Reducing Spam Q&A


What services does ACS offer to reduce or eliminate SPAM?
ACS offers the most advanced and highest rated spam control products in the industry. All ACSOL.NET email addresses are automatically configured to use the ACS MailGuard system. Customers with domain hosting accounts will have use of either the ACS MailGuard system or the Premium Domain Hosting anti-spam system.


How does ACS MailGuard work?
The ACS MailGuard servers intercept all email messages that are destined for ACS customers.  Each message is put through a complex scoring process, based upon hundreds of rules and filters, to calculate a total score which represents the likelihood that a message is SPAM. Once a message exceeds a certain score, it is placed in a personal quarantine area. Once a day, end users are sent a summary message from the ACS MailGuard server, with a list of items that have been quarantined. Users have the option to manage the quarantine area by using the "Daily Spam Quarantine" report, or by logging directly into their account on the MailGuard server. ACS MailGuard is turned on by default for all "" accounts; customers who host domains with ACS should call our office if they wish to have this service enabled.


Can I configure ACS MailGuard to block everyone except people that I add to a whitelist?
The ACS MailGuard product can be configured to block ALL EMAIL, except for email addresses that you explicitly add to your whitelist. ***Important Note*** This will completely block all email senders that are not on your whitelist, this includes listservers and Ebay confirmations, etc. In addition, any blocked emails will not show up in your quarantine summary, they are totally rejected without any trace of the attempted message. Please consider this functionality carefully. This procedure can be reversed if you change your mind, but lost messages will not be retrievable. To enable this functionality, please use the following procedure:
Blocking All Email Senders Non On Your Whitelist

    • 1. Login to your MailGuard account. (Go to and click on the MailGuard link on the right hand side, in the Spam Control box.)

    • 2. Login using your email address and password.

    • 3. Click on preferences, and click Whitelist/Blacklist

    • 4. In the whitelist section type in an email and click add. Continue adding emails for all the contacts you want to receive email from.

    • 5. In the Blacklist section type in COM, click add. Type in NET and click add. Type in ORG and click add.

    • 6. You may also want to add .EDU, .GOV, .INFO or country code extensions that you do not wish to receive email from. For example: .US .JP .AU .TV


What about the older ACS Challenger product?
ACS Challenger was a product introduced prior to ACS MailGuard. It required that senders of messages must reply to an automated "challenge" message before their email was delivered. This system worked well in many situations, but was subject to problems when dealing with legitimate messages from various entities on the Internet. For example, confirmation messages from banks or shopping programs are automatically generated and they do not respond to the "challenge" message to verify their authenticity. A much better approach was developed and we named it ACS MailGuard.


I understand that ACS Challenger is gone, but how did it work?
The ACS Challenger system is an older anti-spam product that was replaced by ACS MailGuard. Each message that is delivered to a Challenger customer, has an automated response message that is returned to the original sender. We call the automated response a "challenge" message. The "challenge" message request that the original sender verify their email address by responding to the "challenge" message. Once a sender has responded to the "challenge," they are automatically added to that customer's white list. All future messages, as well as the original message, are delivered.


Which is better? MailGuard or Challenger?
Because ACS MailGuard uses a "scoring" technique of examining messages, we feel that it is the best all-around approach to SPAM control that is available. If you receive email from a variety of sources, then ACS MailGuard will work very well for you. The ACS MailGuard server catches over 97% of SPAM.


If I have a domain hosting service with ACS, which SPAM control service should I use?
ACS Premium Domain Hosting plans include a very sophisticated SPAM control system that is built into each users WebMail control panel. The ACS MailGuard system is also available to most customers with ACS domain hosting. It can be configured in peering environments to speed up Microsoft Exchange servers. Additionally, ACS MailGuard has the ability to tweak the preferences and SPAM filtering levels on a per-domain basis. For more information on this feature, please email our support department at or call us at (970) 245-7088.


What about Viruses that are combined with SPAM?
All email messages are scanned for viruses before being delivered to ACS customers. Viruses are removed and the original message is discarded. We catch up to 99% of all inbound virus messages. It is possible for an occasional virus to get through our server due to the speed at which viruses travel and the inherent delay in updating anti-virus software which we use. ACS recommends that customers use a commercially available anti-virus software to further reduce their risk of catching an email-based virus.


I'm confused about the SPAM controls or I'm having problems with the software.  What should I do?
"delivering technology with a personal touch" and we always value input from our customers!