What’s the Difference Between Spam and Junk Mail?

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I use Thunderbird to download my email. Most of my email addresses are “@aol.com.” Each of those addresses have both a “junk” and a “spam” folder. Virtually everything that shows up in the junk folder is spam and everything that’s in the spam folder is junk. What’s the difference between the two folders? My more important question: for quite awhile I have been marking all my many emails in my spam folder as junk, moving them to the junk folder, and then deleting them. By doing so is Thunderbird and/or AOL “learning” anything — or am I just wasting my time?

This actually represents a couple of very common points of confusion. One is very easy to clear up; the other, not so much.

First, the easy: the terms junk and spam are synonymous. Some email programs or services call it spam, some call it junk mail, but it’s the same thing in either case. What you’re seeing in Thunderbird is what happens when those worlds collide.

The confusion about training the spam or junk filters, however, is both important to understand and somewhat more complex. While I’ll use your AOL account as an example, this applies to all email services and all desktop email programs1 that have spam filters.

Read moreWhat’s the Difference Between Spam and Junk Mail?

Why Does Email Sometimes Take So Long to Be Delivered?

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When someone sends me an email, I don’t get it right away – sometimes it takes hours. It is time stamped hours before I actually get the message. Could it be because my inbox is too full? 

We’re all so used to email being almost instantaneous that delays are noticeable.

Email delivery can be delayed for many reasons, and counting on it to be nearly instant is just a bad idea.

Couple that with the fact that the timestamps on email often lie, and it can be really difficult to understand exactly what happens when email takes a little longer than expected.

Read moreWhy Does Email Sometimes Take So Long to Be Delivered?

What are the Differences Between an Email Account, Address, Program, and Service?

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I want to change my email program from Hotmail to something else. How to do?

I’m going to use this as an opportunity to clear up a piece of confusion I see all the time. A lot of folks might not believe me when I say this, but the confusion is extremely common. (And Microsoft isn’t helping any, as we’ll also see.)

In short: Hotmail is not an email program.

An email program is not at all the same thing as an email service, or an email account, or even an email address.

Time for some definitions.

Read moreWhat are the Differences Between an Email Account, Address, Program, and Service?

Can I Still Get a Hotmail Email Address?

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I don’t want an Outlook email address, I want Hotmail. Can I still get one?

Much to my surprise, the answer appears to be yes!

What with the demise of hotmail.com a few years ago – it was replaced by outlook.com – I was expecting the ability to create an email address on the hotmail.com domain to have disappeared as well.

I was wrong. At least as of this writing, you can still do it. I’ll show you how, and discuss a few other popular Microsoft-related email domains.

Read moreCan I Still Get a Hotmail Email Address?

My ISP Went Under; How Do I Recover My Email and Email Address?

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It looks like my ISP suddenly went out of business. As a result, my email address no longer works, and I can’t get to all the email that was accessible using the ISP’s web access. What can I do? 

Fortunately, your scenario isn’t all that common, but unfortunately, what you’re experiencing is. It happens any time someone changes their ISP or loses access to their free email account.

Thus, it’s an excellent opportunity to review some very important points I’ve mentioned before.

Read moreMy ISP Went Under; How Do I Recover My Email and Email Address?

How Do I Encrypt Email?

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What software do you use to encrypt email? Do you have any recommendations for email encryption software (preferably free)?

I really wish this was easier.

It should be easier.

But it’s not.

The fact is, encrypting email is cumbersome, and solutions that should work easily don’t work consistently. I’ll look at why encrypting email matters, and then I’ll give you some alternatives, starting with the one that’s the easiest to use.

Read moreHow Do I Encrypt Email?

How Not To Get Locked Out of Your Microsoft Account While Traveling

I’m writing this on the last day of a trip taken to the Netherlands to visit relatives. As planned, I decided to play a little with a couple of my Microsoft accounts (aka Hotmail or Outlook.com accounts) to see if I could duplicate what so many people seem to experience: getting locked out while travelling abroad.

I didn’t get locked out.

Why I didn’t run into problems is pretty simple: I was prepared. (Though I also think something else played a part for at least one of my accounts; more on that in a moment.) But I can see how a lack of preparation can end up with accounts inaccessible until you return home.

Let’s review exactly what I mean by “preparation”, and how you can avoid getting locked out of your Microsoft account when you hit the road. I’ll also touch on why Microsoft takes these additional security steps.

Read moreHow Not To Get Locked Out of Your Microsoft Account While Traveling

How Do Outlook and Outlook.com Relate?

