A one-time $15 spam cleanup fee will be assessed per incident beginning August 1, 2015. This is to offset labor costs of cross-checking servers against a variety of realtime DNS blacklists, and manually checking with other sources that keep DNSBL data hidden from public consumption.

This fee will be automatically charged to your account. Failure to maintain a properly secure account and Internet connection may result in recurring fees until your account is properly secure.

Steps to secure your account

There are several methods to keep your account secure from attacks:

First, if you run software like WordPress or Drupal, always make sure it is updated. We take several steps to minimize the accessibility of an attack, but even these steps can’t protect you if your application is 2+ years old. Exploits do happen.

Creating a user in the control panel? These are the most often hacked by brute-force methods. Hackers cull your e-mail addresses from publicly available bulk listing services, then periodically over the span of 6-12 months, gradually try multiple password combinations in batches. Eventually, if the password is weak, they get a match and your account will begin relaying spam.

Third, don’t create throwaway accounts! This means never create an account named “test”, never create a password that you wouldn’t feel safe using every day.

Fourth, use password utilities like KeePass and LastPass. There is a multitude of programs to generate unique passwords and keep them in a safe place.

Fifth, use anti-virus software. Trojans lurk everywhere on the Web. Zero-day exploits are like bear traps waiting for an innocent victim – you – to spring it. Some trojans are purposed to steal confidential information, like logins, passwords, and credit card numbers from your computer. Always use an anti-virus. Popular AV software includes AVG and Microsoft Security Essentials for Windows and ClamXav for Mac.

Follow these five simple steps and you’ll remain safe and obscure from attackers.

August 1: Mandatory Spam Cleanup Fee