Entries Tagged as 'Email'

Tips and Tricks: Testing SPF Record For Your Domain

If you have set up your SPF (Sender Policy Framework) record but you haven’t tested it, then here’s an easy method of checking if it works. Send off an email to:

[email protected]

If you get a response where it says that it has passed, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, you’ll have to do some more testing to see why it’s not working. OpenSPF is a great place to start as far as finding the right tools and how to do setups for SPF records.

Tips and Tricks: Google Apps SPF Record With GoDaddy

Annoyingly, email from Google Apps will fail to some recipients if you do not set up the SPF (Send Policy Framework) record for your domain. And while Google Apps tells you how to do it with a TXT record, the way GoDaddy does it is a little bit different:

  • Go to Total DNS Control Panel.
  • Under the TXT section: click Add SPF Record.
  • Select An ISP or other mail provider: click OK.
  • Select Outsourced tab: put “aspmx.googlemail.com” (no quotes) in the field and click OK.
  • Click OK again when GoDaddy sets up a SPF record.

And then you can wait a little bit for that to propagate to all of the DNS servers. Once that’s done? You’ll have your SPF Record set.

Growing List of Hotmail Accounts Compromised Via Phishing

pirate Over the weekend, it seems that there was a compromise with Hotmail accounts. Five figures worth of accounts apparently. Now, the first thought would be that someone actually took action against Microsoft and busted through. But in this case, it was apparently ill-gotten from phishing scams. The password list was posted on Pastebin which is a place where developers share snippets of code to get more eyes on it. They have taken down the offending accounts and taken the necessary precautions.

Either way, Microsoft has identified this issue and has apparently locked down the compromised accounts. If you were compromised and are locked out, there is an email form that Microsoft Live has set up for you to reclaim your account. I took a look at it, and it asks for some serious private information.

All of this should teach you (the end user) something. Lesson here is that you don’t click on anything ever in emails or otherwise, when you can go directly to the site itself and look for it. One of the reasons I have always hated HTML emails since it stupefies the entire security aspect and makes it a more difficult problem since you go against human nature. Thus? You’ll never see me prefer text over HTML any day of the week. You can dump links there, but I can read them.

Judge Orders Google to Shut Down GMail Account

gmail Sometimes I wonder if judges know exactly what they’re doing when they bring down the heavy hand of the law.

In this case, a bank had “mistakenly” attached a spreadsheet that had a lot of personal data in it. Now, if anything, that bank should be in big trouble. You don’t store personal data in spreadsheets if anyone from security knows anything, and recalling an email? What the heck. When an email goes out, it’s GONE.

So Google refuses to give up the account name due to privacy laws, so the judge orders the account to be deactivated. So my question is…. if I happen to email that judge by mistake, my social security number… does that mean that by precedence, he has to have his email deactivated too?

I mean, that’s the judgment that was passed down, but it doesn’t make any sense from a technological standpoint. There are processes and procedures dealing with IT rulings and when this happens, the corporation that messed up is the one that should be fined, not the person that got sent the information. Amusingly enough it reminds me of a local story about a medical facility that is being investigated for leaving medical records on the side of the road. They claim it was a third party service, but they won’t name the service. And go figure that privacy law is what’s also driving this local story and they’re the ones in trouble.


1_blists_t.jpg If you’re looking for a client that can do everything1, then Digsby might be your key to a bright bright future.
It can do all of your major IMs (Yahoo, AIM, Microsoft Live, ICQ, and more), and it can check email and connect up with Facebook, Twitter, and keep track of several social networking things all from one single client.
This is actually pretty neato skippy, although I have to say that with all of this, I’m actually surprised that it doesn’t support IRC at all like some other IM clients. Sort of important if you’re actually trying to do the whole all-in-one thing (of which I totally approve). It supports Windows, MacOSX, and linux, which is great and I have to say that it really takes all-in-one clients to a new level. Remember back in the gaim and trillian days? Oh yes. It was nice wasn’t it. This just makes it that much better.
1 – Everything is is slightly relative isn’t it.

Royal Caribbean scam on Flickr?

rclsurveyscam.jpg I have to say that I was pretty flabbergasted when I got this email. Let’s just say that having dealt with RCL’s customer service, I know they don’t pull amateur plays like this and if their marketing department DID indeed pull this off then it’s a really poor job at doing something with a business.
So why did this email ring up like a scam? First, it was sent from a Flickr account to my Flickr account. Not from an official email from Royal Caribbean or a RCL address and it wasn’t addressed through my RCL account. In fact, it was manually typed since the person actually messed up my account name. Guess some people don’t read. Second, it had an email to Yahoo. Who the heck uses a free Yahoo email for anything business related?
And when you go to the survey site itself? It looks just like a RCL site. And from the email, it says that you can login from your Flickr account for your “convenience”. Don’t even buy into that. Probably pulling your password just as you enter it. And what’s more is that the domain is owned by:

466 Lexington ave
new york, ny 10017
Administrative & Technical Contact:
David Chang
466 Lexington ave
new york, ny 10017
Domain Name Servers:
Transfer-Lock Status: ENABLED
Created: June 18, 2008
Modified: June 18, 2008
Expires: June 18, 2009

Very interesting isn’t it. It seems that JWT is a supposed marketing firm or something. But even so, you would still think that Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. would own the registration. Still pretty dang strange. So, with all of that?
I called RCL customer service. They knew nothing about this, so they said they’d forward it up through security and find out since it did look awfully suspicious. They said that they’d call back if they needed more information and I agreed to forward them whatever I had. Then Flickr got an email too. Why all this precaution?
When it comes to marketing a brand like RCL, you can never be too careful with scams, especially one that has such great customer service. If indeed it’s a marketing gimmick or campaign, then it’d be better to have it shut down due to security reasons than to taint the brand itself. Either way, from a technically capable person viewing it as a customer of RCL, I wouldn’t want to see this type of thing go on. Ever. And believe me, online scams are a plenty as it is and tracking them isn’t always as obvious. If you’re legitimate but bells ring screaming scam, then you’re doing something very wrong.
Hopefully they get it sorted out. But for now, I would avoid entering any sort of RCL survey that is originating from Flickr. If it’s not coming from the official mailing list for Royal Caribbean, I would be extremely weary that they are doing anything with Flickr.

Thunderbird Add-on: Sync Kolab

thunderbird.png The Sync Kolab extension for the Thunderbird email client allows you to set up synchronization with imap servers for both calendar and address books.
This is extremely helpful for those that are looking for portability and when it comes to working on email from multiple different points of entry. Now this allows not only your server-side to be at any point, but your local ends also to be synchronized in case you lose connectivity or something. And using iCal’s calendar format is pretty spectacular, since that’s basically the one thing that Outlook had on open-source type software.

Why some causes use email as an annoyance

I recently was outraged with Comcast paying people to go to a FCC meeting and thus not filling the room up so that those that were interested in what the FCC had to say about Net Neutrality could not participate in the meeting.
So I went and filled out a pre-written form at Save the Internet. What really bugged me though is that after it was all over?
The next day, I get this email from the Free Press E-Activist Network about supporting the cause. Here’s the thing. When I signed the form, I saw that it said had it already checked the box to add me to their mailing list. That’s not an opt-in. That’s a forced opt-in. Opting-in is the actual move of actually checking the box. What else bothered me? This line:

Add me to the Free Press E-Activist Network so I can receive occasional emails about important media reform developments

Hate to say it but an email the next day doesn’t constitute as occasional. By any means.
I’ve since unsubscribed from the network, and hopefully it’ll actually remove my email unlike some email lists I belong to where they harass you even though you’ve managed to opt-out and unsubscribed from pretty much every single user automated service they have (nonprofits have some weird software out there that keep coming back to ask you for things).
Word to the wise. If you have a cause, people will join it if they believe in the same thing that you do. But don’t overdo the whole email opt-in just to gather people. Let people be proactive. In the end, if you had a supporter but you annoyed them in some fashion, then that’s the end of your support.
I’ll still have to look into how to get off those lists for that one nonprofit technology network. Ick.
Photo Credit: (krisandapril)

Spam Proof Email Generator

spamproofemailgenerator.jpg When I first read about this, I figured it was some image maker. My second thought was… boy, they’re in for a treat since DLS forgot to mention the more advanced scraping now that implements some OCR technologies.
Needless to say, this method does make it simple to create images of your email to put on a website and it does deter most text scraping from pulling emails. Unfortunately though, in the same fashion that spammers are overcoming captchas, scrapers are now turning to OCR to actually deal with images. And in that sense, Spam Proof Email Generator, doesn’t quite live up to the “proof” part of the name. Regardless, a little protection is way better than none when you’re riding through spam’s neighborhood.


correo.jpg If you’re looking for an open source email client for MacOSX, Correo could be what you’re looking for.
It supports IMAP/POP, and MacOSX Address Book integration and your usual mail client abilities. What I love about this is that they have IMAP Enhanced support in. This means that you can actually use subfolders in your mail account without having to download all the mail messages. Makes it handy for synchronizing mail with multiple devices. Correo is also planning on implementing portable device synchronization such as PDA mail and some other very useful features. Currently the version dictates that this project is very young, but it basically blends both of Mozilla’s projects in Thunderbird and Camino together.
If anything, this should remind you why Outlook takes the cake for much of the email client market, and why others upon other operating systems are starting to come up with certain features that are corresponding to the mature Windows email client.