email

4) Which Encrypted Email is Really Encrypted?

encrypted emailIn a recent discussion with Greg, our I.T. guy at Team Expansion, he pointed me to this article…

http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/3-secure-encrypted-email-providers-online/

in which the author points out that providers like Hushmail can, if compelled by court order, impose software to capture a use’s password the next time he or she logs on. So is there really nothing truly encrypted and safe? Be sure to see the comic at the end of the article, which points out that, in severe cases, a thief (or government worker) could simply threaten to bludgeon you with a big wrench until you give up the password anyway. If you have a solution that is rock-solid encrypted, please click “the link below to log on to the web version of this item then click “comment” and leave your opinion/resource. Thanks in advance for your help.

7) What if Your Friend Emailed You like This?

Last week, I received an email from a friend on the other side of the country. It contained no body text — just a rather odd-looking attachment with an HTML extension. But the Subject read, “Important Document for Review.” Even though I knew it would come across a bit snobby, I dropped him a note saying, “You know, I’d just as soon not have to open an unsolicited attachment if I didn’t have to.” Then I asked him what it was about. His reply was curt: “But it’s not unsolicited. I sent it to you.” I found his response to be a bit odd, but at the same time, he seemed to be a bit frustrated with me. Because he was my friend, I felt a bit embarrassed writing him again, but, because I receive a lot of email, I wrote once again, saying, “Still, would you mind telling me what’s in the attachment?” This time, he didn’t write back. I thought, “Great. Now you’ve really offended the guy, Doug.” So at this point, I glanced down at my system tray to make sure my antivirus was running (and it was), then opened the attachment. I felt foolish being so overly-skeptical. I have my email client configured not to open any kind of file at all. So when I clicked on the HTML, it only read the mark-up language, but balked on opening up any of the program code beneath the hood. All I could see was that it was some kind of Google doc; I still couldn’t tell what it was supposed to be. So I wrote my friend one last time, completely convinced that I was going to annoy him to no end as I said, “I opened your attachment, and saw it was some kind of Google Doc, but my email client is configured to be kind of dumb. Can you tell me what I’m looking at here?” No response. I figured I’d lost him as a friend for good. The next day, I received a note from him saying his email had been hacked. “Unfortunately, my email account was hacked. Do not open this email or follow any instructions contained in in it. Please delete it immediately. I am sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.” It was at that point I realized — I had almost turned off my safeties to open the program code. Almost. So … how does one know for certain that the email they receive is actually from one’s friend and not from an evil-doer? My conclusion: It’s impossible. All I know is this: Be skeptical, run a great antivirus program, and pray for the best. But be skeptical of everything. And at the end of the day, if you can’t call the guy, just don’t open the attachment. Period. It’s the only way I know.

5) Eudora Email Client Alive and Well – or not?

eudoraI’ve been surprised recently to run into committed Eudora users, even after all these years. I did some poking around on the web and, it’s not obvious at first glance exactly who is supporting this product these days. But there are apparently still current releases. Or are there? The Wikipedia article about Eudora begins, “Eudora is a defunct email client…” But some of our own Brigada users seem diehard — and enduring. I was a committed Eudora user back in the day (the mid-90’s?). The web was young and we were mostly text-based. Not sure what left it behind, exactly. Outlook? But wow… Eudora was fast and furious. Anyone have a testimony as to why they keep using it, in spite of the rumor that it’s “defunct?” If so, please click “Comment” after the web version of this item. And thanks in advance for sharing your story.

9) To Encrypt your Drive

It’struecrypt one thing to use a secure email client. Another to use a VPN. But what if bad guys steal your machine. In that case, you’ll wish you had encrypted your drive. Granted, you’ll take a SLIGHT speed hit — but with today’s processors and today’s encryption routines, you might not even notice the nanosecond of delay — in return for good security. So what’s the best encryption software? Our I.T. guy, Greg, says that for Mac users, the built-in Mac option is good. For Windows users, he recommends TrueCrypt. Here’s where to get a clean copy:

https://www.grc.com/misc/truecrypt/truecrypt.htm

6) Anyone Using TinyLetter.com as their Email List Handler?