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I use Outlook.com. Does that mean I don’t need Outlook? Are those just other names for the same thing? If not, how do they relate to each other?

The short answer is, they don’t. Not at all. They have only two things in common: they’re both related to email, and have the word “Outlook” in their names.

That’s pretty much where the similarity ends. It’s frustrating, because people often refer to “Outlook” when they mean “Outlook.com” … which is not actually related to “Outlook”.

Let’s define ’em, shall we?

Read moreHow Do Outlook and Outlook.com Relate?

What Happens When I Mark Something as Spam?

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When I get an email from someone that I do not want to ever hear from again, I report it as spam. What really happens to it? Does my email service know what to do with it if it ever shows up again? Is there any protection for me? Does the person that sent the email know that I put it in the Spam folder?

There’s no definitive answer on exactly what happens, for reasons I’ll explain in a moment.

However, some general concepts apply when you mark something as spam.

The first thing we need to know is whether you’re marking it as spam in an email program running on your machine, or if you’re using an email service’s web-based interface via your browser.

Read moreWhat Happens When I Mark Something as Spam?

How Do I Get my Name, Title and Other Information to Show at the Bottom of Every Message I Send?

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How do I get my name, title and other information to show at the bottom of every message I send?

What you need is called a “signature”.

What’s a signature? It’s the title, company, phone number, fax number, email address, pithy quote, legal disclaimer, website URL, list of website URLs, call to action, and/or dashed line that many people put at the bottom of every message that they send.

Sometimes, their signature even includes their name.

Read moreHow Do I Get my Name, Title and Other Information to Show at the Bottom of Every Message I Send?

What Should I Do When My Account Is Involved in a Breach?

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I received 2 notices below concerning my e-mails (Yahoo & Google) being exposed. I  changed passwords on both. Is this common? If it reoccurs what are my options? I have a lot of information stored in e-mail accounts is there a back up application before getting new accounts?

Email Password: Exposed Online (may or may not be readable)
Type of Compromise: Potential breach
Where your data was found: web page
Potential Impacted Site: www.adobe.com

Email Password: Exposed Online (may or may not be readable)
Where your data was found: social media

This has happened to me as well.

I want to be clear: normally, this does not mean your accounts have actually been hacked.

However, depending on the specifics of the breach, and your own security habits, it could mean your account is at risk.

Your initial response to change passwords was correct.

Read moreWhat Should I Do When My Account Is Involved in a Breach?

The Wrong Way to Change Your Email Address

From time to time, I get emails like this one:

Hello everyone,
Just letting you know we have changed our email address to {email address removed}.
Our old address, {email address removed}, was compromised. Please delete it.
We will stop using our old address immediately.
Thanks, 
{name removed}
{new email address removed}

One one hand, that works well for letting your friends and family know that your email address has changed.

On the other hand, there are serious problems with this approach. Let’s review the most common ones, and what you should do instead.

Read moreThe Wrong Way to Change Your Email Address

4 Alternatives for Windows Live Mail and Outlook.com

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Is the attached really true and how can I keep all my emails in hotmail on my PC and work with those when I am off line? I also store all my emails on my PC in WLM as well as have many groups created for my bulk mail-outs.

That’s just one of several questions that arrived recently in response to Microsoft’s announcement that their Windows Live Mail 2012 desktop email program would no longer support Outlook.com-based email accounts, including email addresses at hotmail.com, outlook.com, msn.com, live.com, and more.

Naturally, this took a lot of people by surprise.

As it turns out, the dire warnings, while certainly significant, may not be entirely accurate. And, of course, the warnings fail to mention some very viable alternatives that don’t involve Microsoft.

Read more4 Alternatives for Windows Live Mail and Outlook.com

The Risk of Searching for a Support Phone Number

You’ve been locked out of your outlook.com email account.

Maybe you forgot the password; maybe you were hacked. Your recovery attempts have all failed, and you’re desperate to regain access to your account.

So, you search online for “outlook.com support phone number”, hoping to talk to a real, live person, to get some help directly from the source.

Unbeknownst to you, things are about to go from bad to worse.

Much worse.

Read moreThe Risk of Searching for a Support Phone Number

Can I Count on Mail to a Bad Address Bouncing Back?

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Will email that I send bounce back to me to let me know if the recipient’s email address is closed or no longer exists, or will it just go out into space never to be seen again?

