Acceptable Usage Policy

Overview

These Acceptable Use Policies specify the actions we permit and prohibit for users of our network, systems and the Internet. We reserve the right to modify these policies at any time, effective upon posting the modified document to:

http://www.authsmtp.com/documentation/aup.html

All services are supplied subject to both our Acceptable Usage Policy and Terms & Conditions.

Unsolicited Email / Spam

Sending unsolicited mail messages (spam) is explicitly prohibited - this policy includes any volume of unsolicited mail however large or small. This activity uses excessive resources, in many countries may be illegal, incurs great cost and annoys other users and recipients - we are strictly against this in any form - as a guide to this (but not limited to):

  • You must ensure that all people you send to are fully 'opt-in', have consented to receive emails from you and are therefore specifically 'expecting' to receive emails from you.
  • We do not recommend you 'buy' email lists as the recipients would rarely be specifically 'expecting' to receive emails from 'you' and this is likely to generate spam complaints.
  • You should not use anything (software or companies) that automatically generate email lists by 'harvesting' email addresses from the Internet / web sites.
  • You should only send emails from a valid email address. When sending to a mailing list this should be from the domain / web site that the recipients originally signed up with so they will recognise the email is from you - we would typically not allow sending from 'free' email addresses, your ISPs email address or using anonymous email addresses unless your users specifically opted-in using that exact address.
  • If you do receive any spam complaints the recipient should be removed from your mailing list. If you believe the complaint was an 'error' you may wish to contact them one further time or by another method (telephone, post etc.) to confirm if it was a mistake and if they wish to be re-subscribed to your list.
  • Posting the same or similar message to one or more newsgroups (excessive cross-posting or multiple-posting) is explicitly prohibited.
  • Make sure your emails are compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act - one of the specific provisions is that you should include your valid physical address in commercial / advertising / mailing list emails you send.

Spam Complaints

We operate spam feedback loops with many other ISPs - this provides us with data about spam complaints generated by the emails sent via our network. You are not authorised to override our access to this data, any requests to do so will be automatically rejected without notification. We also publish full details on our website of how Internet users can submit manual spam complaints to us for investigation.

If we receive a complaint against an email you have sent we will send you a 'Spam Complaint Notification' email and you will be expected to deal with these complaints promptly. Excessive complaints of this nature may lead to the immediate suspension of your service and possible closure of your account.

Accounts suspended or terminated due to excessive complaints do not qualify for any refund.

We appreciate that anyone who sends a large number of emails will possibly receive a small number of spam complaints (typically in error) - we consider a 'normal' ratio for a genuine opt-in mailing to be around 1 complaint per 3000-5000+ emails sent.We also look at various factors including the number, ratio and type of complaints but certainly any ratio higher than that would be considered excessive and could risk your account being suspended and / or cancelled without refund.

Additionally we reserve the right to charge for our time, system resources and any associated costs incurred dealing with complaints received from emails you send - typically a minimum of US$10 / UK£5 / EUR€7 for each complaint we receive.

The 'admin' email address for your account is the primary means we will contact you about your account (error reports / spam complaints, renewal notices etc.) - this must be kept up-to-date and able to receive emails that we send you. The current admin email address can be viewed / changed by logging into our Control Panel. If you fail to keep a valid admin contact email address on your account we reserve the right to suspend your service until you do update it.

The same conditions also apply to any spam complaint notification email address that you set via the control panel.

Illegal Use

Our network and systems may be used only for lawful purposes. Transmission, distribution or storage of any material in violation of any applicable law or regulation is prohibited. This includes, without limitation, material protected by copyright, trademark, trade secret or other intellectual property right used without proper authorization, and material that is obscene, defamatory, constitutes an illegal threat or violates export control laws.

Fair Usage and Technical Limitations

Our systems can accept and process very large amounts of email but we do operate a fair usage policy to ensure that our service is available for all of our clients all of the time (where technically possible).

