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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fix for Cox Subscribers (I think)

UPDATED: If you want your daily e-mail summaries back, here’s what you do
By Will Collette

UPDATE: Jeff's fix (scroll down) DOES work. If you disable the SpamBlocker option in your Cox service, Progressive Charlestown - and everything else WILL come through. This morning, I had 38 fabulous offers to become wealthy from various Nigerian gentlemen. Just one of these offers alone would allow me to mix with Charlestown's elite. South of One, here I come! BTW - those 38 really serious spam messages were all caught by my anti-malware software and stuck in Outlook's "junk mail" file. If my fix of adding Progressive Charlestown to the "Exceptions" list doesn't work for you, try Jeff's fix. Just beware of Nigerians bearing gifts.

I suppose I shouldn’t complain too much that my e-mail/internet service provider (Cox) is VERY security conscious. But I don’t feel warm and fuzzy toward Cox when they decide to block my own e-mails from Progressive Charlestown, a problem shared by other Cox subscribers.

Many Progressive Charlestown readers subscribe to the free daily e-mail summaries that give you a nice start to the day. They go out in the middle of the night and summarize and link to PC articles in the previous 24 hours. If you are not signed up to get these, just look in the right-hand column near the top.

About three weeks ago, we started hearing that some of you stopped getting that convenient daily e-mail. Some folks wondered if they had done something to trigger my legendary temper (not the case). I found that I was also not getting MY daily summaries, either. Like most of the readers who lost their daily summaries, I’m a Cox subscriber, but we’ve gotten reports from a few who are not.




Most recently, Progressive Charlestown reader Jeff posted this suggestion: My COX ISP SPAM default SPAM filter blocks Progressive emails. I finally disabled SPAM filtering at my ISP and use my native mailer to block JUNK/SPAM. I can better control”

That approach DOES work. Your Progressive Charlestown e-mail should come through. On the subject line, it will say "SPAM" (even though it's not) and then the title of the e-mail. This approach is simpler than the second approach that follows. But if you have weak anti-malware protection loaded on your computer to screen your incoming e-mail, there is some risk that something nasty could get through.

But if you feel confident that your anti-malware software is good, then go ahead and do it. See Illustration 1, below. To use Jeff’s fix, click on SpamBlocker settings.

Now, here’s a safer but much more complicated approach that I worked out through experimentation –without help from Cox tech services. They never answered my pleas for help (the bastards – you can Google “Cox sucks” for some interesting stories).

The individual steps are easy enough, but there are many steps to this process. In the end, you will be rewarded with the restoration of your daily PC e-mail summaries and you might be able to fix other problems along the way.

For subscribers to other ISPs (e.g. Verizon), there probably is a similar process within your system.

OK, Cox subscribers, here’s what you do.

  1. Account number. Before you do anything, grab your latest bill from Cox so that you have your account number handy. You may need it if you have log-in problems. 
  1. Get into your e-mail through the Internet. Open up your e-mail account through the internet NOT through Outlook, Outlook Express or other e-mail software. Go to Cox’s website at cox.net (NOT cox.com) 
  1. Log in with your user name and password. If you don’t remember either of those, you will have to go through the process of getting Cox to give you that information by clicking on “Forgot user ID/password.” This is where you might need that Cox account number. 
  1. Check Spam folder (left column). If you see your missing Progressive Charlestown e-mails in your spam folder, you’re on the right track. You may see other e-mail in the spam folder that aren’t spam. Write down the e-mail addresses of all senders you don’t want spam-blocked, since you might as well fix them all while you’re at it. 
  1. Click on the Settings button. This is in the center panel above your e-mails. 
  1. “Allow and Block Messages.” This link is in the right hand column near the bottom. Click on it.
    ILLUSTRATION 1: arrows mark the links for steps 4, 5 and 6. And the "SpamBlocker settings" link is where to go to try Jeff's fix
  1. Settings. Now you are looking at the settings panel (illustration 2, below). First, under “enable blocking,” click on “activate advanced blocking features.” Now you get to pick for yourself who you want to block and who you want to allow. 
  1. Exception List. This is the crucial step. In the block under “Exception list,” type in progressivecharlestown@gmail.com. Click on “OK” at the bottom and you should get your PC daily summary the following morning.
ILLUSTRATION 2: type progressivecharlestown@gmail.com in the box for the "Exceptions List." Click OK and that should do it.

It’s up to you, of course, but you could also add other e-mail addresses for those e-mails you found in your spam folder that aren’t really spam. Cox was also blocking my updates from South Kingstown Patch.

I’m sorry it took so long to come up with this – and I wish the fix was easier. 

Please let us know how this works out.