Unfortunately, the answer is:

  1. both
  2. neither
  3. all of the above

Email bounce messages are both annoying and informative. They can help you fix a problem with an email you’ve sent, or they can simply be another message in a big pile of spam.

Unfortunately, about the only thing you can count on is that you cannot count on bounce messages.

Read moreCan I Count on Mail to a Bad Address Bouncing Back?

What Is An Email Quota and What Does “Over Quota” Mean?

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After I did a recovery on my computer, my email program has not worked properly as far as the inbox is concerned. I used to be able to get 700-800 or more emails in my inbox (if I went on vacation or didn’t check for a while) and after the recovery, once I reached about 80 emails it started bouncing my messages saying I was OVER QUOTA!!! How can that be? It is getting worse now. I can have only 40 messages in my inbox and it will start bouncing my messages, still saying I am OVER QUOTA! Soon, I won’t get ANY messages!

Believe it or not, being over quota has nothing to do with the inbox on your PC, or even what email program you’re using.

But it might have everything to do with how your email program is configured.

Read moreWhat Is An Email Quota and What Does “Over Quota” Mean?

Why Am I Getting a “Delivery Status Notification (Delay)” on an Email I Sent?

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I am trying to send an e-mail to a co-worker and I keep getting the following message:

Delivery Status Notification (Delay)
 This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.
 THIS IS A WARNING MESSAGE ONLY.
 YOU DO NOT NEED TO RESEND YOUR MESSAGE.
 Delivery to the following recipients has been delayed.

The strange thing is that it is only happening with that specific email address. What does it mean, and why it is happening?

It means exactly what it says: the email you sent hasn’t been delivered yet; it’s been delayed.

The mail system will continue to attempt to deliver the email. Eventually, it’ll either be delivered, or you’ll get a fatal-error message.

Why? Because.

Seriously, there are many, many reasons that email could be delayed.

And if that’s a problem for you, then you may be thinking about email the wrong way.

Read moreWhy Am I Getting a “Delivery Status Notification (Delay)” on an Email I Sent?

Why am I getting email from someone with the wrong email address?

Recently, while I was away on a business trip, my wife received this email:

From: Leo A. Notenboom [mailto:********@yahoo.com.sg]
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2012 10:10 AM
To: ****@*********.***
Subject:

http://********.av.tr/cheeseblind/davidmiller24/?/b34a/

I’ve used asterisks to obfuscate a few things, but the essence is this:

  • The From: line displayed my name
  • However, the From: line also showed a completely random, unrelated email address that is most definitely not mine.
  • The email was sent to my wife’s email address.
  • The email message had no Subject line.
  • The email message consisted of only a link.

Because we communicate a fair amount by email when I travel, she thought it was from me and clicked the link.

Whoops.

I’ve been getting lots of reports of this particular scenario lately.

I’ll describe what I did next and what this appears to be… and perhaps reassure you a little about what it is not.

Read moreWhy am I getting email from someone with the wrong email address?

Should I Worry If Email I Send Is Marked as Spam?

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A business I was working with told me that they ‘sent my email address to spam’ because they didn’t like what I was asking of them. Now I’m a smidge worried. If they added my email address to their spam filter, does that mean I’m somehow going to be pegged as a spammer in the larger Internet world? I seem to recall that someone once told me that anytime someone clicks that a message is spam, it’s a strike against you. Enough strikes and we’re in trouble. I don’t remember how many strikes he said it took to be in trouble, though.

So…am I worrying about nothing? Or should I do something about it, if there’s anything to do, that is?

The answer is simple: do nothing.

The reason behind the answer, naturally, is quite complex.

Spam filters – particularly good spam filters – rely heavily on users marking things as spam. In a way, it’s a form of “crowd sourcing”, where  the actions of users build a database used to determine what is and is not spam in subsequently received emails.

Where your email is marked as spam, and who is doing the marking, has a lot to do with any potential impact on emails you send in the future.

Read moreShould I Worry If Email I Send Is Marked as Spam?

Why Does Email Bounce?

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Sometimes, my email bounces. Every so often, I’ll send a message, and a short time later, I’ll receive a reply saying that the email failed to go through. Why does it happen? And how do I fix it?

Well, I’m afraid there are many reasons why mail can bounce. In fact, there are so many ways email can fail, sometimes I’m amazed it works at all. But it definitely works most of the time, and one of the ways that it works is that very bounce message that you get.

You see, there’s gold in that bounce message. It’s not only telling you that your message didn’t go through, but if you look a little closer, you’ll see it’s trying to tell you why.

Read moreWhy Does Email Bounce?