TinyLetter_HowItWorksIt’s simple, it’s free, and it’s run by the people who run MailChimp (so it seems trustworthy enough on the outside). However, it’s true that the Terms of Use explain that they could begin charging at any time (even though they haven’t yet. Also, although it looks like you own the content, the Terms of Use do not seems to expressly say that they won’t use your list for future MailChimp ads. So I was wondering, has anyone tried TinyLetter and, if so, has it been working for you? If you aren’t using TinyLetter, if you would be so kind, could you please share what you HAVE been using to distribute your email newsletters and why? Many have just given up and bitten the bullet by going to a paid service like ConstantContact.com or iContact.com, or MailChimp.com itself. Your pick?

4) YouSendIt is Now Hightail.com… And Just as Handy —

hightailGot a huge file you need to transfer to someone else? Won’t fit in their inbox? No worries: Enter Hightail.com (formerly YouSendIt.com ).

http://www.hightail.com

This service allows files up to 250MB in size to be transferred without sweat. In fact, file storage is now 2 gig — for free! The service verifies recipients, encrypts everything sent, AND provides desktop and mobile apps. What’s not to like about that? :-)

6) What’s Your Opinion on Email Signatures? —

Non-SignatureMy internet life began for real in the fall of 1995. My mentors for life on the ‘net were Jonathan M. and Pete H. For whatever reason, they never pushed the whole idea of using a “signature line.” You probably know what I mean…

http://www.policypatrol.com/well-executed-email-signature-key-in-corporate-correspondence/

Those 4- or 5-line information packs that explain who you are and how to get hold of you. Nowadays, it seems like just about everyone is using one. However, there’s a part of me that still balks. Jonathan taught me to be careful about information. He also encouraged me to leave off “fluff.” “Be kind to the bandwidth,” was his mantra. If signature lines start to multiply in replies, like a feedback loop in a sound system, the howl of wasted bandwidth would ring in his ears. But is it true? … that Outlook and other modern email clients have sophisticated settings that only use signatures in the first reply and not others in the thread? If so, is it time to start using them? What’s your opinion? Speak your mind by clicking “comment” after this message on the web. Thanks in advance for your opinions.

10) What’s Your Favorite Encrypted Email Provider?

We keep coming back to this item… but we do so because, for Christian cross-cultural travelers, it’s one of the most-relied-upon tools… like a hammer or circular saw for a carpenter. So what’s your favorite? Are you simply a Gmail user, in spite of the ads and marketing? If so, learn more at…

http://www.gmail.com

Just click “Create an account” at the bottom of the page.

Have you taken it one step further in privacy and protection by setting up a Hushmail account? Learn more at…

https://www.hushmail.com/

They might not be the most innovative or nimble on their feet, but, it boils down to this: Hushmail just usually works. Maybe they don’t have all the bells and whistles. Maybe there’s no iphone app. But when it comes to the basics of privacy and price (free, as long as you remember to check your account at least once every 3 weeks), their model works.

There are other options. Some use

http://www.vaultletsoft.com/products/vaultletmail.html

or

https://www.enigmail.net/home/index.php

What’s your favorite solution?

10) Cool Tools: Secure Your Email —

If you’re using Gmail or the equivalent (seems like almost everyone has switched), you’re probably good to go. Many vendors (like Gmail) are fairly secure now, if you’re logging on to their server (and you trust their staff). Look for the “padlock” or “https” address in your browser’s URL web address box. We previously recommended Hushmail — and while it’s still a great option, in spite of a few recent interface polishes, Hushmail is looking a bit old-fashioned compared to Gmail. And Gmail seems always to stay ahead on the secure online storage offered for free — remind me again why we’re paying for Hushmail? :-)

For my own purposes, I refuse to switch to a web-based email solution like Gmail as my primary email client because I want to be able to even when I can’t find a source for Internet. I realize I’m probably in the minority these days, but for my life, it still makes sense. If yours is similar, make sure you’re logging on to a secure email server. Check yours and take the necessary action. Or surround your entire computer with a secure “wall” by using a Virtual Private Network (VPN). StrongVPN

http://www.strongvpn.com

and

https://www.witopia.net/

are both great solutions. StrongVPN seems to have better customer service. Not only will a VPN keep prying eyes from seeing your internet (as it leaves your computer all the way to your VPN-provider’s server), but it will also likewise secure your web-browsing as well. Find out where your VPN is based (for example, Sweden or Vancouver). If a secure route out of your sensitive field is all you need to “get into the clear,” then you’re golden. If you need end-to-end encryption with your home or office, look for a tech that can hook you up with a home-brewed VPN. Be prepared to manage the extra technical needs. As with everything else, sort all this out before you board the plane.

