"catch-all" email addresses


#1

Saw the note about not using “catch-all” email addresses, as they can increase spam - and I’m sure that’s right.

But what is the view on using ‘wild card’ (“catch-all” address) to divert all UNWANTED mail either to bounce or delete?

And, from a spam point of view, which is considered best, bounce or delete?

I use bounce, on the basis that if any get through, they just might remove my address - but I get annoyed about all the bounces I get, and I’m sure most of those I send actually end up in the wrong place!

I guess I’m really asking how efficient Dhost (and others) are at dealing with this awful mess!

Any views or information gratefully received.


#2

See my other message about this… when you set the catchall to “bounce”, we just send a reject message during the SMTP transaction. The reason this is important is because in this case, the bounce is generated by the sender’s MTA. In general, most viruses and spamware which forge the envelope-sender address are using their own SMTP engine, and simply ignore (or track) the reject - they don’t generally send a bounce back to the “sender”. So the “reject” (bounce) option is the best for your catchall. It is unlikely that spammers will remove your address in most cases, but at the least, someone who makes a typo should get a bounce message and realize that they sent an email to the wrong address. I don’t like the idea of silently discarding messages, as the sender may make the incorrect assumption that their message was delivered.

Currently, setting an individual address to bounce IF you have a catchall results in an “accept-and-bounce” situation, which we’re going to fix one of these days.


#3

That’s much as I expected, and very helpful, thanks. I have specific forwarding and all others bounce, and I’ll continue with that. Meanwhile, I’ll keep hoping that anti-spam lawsa start to bite … but little sign of that so far!