How Can I Tell If My Email has been Blocked?

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How can I tell if my email address has been blocked? The email address I send to is good and working, the only problem is, it’s not working for me; have I been blocked? Is there any way of knowing if my emails ever get opened or deleted? And if I’m blocked, is it my email address that’s blocked or my IP address?

The ultra-short answer is: you cannot tell. There’s simply no way to know for sure.

Let’s explore why I say that.

Read moreHow Can I Tell If My Email has been Blocked?

What Do Spam Filters Look At?

Someone commented to me that his spam filter was pretty useless since the spam he was receiving kept coming from different email addresses. The implication was that this person believed that the “From:” address is the only thing that spam filters check.

While that’s possible, it’s also very rare.

These days, spam filters are incredibly complex and sophisticated pieces of software that check much more than you might think.

Read moreWhat Do Spam Filters Look At?

How do I close my Hotmail or Outlook.com account?

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I need to close my Hotmail account. I’m getting too much spam, and besides, I think it’s been hacked. I just want to close it and stop it from bothering anyone anymore. How do I do that?

I’d actually suggest that you seriously reconsider closing your account.

Closing your account will not stop spam that looks like it came from the account; hackers often fake the “From:” address whether or not the account exists.

Closing your account will not stop your contacts from “being bothered”; if they had even brief access to your contact list, the spammers have probably already made a copy.

Closing your account is not guaranteed to cause emails sent to it to bounce back to the sender; bounce messages are optional, and many services choose not to send them, to reduce spam.

Closing your account may not even be possible if it’s been hacked, and you don’t have access to it yourself.

All that being said, if you still want to close it, I’ll walk you through the steps; it’s not really that hard.

Read moreHow do I close my Hotmail or Outlook.com account?

Emails Opened? Is There a Reliable Way to Tell?

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In my business, it is critical I know that emails I have sent were received & opened. The emails are time sensitive and contain deadline dates for the information requested.

I have searched for things like “emails opened” and asked questions… but all that has been futile.

I am certain I am not the only person unable to find an answer to this problem.

That’s because there is no answer to this problem.

And you’re quite right, you’re not the only person wishing otherwise.

But wishing – or even the statements of some companies that claim to be able to do it – doesn’t make it so.

I’ll explain why.

Read moreEmails Opened? Is There a Reliable Way to Tell?

What is it about attachments?

This week, a report about the most common vectors for data breaches and related issues was released.

You and I are the weakest link.

For at least one large segment of malware attack, it’s our propensity to download and open email attachments that gets us into trouble.

A couple of scary numbers from that report: 1 in 10 people will download and open an attachment attached to phishing email or spam. The average time between a phishing email being sent and the first victim taking the bait is 22 seconds.

What the heck is it about email attachments that makes them so darned irresistible?

Read moreWhat is it about attachments?

Why Is My Email Marked as Spam?

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Each time I send emails to the US, China or here in the UK there are some recipients that eventually find my emails in their junk folders. We have tried to remedy this but even their IT departments are flummoxed. I (and they) just want to know why my emails do this despite their best endeavours to remedy it.

There are so many possibilities, it’s difficult to know where to begin.

I will tell you that there is no simple solution to guaranteeing your email is never flagged as spam. Why? Because if there were an easy solution, spammers would use it, rendering all spam filters ineffective.

Let’s look at some of the factors that may contribute to your email being flagged as spam.

Read moreWhy Is My Email Marked as Spam?

Am I Sending Spam?

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I am a musician. Every couple weeks or so, I will sit down and send a large number of emails (on average 150 – 200) to radio stations, magazines etc. in order to promote my music. My email will usually consist of an attached mp3 and/or links to YouTube videos etc., along with a bio/description about myself and my music. Though I have had many responses through email, there are still several that have never replied. It suddenly occurred to me, as well as not being interested in the music I am sending them, (can’t please everyone) could some of my emails be getting marked as spam?

I use a Hotmail account, which I know you say is bad. But I fear that suddenly changing my email will result in a loss of business. I used to send each email individually, personalizing each one, but since my contact list has grown there are not enough hours in the day to do this. So I use Bcc and send them all in one go.

My question is, do my infrequent emails qualify as spam? Despite the fact that they are spread out over numerous weeks, do the large quantities mean that only a certain number are getting through daily?

In short: yes. It’s very likely that your emails are being sent to spam folders.

There are several things that could contribute to this. I’ll review what I think those are, and what I recommend you do instead.

Read moreAm I Sending Spam?

