What Can I Do About Unsolicited Bulk Email?

What is Unsolicited Bulk Email?

When someone (organizations, companies or individuals) sends the same email to a number of people who had not requested it, that email is regarded as Unsolicited Bulk Email, or more commonly as "spam." Typically the UBE will be an attempt to inform about a particular service or product, propose a method to earn money quickly, or advertise some Web site that the recipient has no interest in. Senders of UBE are commonly referred to as "spammers."

How is UBE Sent?

Senders of UBE can use their own Internet provider's servers to send UBE, however by doing so they will almost certainly be violating their provider's Membership Agreement and be making themselves easily visible and accountable for their actions. This is why senders of UBE sometimes use another provider's servers to relay the UBE to the recipient. Most providers have now addressed this abuse of their own resources and put preventative measures in place, however senders of UBE are always on the lookout for open relay servers, i.e. servers that can be used regardless of where the connection is made from. By using open relay servers, UBE senders are able to distance themselves from any complaint about the UBE because it is unclear from where it came. To make it even more difficult for complainers to track them down, senders of UBE sometimes forge the server and email addresses that appear within the header portion of email.

How Can I Reduce the Amount of UBE I Receive?

UBE senders have many techniques for getting addresses, including buying and selling mailing lists, harvesting email addresses from newsgroup postings, and using software that crawls through Web sites recording email addresses. Techniques for reducing the amount of UBE you receive include:

  • Avoid using your full e-mail address in the header of postings made to news groups.

  • Avoid posting your real email address in a public forum. Post it as something like chris@*****asahi-net.jp (where ***** is a name of your choice) , and put a notice in your signature file that people should remove the "*****" part if they want to write to you.

  • Take care when revealing your email address in any publication, such as a business directory, as this makes it public knowledge and therefore more easily obtainable by UBE senders.

  • Avoid putting your real email address on a web page, either in regular text, or in a mailto link.

  • Be careful about who you forward email to. If you are receiving mail from friends, for example, who list all their friends email addresses in the CC part of the email, then there is always the chance that somewhere down the line the email gets into the hands of somebody you don't know.

  • Avoid typing your email address in on-line registration forms or surveys. For example, if entering an email address is required as a condition for downloading software, enter a fake address.

  • Remove yourself from on-line directories that keep lists of Internet user's names and email addresses.

Use our Neo-SpamBlock service
Asahi Net's Neo-SpamBlock Service enables users to filter out unwanted email before it reaches their Asahi Net mailbox.

Getting unsolicited email sent to your MyMail address?
Asahi Net's MyMail Change Address Procedure can be used to deactivate your MyMail address and replace it with another MyMail address, within a two-hour period. The monthly charge for the new MyMail address will be applied from the month in which the change is made.

Getting unsolicited email sent to your default email address?
If you're getting all of the unsolicited email sent to your default Asahi Net email address (e.g. ab3c-defg@asahi-net.or.jp) you can't change that address. One of your options is to make a setting on your mailbox to reject all email being sent to your default Asahi Net email address. Of course you will only want to do this if you are sure that you don't need any of the mail you are receiving to your default email address. For more about how to make this setting, visit our Reject email sent to default addresses page.

If none of the above is going to help you, please contact Asahi Net.

What Should I Do If I Receive UBE?

No matter how careful you have been about your email address, as suggested above, it is quite likely that you will receive UBE from time to time and be faced with the choice of either deleting it from your inbox or doing something about it. To do something about it will require your understanding of email headers so that you can make a complaint to the administrator of the domain from where the UBE came.

For more information about how to find email headers, please see Asahi Net's How to find email headers page.

What Should I Not Do If I Receive UBE?

Please don't make the mistake of responding to the REMOVE address of a UBE. Responding in such a way lets the sender know that you exist at that address, and they will probably sell your address to other senders of UBE or send you more UBE. Also, never call any telephone number listed or visit any Web site listed, no matter how tempting.

Beware of email scams. Recently there has been an increase in the number of scams using email to unfairly charge for the use of services such as chargeable on-line content, "two-shot dial", meeting sites, etc.

For more information about email scams, please see Asahi Net's Security page.

What is Asahi Net's Policy against UBE?

Please read Asahi Net's Unsolicited Bulk E-mail Policy.

Asahi Net's Individual Member Service Agreement contains several clauses which prohibit Asahi Net members from activities such as the sending of UBE. Asahi Net also does not release the names, addresses or email addresses of its members to the public.