Since the dawn of the Internet and email, people have been trying to find a means of monetizing this digital connection and turning it into a boost to their business. However, not all of these businesses are particularly scrupulous and it can make things very difficult for those who are.
Spam filters and IP blocking can keep legitimate businesses from doing what they need to do to make a living. That’s where whitelisting comes in.
To whitelist your IP address is to register it so that it can be trusted by those who get emails from you. In this way, your emails can be assured to go through and not be delegated to the spam or junk folders in most email browsers. Some whitelists are managed by non-profit organizations while others compile their lists based on those who have paid a fee to be placed on them. (There have been various protests to this, such as the commercial whitelist compiled by AOL because some have claimed it amounts to an “internet tax.”)
In most cases, the IP must be a static address that is fixed and not one that is redirected multiple times such as is common with spam or malware sites.
If you are running your own website, you may wish to whitelist certain parts of the site so that only users from a specific IP can access this. Things like the control panel/admin sections of the site can be whitelisted so that only certain administrators can have access and it can prevent hackers from getting in. (This, however, may not be a good fix if you have a tendency to work a lot from multiple locations.)
Each individual webhost has its own policies and procedures for whitelisting, so it is important to check with your own hosting platform to learn how to do this.
Whitelisting is just one more tool to help protect your site and help you ensure that you can gain access to the sites and information that you need. Because the process is so specific, it is important to research how it would best work for your website.
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