I searched and found a Hotmail support number, but is it legit?

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I Googled Hotmail telephone contact US, and one of the sites that came up was {redacted}, the Phone number on the site is: {redacted}. I called the number on this site and was put by the first caller to someone he described as his supervisor who with my permission could access my computer to resolve the problem.

I followed the instructions from the guy and allowed him to access my computer, then he asked me to open one of my hotmail accounts, which I did. He then showed me on my computer a number of files which he informed me were persons trying to gain access to my hotmail account,  and said that this and other things needed be cleaned out so the laptop could function effectively again.

He indicated that they provide a technical service to Hotmail for its customers.

Is the site a safe one to go to?
Is there a telephone number to contact Hotmail?
Should I allow him to access my computer?
Should I allow him to clean out what he says needs cleaning out?
If not, now that he had access to my computer have I opened myself to any risk and is there something I could do to prevent him from accessing my computer again?

That’s actually an excerpt of a lengthier question I recently received from someone experiencing difficulty logging into their Hotmail / Outlook.com account while travelling overseas, a very common and often unsolveable problem.

His approach seems sound on the surface: search for a Hotmail support number, and see if the person at the other end can help.

Unfortunately, this path typically leads to even worse problems.

Read moreI searched and found a Hotmail support number, but is it legit?

“From” Spoofing: How Spammers Send Email that Looks Like It Came from You

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OK, I know that spammers can send email spoofing the “From:” address to make it look like it came from me. But how? How do they gain access to my account to do that?

They don’t.

“From” spoofing means faking the “From:” address on an email to make it look like it came from you, and to do it, spammers don’t need access to your account at all.

In fact, I’d say that 99.99% of the time it has nothing at all to do with your account, and your account is quite safe.

They only need your email address.

While your email account and your email address are related, they are not necessarily the same thing.

Read more“From” Spoofing: How Spammers Send Email that Looks Like It Came from You

Why Is an Email Address Sometimes in Angle Brackets?

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Every so often I see email addresses listed like this:

Name <myemail@hotmail.com>

or even

myemail@hotmail.com <myemail@hotmail.com>

What’s it all mean, especially that last one?

Well, the last one is someone just not filling in some information in their email program like they’re supposed to.

But in general, that format is just the email protocol recognizing that most people don’t think in terms of email addresses; they think in terms of names.

Read moreWhy Is an Email Address Sometimes in Angle Brackets?

What is IMAP? And How Can it Help Me Manage My Email?

IMAP stands for “Internet Message Access Protocol”. It’s a fancy name for a protocol used by email programs like Outlook, Thunderbird, and others to access your email.

IMAP is an alternative to POP3 (Post Office Protocol 3), works in some fundamentally different ways, and makes a few fundamentally different assumptions.

I’ll examine IMAP, how it compares to POP3, and when you might want to consider using it.

Read moreWhat is IMAP? And How Can it Help Me Manage My Email?

How Does Blocking Pictures in an Email Protect My Privacy?

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In Windows Mail, I received an email from a known vendor (not spam) with all the pictures withheld. At the top (below the header) there was a message which read:

“Some pictures have been blocked to help prevent the sender from identifying your computer. Click here to download pictures.”

My question is: How can a sender identify my computer by me receiving pictures? And of course, how great is the risk?

“Identifying your computer” in that informational message is somewhat vague, as it’s not exactly what can happen. But the concept is still important.

And in fact, if you’ve ever seen ads or services that claim “we can tell you if your email has been read” – images are how they do it, and it’s also why they can never be 100% reliable.

Read moreHow Does Blocking Pictures in an Email Protect My Privacy?

Why Am I Getting Spam from Myself?

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I get email from:

someone@somedomain.com
<myemail@hotmail.com>

where “someone@somedomain.com” is someone I don’t know, but “myemail@hotmail.com” is, in fact, my email address. It as if I was getting spam from myself, but I did not send it.

How do I stop these emails from coming into my box? It’s usually for drugs or financial services that I don’t need or would never be interested in. How can they use my own email? I can’t block them as it says it is illegal to block my own email.

I’ll start with the bad news: there’s almost nothing you can do.

This is spam, pure and simple. Abusing your email address is only one of many techniques spammers use to throw their garbage into our mail boxes.

The remedies are pretty standard, albeit less than 100% effective.

Read moreWhy Am I Getting Spam from Myself?

Are Deleted Emails Really Deleted?

