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3 Tips to Ensure You Won’t Get Phished Via Email

I received an email this morning from the Better Business Bureau. It claimed that someone had opened a complaint about No-IP and listed a file with a description of the complaint for me to view. Only problem was that the email was totally bogus. Follow these tips to make sure you don’t get phished. (Click the image to view a larger version and to follow along)

1. Check out the From address on the email. It is from a Jonathan at southeasterncheese.com, that is definitely NOT an official Better Business Bureau email address.

2. The To: and CC: lines are another dead give away. Jonathan sent this email directly to one person, and cc’d over 90+ others!BBB Email

3. The body of the email actually looks legitimate. The BBB logo is there and everything looks great! There is even a case # for to reference. Upon hovering over the ATTACHED REPORT link though, another phishy occurrence, the link does not go to the BBB official website, it goes to a medical records site.

So, next time you receive an email, look at it in depth before you click any links within it, or an even better practice is to not click links in emails and go directly to the official website. If you get an email that you suspect is a phish, report it to the company.  Also, check out this past blog post for more tips to safeguard yourself from being phished! Have you received any emails like this recently?

Go Phish! Top Tips on Protecting Yourself From Phishing

Phishing scams are everywhere and are growing at an astounding pace. According to Webopedia.com the definition of phishing is “the act of sending an e-mail to a user falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.”

The most common form of phishing is an email that requests for you to verify, update or confirm something for an account. Oftentimes, the email is accompanied by an official logo of a company with all links contained in the email looking like they are from the official company.

The email will request for information like your login name, password or even your social security number.  Emails with such requests should never be taken seriously, companies and financial institutions would never request such information via email.

So, how do you distinguish an email from an illegitimate source from an email from a verified, official source?

1.Let’s face it, sometimes scammers aren’t the “brightest crayons in the box,” therefore spelling and grammar errors often occur in phishing emails.

2. If an email asks for usernames, passwords or other sensitive information, chances are, the email is phishing.  Companies will never ask for sensitive information like this via email.

3. Check the links in the email. Scroll your mouse pointer of the links in the emails, but be careful not to click them.  Notice in the bottom gray bar of your browser that it will have a link.  This link is where the link will actually go to.  Just because the link says www.ourcompany.com does NOT mean it will be directed there.  You can also do the same thing for images that act like links, again, just be careful not to click on the before you know if the email is phishing or not. No matter how legit links look, ALWAYS type the link directly into your web browser.

4. After typing the link into your browser, if the page that requests for you to log in or enter other sensitive information, be sure that the page is a secure page.  You can verify this by confirming that the address in the address bar has an https, not just http.

In the unfortunate case that you happen to fall victim to a phishing scam and have given away your sensitive information, notify the companies that you have the accounts with ASAP. Also, even if you do not fall victim to a phishing email, contact the company immediately and let them know that you have received a fraudulent email.  Many companies have areas on their website where you can submit the claim to, or an email address that you can forward the email to.

No-IP Managed Mail offers superb protection against spam and phishing attempts with our acclaimed spam engine and extensive RBL lists. We even have our No-IP Anti-SPAM ECR which takes your spam protection one step further by requiring unauthorized senders of email to respond to an authorization email.

Questions or comments about phishing? Leave them below!

Anatomy of a DNS Zone File Part Three: MX Records

A mail exchange record or MX record is a type of record in a DNS zone file. MX records are responsible for specifying which mail server is in charge of receiving email messages on behalf of a domain.

When you send an e-mail, your computer queries the DNS for the MX records of the recipient’s domain name.  This query results in a list of all available MX records that are responsible for accepting incoming mail.  The email client then attempts to make an SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol) connection to the primary mail server.

MX records are ranked by priority from lowest to highest to specify which mail server is the primary one.  The primary server is always the one to be used, unless it is unavailable and then, the next subsequent server is tried.  If there are no MX records available, the server will simply request the A record of the domain.

I used the following dig query to find the MX records for no-ip.com: dig no-ip.com MX +short (the +short condenses the reply to only show the MX records)

dig no-ip.com MX +short


10 mail1.no-ip.com.
15 mail2.no-ip.com.
5 mail0.no-ip.com.

The reply shows that there are three MX records for no-ip.com.

The primary mail server that email will be routed to is mail0.no-ip.com.  If that server is unavailable, the mail client will then try mail1.no-ip.com, lastly, if that server is unavailable too, it will try mail2.no-ip.com.

To increase reliability, if there are multiple MX records with the same preference number, all of these must be tried first, before the email client can try the next subsequent record. The SMTP client will try all of the MX records until delivery is successful.

Multiple MX records make primary and backup mail possible, but what if you don’t want the headache of running multiple mail servers, but still want the redundancy? No-IP has two easy solution.

Backup MX gives you mail redundancy on exclusive networks with professional mail server admins monitoring the system. Not only that, but No-IP’s Backup MX servers filter viruses and employ RBL lists to help keep the junk from reaching your inbox. No-IP also allows you to provide a valid user list so that bad mail can be stopped at the SMTP level, saving connections and resources on your server.

Another No-IP product, Mail Reflector will help you get around Port 25 if your ISP blocks it.  Mail is first delivered on the standard port to our mail system and then is immediately delivered to your mail server on whichever port you specify. This gives you complete control of your mail system and bypasses seemingly insurmountable restrictions. Mail Reflector also provides all of the features of Backup MX, including virus filtering, greylisting, and customizable RBL lists, so that even if your mail server is temporarily unavailable, mail will not be lost.

Backup MX or Mail Reflector can save you time, money and unnecessary headaches.

Questions on MX records or our mail services? Leave them below!

Want Email Without the Headache of Managing Your Own Mail Server?

Managing a mail server isn’t for everyone and if you, like myself, are not so technically inclined, then you should definitely consider our POP3/IMAP service.  No-IP’s POP3/IMAP mail service gives you complete email service for your domain, without the headaches or the technical experience that is needed to run your own mail server.

The following are the pros of choosing our POP3/IMAP mail service versus running your own mail server:

1. Control email for your own domain without the cost or hassle of running your own server

2. No need to hire an internal resource to manage your server, with our POP3/IMAP service, all of the technical stuff is handled by us!

3. Travel a lot or work from home? With POP3/IMAP you can access your email anytime and anywhere with webmail!

4. RBL (Realtime Blackhole List) and virus scanning help avoid spam (no not the “meat” in a can) and junk mail

5. Secure back-up capabilities to ensure that none of your emails ever get lost

6. Full control and access to your account to allocate and control memory usage and add/remove users

So, what are you waiting for? Sign Up for our POP3/IMAP service today.  No-IP POP3/IMAP offers tiered accounts for every need, large and small! Questions or comments? Leave them below!