At Linode, we’re extremely proud of our Customer Support and Trust & Safety teams and the work they do together – they’re teams staffed by real humans who share an important goal: keeping our platform safe and free of abuse and fraud, and crafting policies that keep our customers safe. This means that when you email firstname.lastname@example.org, you can expect to hear, usually within minutes, from a real person – a member of an entire team that’s undergone extensive training to understand all of the complexities that can come with handling abuse, and who can respond to reports with empathy and urgency.
One of the most common problems for our teams (and our industry) is spam email abuse. It makes up a significant portion of the issues that our Trust & Safety team has to handle, and it’s a problem that’s getting harder to solve every year as fraudulent users adapt to new methods of stopping and blocking abuse. As Linode has grown, we’ve reflected on what we can do to dissuade spammers and fraudulent users from using our platform.
In response to this problem, starting today, Linodes on newly created customer accounts will have outbound connections from ports 25, 465, and 587 restricted by default. This change only affects customers who sign up starting today – if you’re already a Linode customer, no changes will be made to any existing or new Linodes.
Restricting access to these ports, which are used for mail delivery via SMTP, will go a long way to reducing the amount of spam transmitted from our platform. However, we also recognize that many customers have a legitimate need to send mail, and we want to help them do that. For those customers, the process for removing these restrictions is straight-forward:
- Configure valid A records and reverse DNS for the Linodes you’d like to use for mailing.
- Open a Support ticket and provide us with some basic information (the information we’ll ask for is outlined in our “Running a Mail Server” guide.)
Our Support team will review your request – if everything looks good, they’ll remove the SMTP port restrictions so you can get underway.
In rolling out this new policy, our goal is to balance the need to keep our platform safe with the understanding that many of our customers have legitimate needs to send mail. We want Linode to be the best cloud platform for developers and the customers they build for. By keeping bad actors out and our IP space free of spam and abuse, we hope to deliver a cleaner, more efficient and, ultimately, better cloud experience for you.