  • We reserve the right to rate limit and / or suspend your account if your usage has a detrimental effect on the performance, availability or stability of our systems.
  • Currently we allow a maximum of 5 concurrent connections per account (or per IP address).

Email Deliverability

If you are using our service to send large amounts of email you are agreeing to do everything possible to increase the chance of your emails delivered - this includes but is not limited to:

  • Signing up for ISP whitelists and feedback loops where we cannot do it on your behalf.
  • Consider using various technical methods of increasing deliverability such as Domain Keys and SPF records - please consult the official websites for instructions and guidance on implementation.
  • Where possible send 1 message to each recipient as oppose to 1 message CC'd or BCC'd to multiple recipients. There is a hard limit of 50 recipients per single message but a single message sent to multiple recipients may be scored negatively as spam compared to a single message to a single recipient.
  • You must ensure your email 'from' / 'return path' / 'return to' / 'reply to' (sender) addresses are valid and you must be able to receive email to those addresses.
  • SPF is a mechanism to specify the SMTP servers that should be sending email for your domain. If there is a SPF record for the domain you are sending from it is critical that you add our service to your SPF record - for more details on SPF please see our FAQ What is SPF (Sender Policy Framework)?. Failure to do so could decrease the deliverability of your emails and may cause problems for your account and our servers.

In the rare event a specific ISP blacklists your account / IP address / domain name or indicates they are not going to accept your email or if you are sending from a domain that causes SPF failures we reserve the right to remove the offending 'from' address and / or suspend your account or prevent your account from sending to domain names relating to or hosted by that ISP until the issues can be resolved.

Bulk Mailing / Mailing List Best Practices

If you are using our service to distribute mailing lists etc to large numbers of recipients it is important that you follow these guide lines:

  • Maintain your mailing list / email addresses by removing invalid email addresses (i.e. invalid domains, illegal characters etc.), sending to many invalid addresses could result in your account and/or our servers being blacklisted.
  • Email message headers / envelopes must not be missing, malformed or forged and messages must not contain false or misleading information.
  • You must include a working 'unsubscribe' link or Internet based method to process any unsubscribe requests (a telephone / postal based method is not sufficient). Any removal requests should be processed within 7 days and (if at all possible) before sending out another mailing to avoid / minimise the risk of further complaints.
  • Keep records of how and when recipients signed up to receive emails from you.
  • Ensure your incoming email system is capable of handling the mailer daemon / delivery status / failure notifications (DSNs) of emails that could not be delivered.

Systems and Network Security

Violation of system or network security is prohibited and may result in criminal and civil liability. We will investigate incidents involving such violations and may involve and will co-operate with law enforcement if a criminal violation is suspected. Examples of system or network security violations include (but are not limited to):

  • You must keep your AuthSMTP username and password private / secure and ensure that you only use secure passwords to reduce the risk of someone else being able to access / abuse your account and our systems. We reserve the right to suspend your account if we feel your details have compromised. You are responsible for all emails sent using your AuthSMTP account.
  • Unauthorized access to or use of data, systems or networks, including any attempt to probe, scan or test the vulnerability of a system and / or network or to breach security or authentication measures without express authorisation of the owner of the system or that network.
  • Interference with service to any user, host or network including, but not limited to:
    • Mail-bombing
    • Packet flooding
    • Deliberate attempts to overload a system
    • Broadcast attacks
    • Sending or distributing viruses / infected files
  • Forging of any TCP-IP packet header or any part of the header information in an email or a newsgroup posting.
  • Unauthorized monitoring of data and / or traffic on any network or system without the express authorisation of the owner of the system or network.

Miscellaneous

Indirect or attempted violations of the policy, and actual and or attempted violations by a 3rd party on behalf of one of our customers or a customers' end user, shall be considered violations of the policy by such customer or end user.

To encourage responsible usage of the Internet - we will act against you if you abuse our system and the Internet in general. This action will usually take the form of a temporary suspension of your access until the matter can be resolved. If appropriate we may terminate your account immediately - without refund.

Questions

If you have any question about this policy please contact us.