Why am I getting emails returned when I didn't send them?

Email & Webmail
Unfortunately, you're probably the victim of a spammer that is using your email address, or a made-up address using your domain, as the "from" and "return" address on their emails - this is known as "spoofing".  Spammers do this in the hope that using your address will result in more of their emails reaching their destination.

These emails can originate from open relays (SMTP Servers that don't require authentication), the spammer could be using their own email servers, or the email could be sent from an infected PC without the PC owners knowledge.  It can be difficult and time-consuming to stop this happening.  You may be able to trace the server the email originated from and complain to owner or datacentre but whether you get a result from this is pot-luck.

Can I stop these bounced emails arriving in my inbox? 

If the bounced address is a made-up address using your domain, then removing any catch-all address you have set up will stop the problem immediately. 

If you need to keep the catch all address then you will need to look at the emails to see if there is a common feature that you can use to create a "custom filter" within the Webmail interface.

Can I stop people spoofing my email address?

There's little you can do to stop people spoofing your email address, but you can limit the damage that can be done to your reputation, and you can reduce the spammers ability to have these emails delivered.  You can do this by creating an SPF record for your domain. This is a text record, that is added to your domains DNS record, which lists the email servers that a legitimate email from your domain could be delivered from. 

Creating this list can be easy, or it can be difficult, depending upon how you send emails.  If you only send and receive emails through our email servers it would be easy, but if you sometimes send emails using our email servers, sometimes through your ISP, and at other times through your mobile phone provider, then creating a list of all the servers you could potentially send an email from takes a little more time and effort.  However, it is worth making the effort.

Most anti-spam systems will check whether a domain has an SPF record, and if it does it will contibute a significant proportion of the "spam score" depending upon whether the email was delivered from an email server listed in your SPF record, or not.  This decreases a spammers ability to have their emails delivered when they are spoofing your address (thereby protecting your reputation) and increasing the likelihood of your own emails being delivered since the chance of them being identified as spam are vastly reduced.

Creating an SPF record for your domain isn't that hard, but it isn't necessarily easy either. The SPF record must list every single email server that could potentially send a legitimate email for your domain.  You have to consider every scenario where you send emails from your domain, then compile the list from that point.  More information about creating an SPF record for your domain can be found at http://www.openspf.org/.
A similar system to SPF is DomainKeys - in the respect that it helps to reduce email spoofing - is where your email is "signed" before it is sent confirming its legitimacy.  Our email servers are capable of working with DomainKeys for your domain but support among anti-spam software for DomainKeys is not as wide-spread as support for SPF records.