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It is said that “deleted files” are never completely erased unless you actually do so with the proper software. Does this also refer to emails? Once I erase an email (incoming or outgoing copy), does that stick around somewhere also?

In order to make the operation fast, when you delete a file, the operating system typically just sets a flag or removes an entry from a directory – the actual data within the file is left on disk until that space is needed, when it gets overwritten. Does the same apply to email messages?

It depends.

Read moreAre Deleted Emails Really Deleted?

Why Are Pictures not Showing in Email?

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Why are pictures not showing in email? All I get is the broken image icon.

This is, unfortunately, an extremely common question.

In fact, it happens to me from time to time as well. Someone forwards me an email with some humorous pictures (or better yet, pictures of Corgis), and some or all of them simply don’t display. It’s both frustrating and puzzling when it happens.

Email has evolved over the years, and as a result things aren’t always as compatible as we’d like them to be.

Let’s look at where the incompatibilities are most common, some of the ways that pictures can get lost, and one or two work-arounds that might help you view those all-important Corgi pictures that someone just sent you.

Read moreWhy Are Pictures not Showing in Email?

How can I keep someone from contacting me in email?

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How can I keep someone from contacting me in email or instant messaging?

Severing communication is an unpleasant necessity at times. For personal or legal reasons you may want someone to stop contacting you or someone you know. The rub is that you’d like everyone else to be able to contact you as before.

We can’t control what other people do, but there are some ways we can either make it more difficult to be contacted, or automate the process of ignoring the contact attempts.

Read moreHow can I keep someone from contacting me in email?

How Do Gmail Labels Relate to Folders?

Google Mail, or Gmail to most, is a wildly popular free email service. It’s fast, easy to use, and sports one of the best spam filters around.

What most people don’t quite realize is that Gmail looks at the world a little differently than most. And in doing so, it leverages something else that Google has a strong track record in: search.

Gmail labels are aren’t what most people think they are. Normally, that’s not an issue, but when accessing Gmail using a desktop email program via IMAP, it can cause a lot of confusion.

Read moreHow Do Gmail Labels Relate to Folders?

How Do I Stop Outlook.com from Putting Legitimate Messages in the Junk Mail Folder?

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My outlook.com is putting legitimate emails into its junk mail folder. I use 2011 Outlook on my Mac. I never see the emails because outlook.com is putting them in junk mail at the outlook.com site, and is not forwarding them to me. It seems very random, but some of my closest friends’ emails are going into the junk folder as well as other legitimate contacts.
Can I just not use outlook.com, do I need it? How I stop the filtering of legitimate emails in to the outlook.com junk folder?

Spam is an incredible problem, and email providers go to great lengths to filter it out. Microsoft is no different – their email infrastructure deals with an incredible amount of spam, I’m sure.

As it turns out, with any one of Microsoft’s email addresses – @live.com, @hotmail.com, @outlook.com and others – you’re still really using Outlook.com whether or not you ever visit it on the web.

Let’s look at the options you have to make sure you get the email you want.

Read moreHow Do I Stop Outlook.com from Putting Legitimate Messages in the Junk Mail Folder?

Why does email disappear from my phone?

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I keep running into a situation where I see an email on my mobile phone, and then a little while later it’s gone. Yet when I get home, it’s there in my email program (Outlook). Having email disappear does me no good when I’m out and about. How do I get those emails to ‘stick’ on my phone?

With more and more people reading email on their smartphones, this is actually a pretty common situation, as it’s very easy to misconfigure things when adding a phone to your setup and have email seemingly disappear.

I’ll review what I think is happening, and then explore the alternatives to fix it.

Read moreWhy does email disappear from my phone?

Phishing: How to Know it When You See It

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I’ve received an email from Microsoft asking for billing details and threatening the end of my Outlook.com account. Contacting Microsoft resulted in referral to a support alias, but no answer. Is this a problem, or a forgery?

Phishing is a word you hear a lot in the news these days, and this question brought it to mind.

You’re right to be suspicious: this definitely sounds like a phishing expedition.

Read morePhishing: How to Know it When You See It

How do I find someone’s email address?

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How do I find out my friend’s email address?

I’d like to get in touch with my old college roommate. How do I find out her email address?

I’m trying to get in touch with a business contact, but I’ve lost his email address. How can I find it again?

As you can tell, I often get variations of this question. Most people know someone and want to send them email, but they don’t have their email address. What do you do?

Well, I’ll be blunt. Nine times out of ten, you’re simply out of luck.

But sometimes, you can get lucky.

Read moreHow do I find someone’s email address?