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Virgin Media Tackles Flaky SPAM Filters by Allowing Junk Through

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 (1:25 pm) - Score 500
internet email

Customers of Virgin Media, specifically those who use the operator’s email platform, should by now be quite familiar with its history of flaky behaviour; most of which started after they migrated away from Google’s platform in 2015 (here and here). But it’s about to get interesting again.

According to a recent service update, Virgin Media intend to update the default mail settings for their customers from “reject spam” to “deliver spam to spam folder“. So, instead of having to deal with Virgin’s aggressive filtering (this catches plenty of legitimate messages too), subscribers will now enjoy receiving lots of junk that they’ll have to sift through themselves.

Virgin Media Service Update

This should prevent emails from being bounced back as spam, and instead give email users the option to click “not spam” on genuine emails.

Those using POP3 won’t see any change to their inbox, but webmail and IMAP users will start to see spam in the spam folder – which will be automatically deleted every 30 days. It’s advised that you check your spam folder on Webmail if you believe you are missing otherwise expected emails.

You can of course change the setting as you wish.

The change is somewhat of a doubled edged sword. On the one hand some people may suddenly find themselves having to wait for thousands of junk emails to arrive, before having to manually check through them one by one. On the other hand this is a better approach for those who suffer less junk and simply want to ensure that legitimate mail reaches their inbox.

On other platforms it’s usually possible to set different levels of server-side SPAM filtering, which can catch the obvious stuff while allowing the rest through for end-users to examine. But we get the impression that Virgin Media’s setup isn’t quite as flexible.

The good news is that end-users will be able to change the setting themselves, which assumes they all know how. As ever the best advice is NOT to use your ISP for email (there are plenty of free solutions around), while businesses might do well to consider paying a tiny fee for a dedicated mail provider; this will be a lot more reliable and you won’t be tied to a specific broadband provider.

Virgin Media’s change is already being rolled out and this process should complete in 2-3 weeks’ time, so don’t be surprised if your SPAM Folder suddenly starts to fill up.

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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