Feeds

BT 'security upgrade' causes email headaches

If your domain's not down, you're not sending mail

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

BT broadband customers who don't use an @btinternet.com address are being forced to jump through hoops to send email, as the national telco says it is tightening its anti-spam policies.

A change in BT's rules means individuals and businesses who use a desktop SMTP program such as Outlook or Thunderbird with their own domain name are being confronted with error number 553 when they try to send mail. SMTP error 553 is raised when a remote server rejects the mail because the sender's domain is not on its approved list.

Users started noticing the problem earlier this month, but the policy change seems to have really bitten over the Easter weekend. One frustrated Reg reader who asked to remain anonymous said today: "I use it for social and business purposes and have spent all Easter weekend trying to sort it out - I've had enough and am changing email supplier."

BT did announce the change on one of its help sites. It tells non-@btinternet email users that they need to "validate" their domain. Nevertheless, many people have been caught unawares and the process seem unnecessarily bureaucratic.

A BT spokesman said the change had not been made in response to a particular increase in spam, but that it was part of an "ongoing programme of security improvements".

He said customers who are having problems should visit this page. Confusingly, the advice on how to get your BT email working again is provided by Yahoo!, a BT consumer broadband partner.

In trying to sort the validation process for his mum, blogger Phil Gyford aimed his frustrations at BT's various branding efforts. He had to log in to several sites before he could make the changes BT are demanding. He wrote: "If I'm paying for your service, a service whose helpline costs even more money, I don’t expect to be sent to a help page that requires me to guess which of your brands I have to visit, then which service I have to log in to, and then travel through three different brands before I reach a destination that bears a passing resemblance to the first instructions.

"Never mind forcing people into this tortuous branded hell purely for having the temerity of wanting to use their own email address, rather than your own branded one, in the first place." ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?