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Web Mail Positive Whitelisting Emails Feature
SpamBlocker Positive Whitelisting
  • Article ID: 177594
  • Last modified date: June 25, 2012 11:06

Beginning the last week of June 2012, EarthLink and PPC will begin rolling out Postive Whitelisting for our spamBlocker customers.  This new process gives you the ability to control what happens to emails that are listed in our systems as spam, but that you still want to receive in your Inbox.


SpamBlocker Positive Whitelisting
SpamBlocker Positive Whitelisting
SpamBlocker Positive Whitelisting
What is a "Whitelist"?

A whitelist is a term used when referring to a list of preapproved addresses you want to receive email from.  In Web Mail, when you turn on spamBlocker, your address book serves as a whitelist.  When you are using spamBlocker on high, Email sent from individuals in your address book/whitelist should go directly to your Inbox.

What is Positive Whitelisting in SpamBlocker?

Positive Whitelisting is the process of filtering incoming emails against your address book before comparing it to list of known spam resources.

Incoming emails will now be scanned in the following order.

Incoming Email - Address Book - Known Spam - Inbox

When a new message comes in, it will be scrubbed against your address book first to prevent any accidental flagging as spam.  If the sending address is listed in your Web Mail address book, it will be moved to your Inbox.  If it is not listed in your address book it will be scrubbed against our spam checkers before going to your inbox.

This means you will still get that funny email forward from a friend, even if the content of the forward has been flagged as spam by our systems.  

How did spamBlocker use to work?

Prior to Positive Whitelisting, emails being scanned by spamBlocker were scrubbed in the following order.

Incoming email - Known Spam List - Address Book - Your Inbox

This process meant that, if an email was flagged as a known spam, EarthLink's spamBlocker would catch the email before it was compared to your address book and move it to the Known Spam folder.  This could cause problems for individuals who wanted to receive that email.  

Occasionally, an email may get added to the Known Spam profiles in error or it may be considered legitimate by some.  As there was no way to override this process, the only option for someone affected by this issue was to turn off spamBlocker.  

What do I need to do to turn on/off Positive Whitelisting?

Positive Whitelisting will be an Opt-In process for the first month of release.  Starting in July, it will be turned on by default for spamBlocker customers.  This will allow time to assure there are no issues with the new process.  

All you need to do to turn it on or off is go into your Web Mail and follow these steps:

1.  Click on Preferences.

2.  Click on spamBlocker under the General Settings section.

3. Make sure that spamBlocker is turned on by selecting either the Suspect of Known Spam options.

4. To turn on Positive Whitelisting, simply select the Yes option under the "Spam from Known Addresses" section.  To turn it off, select the No option.

5. You must click the Save Changes button at the bottom of the page to save the changes you made.

Why would I need to turn on positive whitelisting?

The most common reason for wanting to turn on Positive Whitelisting is when an email from someone you want continually goes into your Known Spam folder rather than your Inbox.  You'll want to make sure their email address is in your Address Book first.  If it is, then it is likely something about their email is making it appear like spam.  This could be a number of reasons ranging from things out of their control to the content of the email being a forward of a spam.  The fix is easy.  Just turn on Positive Whitelisting.

What kind of problems can happen if I turn on Positive Whitelisting.

There is little risk in turning on Positive Whitelisting.  If you find you are getting spam from the same source over and over that should have gone to your Known Spam folder, check your Address Book and make sure you haven't accidently added them to your address list.


Do I have to have spamBlocker on the Known Spam (Medium) or High settings for Positive Whitelisting to work?

Positive Whitelisting works on either medium or high spamBlocker settings.  As long as the sending email address is in your Web Mail Address Book, it will come into your Inbox if you have Positive Whitelisting turned on.

When will Positive Whitelisting be available for my email address?

Positive Whitelisting is being rolled out over several weeks starting June 25th, 2012.  It may take several weeks before all our customers see this feature on their accounts.  Unfortunately, there is no way for us to proactively add it to your account.

Why do you spell spamBlocker with a lower case s?

It was a marketing decision designed to confuse technical writers when writing these kinds of documents.  

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