2) Managing Email With An Assistant

We have received some great input in our quest from last week’s item, “12) The Best Way(s) to Train an Assistant.” But perhaps the michael-hyattmost relevant has been the reference that two different readers cited from Michael Hyatt

http://michaelhyatt.com/managing-email-with-an-assistant.html

On top of Hyatt’s original comments, some 55 different readers added even more input following his. Great stuff. Thanks Brigada!

We’re all still learning… still seeking… so if anyone else runs into any other good input, please add it below the web version of this item or the original one. Thanks!

(Thanks to the two Brigada participants who suggested this!)

10) Looking for an Affordable Emailer Solution?

You might try MailChimp.com. We recently received a note from a Brigada subscriber who wondered why we went with iContact instead (when we transitioned Brigada away from GoogleGroups and YahooGroups). We happen to use both MailChimp and iContact for different purposes and… I’m not sure why, but for us, iContact just seems easier to grasp and use, especially with a larger list. As far as affordability, with a larger list, to me there’s not much difference in pricing between the two services. But for those getting started, iContact will start collecting $10/month from you even if you just have 250 subscribers. By contrast, MailChimp gives you up to 2000 subscribers for FREE, as long as you don’t generate a cumulative total of more than 12,000 emails/month. So MailChimp wins hands-down for the low-volume or “just-starting-out” user. You get all the normal stuff — templates to help you compose our emails, database features, the ability to track which address opens your email, which address clicks on a link, etc. Check them out for yourself at…

http://www.mailchimp.com

And thanks for the reminder about MailChimp.

2) Next Week, Brigada Begins Shipping via iContact —

Since April 23, 1999, Brigada has shipped out via GoogleGroups (or its predecessor, “egroups”) and through YahooGroups. These services were the best we had at the time and, in many ways, they’ve served us well. But there are now better ways to send and receive email newsletters like Brigada Today. Can you believe it — next week we’re finally going to take the plunge. Beginning with the Oct. 1st edition of Brigada Today, we plan to use iContact and, along with it, a new sending email address — editoratbrigadadotorg  (editoratbrigadadotorg)  . You would do us a big favor if you would please add that email address (editoratbrigadadotorg) to your email client’s address book. In this way, you’ll minimize the chance that next week’s email (and those thereafter) will be considered spam.

3) Why Switch to iContact Now? —

Several reasons. First, for those wishing to unsubscribe or change their address, it’ll be much easier. The controls at the end of each newsletter will insure that you’re in charge of your subscription. (This will simplify life for us, too, since our readers will complain less. :-) ) Second, the editions will look better and be easier to read. Brigada’s format has remained largely unchanged since the first edition in 1995. At long last, we’re trying to spruce things up a bit. We won’t ever again have to say “this link will wrap.” And the table of contents will be keyed so you’ll be able to hop down and back in an instant, so you can read the item you want, then jump back up to the table of contents (Lord willing). It’s a shift to have to change, yes. But once we’ve made the jump, it’ll be lots more fun. :-)

9) Beware Clicking Links in Emails —

Every once and awhile, we remind our friends the world over — please be careful when clicking links in emails. In some email clients, if you hover your mouse over the link, you’ll see a little information balloon that pops up to tell you the destination. But depending on a lot of factors, that destination might NOT appear in the text. So to me, the safest and most dependable route would ALWAYS be to right-click on the link, then choose from the context menu something like, “Copy link to clipboard.” Then go paste it into the address of your browser but study it first before hitting Enter. Take special note of the main “root” domain. This will be the part before the period in the main part of the address. For example, if it still points to “Yahoo.com,” then Yahoo is the root domain. But if it points to “scammer-central.com” or “malware-email.com,” then you might want to think twice about whether or not you really need to click on that link. Err on the side of caution. Bottom line: Make sure the destination is the one you were desiring.

1 2  Scroll to top