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e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

ebforum
Hooked
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-01-2022

e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

Hello, I wonder if someone can help please....

I am running Outlook 365 on a Windows 11 PC. I am successfully sending e-mails to many domains but I have been advised that those I am sending to Gmail and Outlook.com accounts are going into spam/junk.

Outlook 365 is configured as per PlusNet documentation in respect of their mail servers and authentication.

However, as a member of the British Computer Society I have an e-mail address for life from them which redirects e-mail sent to that address to my Plusnet e-mail address. This is working fine and is in the format of firstname,surname@bcs.org.uk.

When setting up Outlook 365, I entered firstname,surname@bcs.org.uk as the account name which forms part of my display name on e-mails I send and is the return address when people reply to my e-mails.

I'm wondering if my e-mails are being identified as spam/junk because they are coming from Plusnet's domain with my BCS e-mail address being embedded for the return address?

I sent a test e-mail to my wife on her Gmail account and that went into spam saying that it couldn't verify that the e-mail came from bcs.org.uk. 

Please refer to the attached screen snip which shows what I am trying to describe.

Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks.

10 REPLIES 10
MisterW
Superuser
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

I'm wondering if my e-mails are being identified as spam/junk because they are coming from Plusnet's domain with my BCS e-mail address being embedded for the return address?

Almost certainly! The problem is that the Plusnet mail servers are not designated as authorised senders of mail for the bcs.org.uk domain. The bcs.org.uk domain  will have an SPF record which defines authorised senders and the PN servers will, not be in that list.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

ebforum
Hooked
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-01-2022

Re: e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

Thanks for your swift response Mister W.

Please excuse my lack of detailed technical understanding........

How should my Outlook 365 e-mail account be set up to overcome my e-mails being received into Junk/Spam folder of the recipients please? I assume the way I have set up the PN servers and authentication is correct given that I can send and receive e-mails.

Thanks.

MisterW
Superuser
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

@ebforum details regarding SPF can be found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sender_Policy_Framework

Basically

SPF allows the receiving mail server to check during mail delivery that a mail claiming to come from a specific domain is submitted by an IP address authorized by that domain's administrators.[3] The list of authorized sending hosts and IP addresses for a domain is published in the DNS records for that domain.

In your case , you are sending mail with a From: address of bcs.org.uk but are sending via the PlusNet email server. The SPF record published for the bcs.org.uk does not list the PN server as an authorised sender and so some receiving servers will reject the email.

In fact the SPF record for the bcs.org.uk domain is

v=spf1 mx a:spf.securespamfilter.com include:_spf.gradwell.net include:spf.spamhero.com ~all

In order to not get your bcs.org.uk email rejected , you need to send from one of the authorised bcs.org.uk servers. I suggest you contact them and ask how you can send via their servers.

To answer this I assume the way I have set up the PN servers and authentication is correct given that I can send and receive e-mails.

Yes, your setup is correct to access the PN servers BUT you should only use them to send email that is From: a Plusnet email address e.g something@<accountname>.plus.com

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

ebforum
Hooked
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-01-2022

Re: e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

Sincere thanks MisterW for your response.

I have raised a customer support ticket with the BCS.

What surprises me is that I have used BCS e-mail for about 20 years on a succession of Windows PCs with Outlook. It is only in the last months that the problem has been apparent. I guess there could have been some tightening of configuration in recent times that's giving rise to my e-mail problems?

Kind regards and thanks.

 

Townman
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Re: e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

To inhibit sender email address spoofing, wise domain owners should be ensuring that emails sent as @mydomain.co.uk can only be authoritatively sent via their own SMTP services through the implementation of SPF rules.

One can imagine that BCS will be knowledgeable in facilitating secure services and might well have implemented such SFP rules - possibly recently.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.

ebforum
Hooked
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-01-2022

Re: e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

Is the simple fix to change my Outlook 365 e-mail account from firstname.secondname@bcs.org.uk to firstname@PNaccountname.plus.com?

Thanks and regards.

Townman
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Re: e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

No the right fix (if you want to use your @bcs.org.uk persona) is to use their SMTP service.

Log into MyBCS on their website - I would expect therein will be guidance to configuring your email account.

 

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ebforum
Hooked
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎05-01-2022

Re: e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

It looks like the BCS is moving away from supporting e-mail accounts as the attached image, just taken from MyBCS, suggests that it is now just a forwarding from BCS domain accounts to one or more other e-mail accounts of my choice.

Perhaps now is the time to move to sending e-mails with my Plusnet. I will await feedback from my BCS customer support ticket before taking the final decision. At least I will not have to immediately notify the many organisations that hold my BCS account as they will continue (for now) to be forwarded.

Thanks.

MisterW
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Registered: ‎30-07-2007

Re: e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

Perhaps now is the time to move to sending e-mails with my Plusnet

If you wish to keep email relating to bcs separate from your personal email, it might be worth considering setting up an additional PN mailbox such as bcs@<youraccount>.plus.com. Then forward your bs.org.uk mail to that mailbox.

 

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Townman
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Re: e-mails being identified as spam/junk by Gmail and Outlook.com

Email forwarding without a send SMTP service is something of a farce. Without some tech savvy, reply emails will come from the forwarded to address or (as in this case) run the risk of falling foul of diligent SPF anti spoofing measures.

Ultimately the right answer is to obtain your own domain and use that with an email hosting provider. That way you protect yourself from being tied to an ISP or third party changing their minimalist mail services.

Superusers are not staff, but they do have a direct line of communication into the business in order to raise issues, concerns and feedback from the community.