In General, yes, it would be "safest" to not forward email to networks outside of FutureQuest... AOL or otherwise.
AOL is just the tip of the iceberg it seems and other providers are starting to show signs of following the same path.
FutureQuest is NOT banning the use of forwarding alias and similar functionalities.
The problem is that AOL, and several others, are taking actions that indicate that they themselves no longer want email being forwarded to their network from other networks. As per usual, the problem stems from spam
IF you do forward email from the FutureQuest Network to other providers, then it is important that you do NOT allow that email to be reported as spam.
The main problem happens when the following occurs:
Spam is sent from "some forged address" to your FutureQuest hosted forwarding alias or autoresponder
The autoresponse (or a bounce message via a tool such as spamassassin) is sent to the "forged address" which happens to be an innocent party. When they receive the autoresponse they report it as spam and that spam is found to have come from your account on the FutureQuest Network rendering you and everyone else on the Network at risk of being blacklisted for allowing spam to be sent.
If forwarding alias, and primarily because of broken logic on AOL's side right now
The spam message that was sent to your FutureQuest hosted forwarding alias is then forwarded to the AOL email address and then, upon receipt, it appears that the account holder, or an automated process by AOL, reports the spam as spam and shows the spam as coming FROM the FutureQuest Network. AOL sees the spam as originating from FutureQuest and blacklists FutureQuest making it impossible for Site Owners to get normal email through to the _very large_ AOL Network.
Autoresponders, Bounce Messages, and Forwarding Aliases, are all excellent tools when used appropriately. It pains us that they have all been turned into BadThingsTM
due to spam and spammers that are not generated by anyone on our Network, yet everyone on the Network must suffer because of it
If these tools are used on accounts that do NOT
receive spam (do those exist anymore?) then they are fine. However, when they are used by accounts that do receive a lot of spam, the spam messages that are being responded to or forwarded to an outside network can backfire and end up looking like they came FROM you and the FutureQuest Network resulting in all of us being blacklisted
The majority of people that have received notices against their account for being reported as spammers by AOL, we believe, have actually reported themselves. E.g. they forwarded the email they received at their FutureQuest account to their AOL email address and then they themselves reported the spam to AOL who then pegged their FutureQuest account as the sender of the spam. Oh the irony.....
In short, the best way to keep your FutureQuest email safe from being accused of something bad by another provider is to keep your FutureQuest email within your FutureQuest account rather than risking bounces, autoresponders, or forwarded messages being reported as spam that originated from your FutureQuest Account.
The second best way is to ensure that messages you bounce or autorespond to are not spam messages and that messages you forward to other accounts you own, outside of the FutureQuest Network, are NOT reported as spam.
Network owners have become frustrated with users who use their networks for "spam collection" and reporting because there is simply too much of it to deal with and adding the additional spam issues that come into "outside networks" to the list has become extremely expensive. End result... at least in AOL's case, is that if you forward your spam to their network, from our network, and then report it as spam... you have successfully reported yourself as the spammer since they are seeing the email as coming from your "other account" outside of their network
Does the above help at all in explaining what is happening? If not, I have no problem trying to explain it a different way.... it's just a mess
and AOL's inability (or ?refusal?) to see that the spam was not originally generated by the forwarding alias just complicates it further
- You have the right to not report spam. Any spam you do report can and will be used against you.