Nov 1, 2019 11:46:36 AM
We apologize for not following up on this thread correctly to provide updates on some of the various issues people have been running into. I'd like to clarify a few things and try to help anyone still needing it as there are several different issues rolling up in this topic:
This isn't an issue that's been persisting since 2017 that we've been ignoring. For some background, we have a Compliance team that are proactively monitoring activity around the clock in order to catch problematic accounts/emails before they cause any issues. This is something we take very seriously, as it helps ensure our emails land in the inbox which is of crucial importance. Despite those efforts, from time to time we may end up on a block list for a specific security software program or ISP for a variety of reasons. It definitely comes with the territory. When this happens, we have an ISP Relations team that works with these companies to mediate a solution. Norton being one example that was original mentioned and mentioned again recently. To be clear, these were two separate incidents. The issue is now resolved, and in the most recent incident it was resolved within a day or two. We're not currently on any major block lists that we're aware of for any anti-virus software programs. If you're seeing something now, then we definitely need to look into it. In the interest of getting information on the latest occurrence, we may ask some questions that have been repeated throughout that thread such as what the error is saying, what security programs are being used, screenshots of the error, and we may recommend whitelisting in order to get you on our way while we look into it, or as a troubleshooting step to ensure that is the software that is blocking access.
That being said, there is a second issue that has been brought up in this thread recently which is the browser plugin uBlock Origin blocking clicked links. This is different than normal anti-virus security software in that the point of the plugin is to block ads or any server meant to track user behavior. Links in a Constant Contact email go through the r20.rs6.net URL in order to be recorded as a "click" in your campaign reporting. In that sense, the domain is used to track behavior and is blocked accordingly through uBlock origin. They aren't likely to change their policy globally to allow our domain to continue to track clicks, so it's left up to each individual using the plugin to choose whether or not they want to remove the block to individual sites. This speaks to a growing shift in the market where users want more transparency into their data and how they are being tracked.
@SophiaL37 - Based on information from your recent support interaction, your issue seems separate from both the Norton and uBlock experiences I mentioned above. Because of this I'd like to address you more specifically. The message you're receiving is a general connectivity error so it's not completely clear yet if it's stemming from any particular security software (in many cases these errors come from the software program itself and not just the Chrome error message). In order to get to the bottom of this for you we've submitted a case to our advanced level of support on your behalf. We're curious to get some more information on the workaround regarding creating new templates. As for your point about redirecting, the r20.rs6.net domain is meant to redirect to the link address. This is done in order to track as a click, this isn't a virus. Though a member of our advanced level support team will follow-up with you directly on this, I will be keeping an eye on your case as well.
It doesn't seem like I'm the only one experiencing problems with rs6.net links. While I concede that security programs such as anti-virus programs and firewalls may contribute to this issue, it's disappointing that customers need to perform several actions to make Constant Contact work for them.
Two things suggested by CC support in this thread:
1. Adding Constant Contact to whitelists <-- not all users have the access or the knowledge to be able to do this on their work networks.
2. Sending the name of the firewall and antivirus programs to Constant Contact support <-- This is onerous for your clients as well as ours. Despite all the CC users sending this information to CC, what steps have been taken to contact those security vendors to have CC added to their whitelist so this does not happen in the future? In other words, if the next Norton update still blocks your emails, what is the purpose of sending this information to CC support staff?
Our technicians are aware of the situation with UBlock Origin and are working on a solution. The reader can also disable blocking for rs6.net and/or r20.rs6.net in uBlock Origin settings.
This problem was brought to your attention in 2017 and it is still happening. I have 2000 on my mailing list and can't request them all to white list. Can't you work something out with Norton to fix this issue?
I am still having this issue (2019, but I was not the original poster) with my own, as well as some client's email. I do not have Norton. The only program I use is McAfee and I don't have any capability within it to add these addresses to a white list.
This is only a recent issue (the last month). I've been using your software for YEARS. I reached out on twitter and was told the following:
At least I have an answer for you. It does appear to be your security program that is causing the issue. But you can tell the security program that content from Constant Contact is okay through a process we call whitelisting.
Here are the instructions and the Constant Contact URLs to whitelist, which includes the http://r20.rs6.net that you have seen.
This was on October 14th.
Please help. I cannot access any links or videos in the newsletters I release. I release a newsletter every day.
I apologize that you are having the same experience with your contacts. If you are unable to have them white list I do recommend giving our Deliverability team a call as they will be able to provide you with more information and advice on this issue. Thank you!
I received this email from a subscriber this morning: "I wanted to tell you that every time I tried to click on a link in the email to go to the webpage, my Norton freaked out and told me it was dangerous to go to the site, so it was blocked. I tried this on a bunch of different links in the email of the newsletter and finally just went to your main site and found all the links there and those worked just fine without a warning. So it was just the email links with the dangerous warning. I’m not sure what’s going on, but I wanted you to know."
It seems like Norton is blocking Constant Contact links. The subscriber said she had no problem visiting the links on our actual website, but the ones in the email were flagged as dangerous. I see that this problem has been going on for several years now. What is Contact Contact doing about this issue?
I saw your "solutions" about adding exceptions to Norton, and that's not realistic. I can't tell thousands of people to do that every time we send an email. Has Constant Contact reached out to Norton and tried to fix this? This is a reason to switch to another email provider that doesn't have this issue.
I apologize you both are having this experience with our tracking links as well. It's important to mention our Support is also working with Norton to resolve this. Whitelisting Constant Contact is only a workaround we suggest in the meantime. We have also seen users who have contacted Norton directly as well and listed our redirect link as safe through their support.
PiHole also blocks your rs6.net links, Constant Contact. It seems the domain has likely gotten on one of the blocking lists, used for many any-malware and anti-ad products.