Spot a phishing e-mail in 2014

You almost got me, you crafty little phisherman.

The subject line of the e-mail referenced "your Apple ID." The body mentioned my credit card and how it had just been "updated." A quick scan of the rest caused momentary alarm. My credit card? I didn't make any changes to my credit card or my Apple account.

Then my morning coffee -- and common sense -- kicked in. Upon closer inspection, I recognized this e-mail for what it was: an attempt to infiltrate my computer and steal some personal information. In other words, a hacker doing … Read more

Bill Gates: I assume my phone's not being tapped

"It's not as if government surveillance is absolutely bad in all cases."

Oh, that's a relief. With all the revelations over the last months, I'd begun to wonder.

Thankfully, with these words (and others), Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates tried to offer some reassurance to those thinking of moving to some distant private island as a form of escape.

Speaking to Jorge Ramos on Fusion TV, Gates said he believed it was possible to find a balance between security and privacy, though he didn't offer what that magical formula might be.

However, he does seem … Read more

Get e-mail manager eM Client 6 (Win) for free

As regular readers know, I'm a big fan of ditching Microsoft's pricey Office suite in favor of cheap -- or, better, free -- alternatives. My top pick at the moment remains Kingsoft Office 2013.

Of course, when you switch to Kingsoft, OpenOffice, or another suite, you're giving up one of Microsoft Office's most valuable assets: Outlook. Without it, how are you supposed to manage your contacts, calendars, and, most importantly, e-mail? (Snark answer: In the cloud, of course.)

Alas, freebie mail clients are few and far between. Perennials Thunderbird and Windows Live Mail have their merits, … Read more

Microsoft updates Outlook's organizing tools

Celebrating what it says is "National Clean Out Your Inbox Week," Microsoft has added a few updates to Outlook's e-mail de-cluttering and organizing tools. Besides enhancing its Sweep to delete feature, the e-mail service has also upgraded ways to categorize and search for messages, along with other improvements.

Microsoft notes that average Outlook users get more than 10,000 personal e-mails a year and 80 percent of these are commercial e-mail, like newsletters, promotions, or updates. So, the company has aimed to make tools that let users more easily access the 20 percent of personal e-mails.

One … Read more

Hacker Guccifer strikes again, nabbing 'Downton Abbey' script

Guccifer does not discriminate. He (or she, or they) has hacked far and wide -- getting into the e-mail accounts of people as diverse as Colin Powell, Leonardo DiCaprio, and journalist Tina Brown. And, a new report from The Smoking Gun shows that the hacker's security breaches have been even more prolific than previously thought.

Dozens of people had their e-mail accounts and Web sites hacked by Guccifer. Not only has he amassed quite a spreadsheet of phone numbers, e-mail addresses, and home addresses, but he's also nabbed documents, personal drawings, and correspondences -- such as doodles by … Read more

The lazy way to unsubscribe from annoying e-mail lists

Look, I've got weaknesses, OK?

I have an unbalanced sympathy for the vertically challenged, the dimpled, and the low-voiced.

And then there's my e-mail inbox. I allow e-mails from a multitude of companies to fester there like septic acne. I don't know why I let them stay there. It's like that college friend who says he'd like to stay for a few days and, three months later, he wants to remind you that you've run out of his favorite Frosties.

Once in awhile, I'll whip down the page and click on "unsubscribe&… Read more

How to switch to Outlook.com using the new Gmail import tool

Switching e-mail providers isn't always an easy affair, especially if you want to hold onto your old e-mail messages. And if you want to switch from Gmail, Google's use of labels instead of folders can throw another wrench into importing your messages.

In the past, moving your Gmail to Outlook.com required some manual steps and you'd lose your Gmail labels in the end. Now, Outlook.com has an import tool that walks you through importing your Gmail messages, and it even converts your Gmail labels to folders.

To use Outlook.com's Gmail import tool, click … Read more

Rebuild mailboxes to fix incorrect handling of Mail messages in OS X

Apple's Mail application in OS X offers a built-in option for managing e-mail from a number of services, including standard POP and IMAP accounts, as well as services from specific providers like Google, and Yahoo, among others. Most of the time Mail will allow you to properly interact with your messages; however, there are times when it can improperly manage messages and give you some odd behaviors.

Some of these behaviors include:

Deleted messages reappear -- If you remove a message from your inbox, either by deleting or moving it to a new mailbox, then it should disappear. However, … Read more

Is Cannonball the best iPad e-mail client yet?

Think about how you process your daily snail mail. If you're anything like me, you separate the important items -- bills, letters, cards, and so on -- into one pile and the fliers, catalogs, magazines, and other stuff into another.

Free iOS app Cannonball applies that same concept to managing e-mail on your iPad, automatically separating the wheat messages from the chaff messages and presenting them in a visually appealing format. It also incorporates a few handy elements from popular e-mail client Mailbox.

The app supports Gmail, iCloud, Outlook.com, and Yahoo, and offers a unified inbox for users … Read more

Encrypted messaging coming to Microsoft's Office 365 next year

In response to e-mail privacy concerns, Microsoft announced Thursday it will introduce message encryption for Office 365 in early 2014.

The new feature, dubbed Office 365 Message Encryption, will allow users to send automatically encrypted e-mail to recipients outside of their own company, regardless of its destination. In addition, all replies and forwards of that original message are automatically encrypted as well.

"No matter what the destination -- Outlook.com, Yahoo, Gmail, Exchange Server, Lotus Notes, GroupWise, Squirrel Mail, you name it -- you can send sensitive business communications with an additional level of protection against unauthorized access," … Read more