows what then squeezed into a can with an eternal shelf life.  No, he was terminated for unsolicited emails coming from his server.  While I will never sympathize with SPAMMERS, this particular post intrigued me.  The poster — who we will rename Mr. Sucks2Bhm — was running a shared web hosting company on a dedicated server.  While he was doing this he signed on a few clients whose sole purpose in their pathetic lives was to spew out emails that contain remnants of nonsense to random people.  Effectively, his hosting provider’s IPS got blacklisted and he was immediately terminated, as a result of his clients.

Mr. Sucks2Bhm created the post because he was upset that he received no warnings about the SPAMMING issues and had his entire solution terminated as a result.  In cases like this, it is Singlehop’s policy to send out a warning to our clients if SPAM is being detected from their solutions.  In extreme cases like Mr. Sucks2Bhm, we will immediately suspend the server from having access to the internet and will send a reply to the client so we can resolve the issue.  If an IP of ours is black listed we will charge a fee to have it unlisted since we ourselves are charged a fee.

While I sympathize with Mr. Sucks2Bhm having no warning and everything wiped from his box, I ask who is really to be blamed for this current dilemma.  On one hand, I can understand the hosting company’s strong stance against SPAM and maintaining the integrity of their networks, but I do not think it is justifiable to completely wipe a solution clean without offering some option to Mr. Sucks2Bhm to remove his data.  Then I wonder, why did Mr. Sucks2Bhm not screen his clients more thoroughly before permitting them on his server?  Naturally, the SPAMMERS in cases like this walk away without any repercussions of their actions, while people like Mr. Sucks2Bhm find their business at a major loss of data and without a provider.

Luckily, here at Singlehop.com our policies are a bit different.  Although we are not as extreme as immediately terminating a server, we are still strongly vigilant against SPAM and provide a range of service options to our clients.  The tools we offer, such as ANTI-SPAM protection ($39.95/per year for one domain) and WHM Xtra for cPanel/WHM Fantastico ($4/mo), help to limit issues like these.  If you are a client providing shared webhosting on one of our dedicated servers, don’t make the mistakes of Mr. Sucks2Bhm.  Invest a little time when your clients order, the same way we screen clients: it’s always good to check IPs and do domain name lookups when obtaining a new client.  Also, think about your needs and ensuring the stability of your server/business by investing a little more into its configuration.  Don’t let a budget dictate what you should do with and what you should do without when it comes to security.  I always stress to my clients that funding management and security add-ons for your solutions are the best way to go if you are not monitoring your servers‘ activities 24/7.

I certainly wish the best to Mr. Sucks2Bhm and hope that his story motivates current and future clients to be more preemptive in dealing with SPAMMERS.

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