Blocked Messages - Non-delivered Messages and Similar E-Mail Problems

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The two most important questions to answer are:

Worldwide, e-mail has ceased to be the simple system that it was. There is now a tremendous amount of spam and junk mail. A lot depends on the reputation of the sender's and receiver's e-mail provider. Middlebury has kept a good reputation (so you should be able to send out e-mail from your Middlebury account without problems). Other e-mail providers may have worse reputations, and thus messages coming from those providers may be blocked.

You may need to ask the sender to look at the bounceback messages that they've received (when an e-mail gets blocked a message bounces back to the sender, providing more information).

Reasons Why A Message May Be Rejected

There are several reasons why a message may "bounce" or be rejected:

  • if the message had an attachment that was not considered safe
  • if the message had a URL that was not considered safe
  • if the words in the body of the message appeared to be heavily spam-like (excessive $ or ! signs, links, or other characteristics common to spam messages)
  • if the message came from an address that was thought to be unsafe
  • if the sender's mail system was not considered safe

Steps that may be needed to resolve these problems:

The bounceback messages contain information that can tell us why the message was rejected. There are several common "keywords" that appear in the bounceback messages. The sender needs to skim through the bounceback message, looking for keywords such as the ones below. Depending on the keyword, a different action is needed (as detailed below):

  • "Message content rejected" means that there was an attachment or a URL or many words in the message that were considered unsafe. Without looking at the actual message, we don't know what was rejected. General tips include:

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