e-mail spam

Add a "+" to your Outlook.com address for instant aliases

E-mail aliases can be used to protect your primary account, making it harder for spammers and other people to send you e-mails you don't want. Outlook.com comes with support for up to 10 aliases, which you can change yearly. If you've reached the maximum number of aliases or need to provide one in a hurry, you can also use "+" addressing.

Just like in Gmail, which has had "+" addressing for years, all you have to do is add a "+" at the end of your regular user name, then a word of your … Read more

E-mailed malware disguised as group coupon offers on the rise

Be sure to double check that Groupon you received in your e-mail -- spammers are using the popularity of e-mailed advertisements for group discount deals to send more malware.

The rise of malware through fake e-mail advertisements and notifications are on the rise, according to a study released today by security firm Kaspersky Lab.

"They are primarily doing so by sending out malicious e-mails designed to look like official notifications. Kaspersky Lab is seeing more and more malicious spam designed to look like coupon service notifications," the report said.

The firm said it also noted these coupon spam … Read more

Get MailWasher Pro 2012 anti-spam software for free

Sick of spam? For many users it's the bane of the e-mail experience, a time-sucking hassle that's also a major security risk: spam leaves the door wide open for viruses, phishing, and other threats.

My preferred solution is to route my domain's mail through Gmail, which offers excellent spam filtering. But that won't work for everyone. If you feel like you're losing the war on spam, consider another solution.

Today only, BitsDuJour is offering Firetrust MailWasher Pro 2012 (Windows) anti-spam software for free. That's for a three-PC license, which regularly costs $29.95.

When … Read more

Gmail: Expect bigger changes in next 5 years

Five years ago, Gmail launched with a splash big enough that many thought it was an April 1 joke: an entire gigabyte of online storage.

Larger online e-mail rivals Hotmail and Yahoo Mail quickly matched that advantage, but in the meantime, Gmail has grown to become a force to be reckoned with. It's got tens of millions of users, Google said, though it won't pin down a precise number. And its growth today, in terms of new users joining the service, is faster than it was four or five years ago, said Todd Jackson, product manager for Gmail.

In a chat Monday, Jackson offered an assessment of what Google has accomplished with Gmail thus far and what it expects in the future.

CNET News: First of all, you launched Gmail on April 1. Are you going to have an April Fools' stunt this year? Jackson: Keep your eyes peeled. I can't tell too much. I can't spoil the joke.

The 1GB in-box was pretty surprising when Gmail arrived. Do you expect anything new from Gmail that's that shocking or paradigm-shifting? Jackson: We've been working on innovating Gmail over the last five years. It's our goal to stay constantly on the leading edge of what users want--particularly the most demanding users. When we added chat to Gmail, I considered that a big milestone. Similarly when we added video chat. I thought these were really important in expanding the scope of communications that Gmail makes fun and possible and easy and fast.

Communication is more than just mail. It was a really good ground for us to start on. We want to stay on that bleeding edge. Gmail Labs is a good testing ground to be trying new things and getting stuff out there to the public fast even at the scale we're at. It becomes difficult at the scale we're at, with a large user base, to launch things at the same speed as when you were small. We want to think of ourselves as the start-up that happens to have tens of millions of users.

I think we got a lot of that big bang at the original launch because of the gigabyte of storage. That was the hook that got a lot of people interesting in checking Gmail out, but then what got a lot of them sticking with the product were things about the UI (user interface)--conversation view and search and the quality of the spam filter. All those things that don't add up to the same headline, but they're the things that really make the product great. We're going to be going for more of that.

Do you think the difference between Gmail at launch and today is going to be less or greater than the difference between Gmail today and where it's going to be in five years? Jackson: Many of the things we've been working over the past five years were under-the-hood things. Things that don't dramatically change the visual look of the product but really people expect to have in a mail product. Things like POP support, IMAP support, a mobile UI. Little things like save draft or rich-text editing. We didn't have any of that at launch. You couldn't boldface, you couldn't italicize. We've been adding these things over the years that people just expect to have.

We've also been investing. The big change to our front-end infrastructure that we launched the year before last allowed us to have a larger number of engineers contributing to the code simultaneously and allowed front-end development to go a lot faster because of the new modular JavaScript architecture. It also made things like Labs possible because it allowed us to serve different modules of the code to different users. I view that as a huge enabling technology.

I think over the next five years you will probably see a large amount of visible change, maybe more so than in the past five years. That's because for the first five years we had to focus on all the nuts-and-bolts things people want. We did some very innovative thing in terms of chat and video chat and expanding the number of ways to communicate in Gmail. I think you're going to see more things in that direction, and things that directly impact the way the product looks and feels. … Read more

Trendy Terminology: Bacn

Despite the obligatory missing vowel, bacn (pronounced "bacon") isn't a hot Web 2.0 start-up. It's "the middle class of e-mail," the stuff that isn't really spam because it's not totally unwanted, but isn't really wanted either. Case in point: Pownce messages, Facebook friend requests, Amazon "recommendations."

Unlike many dorky tech terms, the origins of bacn aren't especially apocryphal; we've got a real (electronic) paper trail. The term arose during a discussion at Podcamp2 Pittsburgh earlier in August and slipped onto my radar via Twitter feeds from … Read more