Help & Support

E-Mail Anti-Spam Guide


No one likes receiving spam e-mails, which is why we have taken a hard stance against spam at Gradient Hosting.

Not all spam can be stopped at time of arrival without being over-zealous and blocking some wanted e-mails, which we never want to do.

We go above and beyond to protect your mailbox from ever receiving 99% of unsolicited commercial e-mail (see Technologies below), however there are additional steps you can take to rid yourself of that last 1%

Some of these are easier than others, so we will list them in order of most effective first.

Understand What Spam Is

Depending on what type of unwanted e-mail you have arriving in your inbox, you will need to take a different action.

It is important to understand the difference between unwanted e-mail and unsolicited e-mail.

Unwanted e-mail is e-mail you have previously subscribed to but no longer want. Whether you subscribed intentionally or as a side effect of buying a product or service, or signing up to a online community, the correct way to deal with such mails is to unsubscribe (see below). Treating such mail as spam (unsolicited), can actually increase the amount of spam you get.

Unsolicited e-mail (aka spam), is e-mail sent to you with no prior consent from yourself. This mail can and should be blocked by any means other than unsubscribing. Clicking an unsubscribe link in an actual spam message will increase the spam you receive, since doing so confirms to the spammer that your address exists and is active.

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell whether a message should be unsubscribed from, or treated as spam.

We suggest that if you have received more than one e-mail from a particular sender (with different content - not identical copies), then it's probably safe to unsubscribe from.

Another good test is to search for the company via your favourite search engine. If they exist, they very likely aren't a spammer and you can unsubscribe.


This one may seem obvious, however there's more to it than might be immediately clear.

But the spam I'm getting isn't from companies I'm signed up to, so how will unsubscribing help? Clever Gradient Hosting user

Unfortunately many commercial e-mail sources are less than reputable and often sell their lists of e-mail addresses, including yours if you're signed up, to even less reputable companies or individuals. This is where you begin to get the spam you never signed up for.

There is also the unfortunate case of theft, whereby a reputable company you are signed up to has its mailing list database stolen. This happens more often when the company runs an older or irregularly updated, insecure web site.

In short, to further reduce the spam you receive, don't just delete your unwanted mailing list e-mail, unsubscribe first, especially from rarely updated sites; maybe shops you used once a while back, holiday comparison sites, etc.

Under the the UK Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations, the US CAN-SPAM Act and similar laws, all commercial e-mail providers must include an unsubscribe link somewhere in their e-mail (see here for details).

Remember, don't unsubscribe from a e-mail you didn't sign up for (unsolicited), since you will be confirming to the sender that you exist and will very likely receive increased levels of spam.

Get Virus Protection

Viruses or trojans that infect your computer often harvest e-mail addresses on the computer they infect.

There are many good, free virus protection softwares available currently. For Microsoft Windows, we like Bitdefender Antivirus Free Edition.


Don't put your e-mail address out there on the internet - in forum posts, comments, etc. Share it only with people you know.

Spammers scan public pages constantly and harvest e-mail addresses.


If a spam gets through to your inbox, despite following the steps above, your last line of defence is to report the spam to us. This allows our system to learn from its mistake in letting the spam through, and improves our detection of similar e-mails in the future.

Luckily for you, this is as easy as dragging the offending mail to your Spam folder (see below).


Every e-mail sent to your Gradient Hosting mailbox must pass through the following tests:

Depending on the degree to which a mail fails one or more tests, it will either be blackholed (ignored entirely), rejected back to the sender or placed in your Spam folder.

If you want to know any more about how we implement these technologies, please contact us.

The Spam Folder

The Spam folder in your mailbox is our gift to you - a special folder used to learn and improve the spam detection system.

As you probably know, new e-mail that we consider as spam is delivered to this folder rather than your inbox. However what you might not know is that you can put any e-mail that wasn't caught by our system in there and the system will learn from it!

Better yet, if you use our webmail, the Spam button in the toolbar will move highlighted messages to the spam folder for you.

Be careful with e-mails you keep getting and don't want but did originally sign up for - you should unsubscribe from those, not mark them as spam.

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