Problems emailing us?

If you are experiencing difficulties when sending email to @salford.gov.uk email addresses, the information on this page may assist you in resolving the problem.

Reverse domain name server lookup

As a measure to reduce the quantity of spam (junk mail) received by the council's email users, the city council has recently added a security measure that checks for what is known as "reverse domain name server lookup" (or "reverse DNS lookup") compatibility. The feature is applied to all inbound (external) email messages, and is regarded by the internet community as best practice for blocking spam email.

This is because spammers (or junk mailers), who don't want to be known, usually send out spam email via servers that do not 'resolve' one way or the other.

Unsolicited commercial email messages, or junk email messages ("spam"), is an annoyance of modern office and home email users. To delete these messages wastes time, but the consequences of unsolicited spam email can become far more troublesome as such messages may sometimes contain malicious files or viruses.

Generally speaking, messages are rejected where the inbound message has been sent from an ISP's (internet service provider) mailserver that does not have "reverse DNS look up" in place. It is considered best practice to block emails from such servers for the reasons stated above.

Thus, under this measure, a mail host with no reverse DNS lookup is regarded as a "spurious" host - and therefore not one that should be trusted as a bona fide origin.

How 'no reverse DNS look up' works

When a message is sent, a mailserver (eg, mail.salford.gov.uk) will 'resolve' to another server (eg, mail.planet-tonga.com, but if mail.planet-tonga.com does not resolve back to mail.salford.gov.uk then a 'no reverse DNS lookup' is the result.

Officially, every mail server on the internet is supposed to resolve in both directions.

The resolve process verifies that the incoming message really is from the source that it reports to be, and if the verification fails, then the inbound mail is automatically rejected.

How to fix this problem (technical explanation)

Salford City Council's mail servers require that all connecting mail transfer agents have established reverse DNS.

Reverse DNS is a way of associating an IP address with its domain name. The reverse DNS identifier is contained in the PTR portion of the IP Zone File.

If you are on a dynamic IP address, please contact your ISP and request "a static IP address with proper rDNS" before attempting to send email to Salford City Council through that server.

If you are on a static IP address, please ask your ISP or DNS provider to "establish a reverse DNS record for your IP address, reflecting your correct domain name".

Spam protection measures

In addition to the reverse DNS lookup issue, many organisations have implemented additional spam protection measures that filter incoming emails from ISPs that are rated as a "high" possibility of being spam.

At Salford City Council, such messages are routinely 'quarantined' by our mail server. The intended recipient of the message receives an automatically-generated notification that a possible spam email has been quarantined, which indicates the originating email address, the message's subject title, and date/time of sending.

The intended recipient then has seven days to request the message to be released to them if they believe the content is not spam, or it is deleted automatically.

Still experiencing problems?

Please try to implement the changes noted above. If you continue to experience difficulties emailing the city council please contact our ICT Help Desk on 0161 793 3993 during office hours and we will endeavour to assist you further.

Other ways to contact the council

Individual descriptions of council services, provided on this website, usually contain information about how to access the particular service provider by email, telephone or by post.

In addition, our contacting Salford City Council pages include comprehensive information about how to contact the council.

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