Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mail Rebellion

A lot of our clients attempt to use their email folders to store correspondence, pictures, online billing receipts or whatever they may deem important. They create folders and organize their email so that it can be easily obtainable in case there is need for reference. Many use Outlook Express, Outlook, Windows Live Mail or Thunderbird and they expect the email to reside there forever.
That’s simply not the case. Your email program was not designed to be a storage solution. It is not a good idea to treat it as such. Your email program is like your friendly neighborhood mailman. It brings you your new mail and it sends out your outgoing correspondence.
 Imagine storing all your postal mail – letters, bills, tax forms, receipts and junk mail in your mailbox instead of filing everything safely inside your house for subsequent retrieval, or throwing it out when you no longer have a need for it. You may keep receiving new mail, as long as your mailman can fit it in the box. He may even try to organize it for you. That mailbox would become inundated pretty quickly. Your trusty mailman would keep organizing it for you, filing it in the order in which you like to sort thru it. Each time you opened your mailbox, you’d see that the mailman tried to put your new mail on top and the older stuff underneath. He’d separate the junk mail from all your other mail.
It would be impossible for the mailman to know what mail you consider important and what you may want to take a look at. He may know that all the retail store flyers, for instance, are junk and may move them to a separate place in your mailbox, or that the letters you received a year ago are probably not as important as the ones you’re currently receiving, but it’s simply not his job to figure out what to toss out and what to keep. Also imagine tossing out the old mail yourself, but leaving the space it took up open, so your mailman could never put another piece of mail in that same spot. He’d try, but would become very confused. He’d attempt to put stuff just where you like it, but after awhile he wouldn’t be able to do it. He’d throw up his hands and surrender to the shear enormity of the task, and either quit bringing your mail, quit trying to organize it, or he may still try but simply not be able to open the door.
Even if your mailman was able to continue organizing your mail because your mailbox was an infinite size, what if someone came along one night and stole your mailbox? Or put a big padlock on it so you couldn’t access the contents anymore? Even if you’re using a webmail system like AOL, Hotmail, or gmail, your mail isn’t 100% secure if you are not proactive in keeping it safe from identity thieves. You should be changing the padlock yourself periodically. We all have too many passwords to keep track of. You’re tempted to make your password easy, and you’d like to use the same password forever so you can remember it.  Spammers count on that and can hijack your email account, change the password so you can no longer access your mail, and generate tons of spam from your account to your address book contacts, many times alarming the recipients with tales of woe that appears to have come from you. If one of your contacts opens the spam mail, they are liable to be exposing their email account to these thieves, perhaps unwittingly downloading viruses  to their computer.
Attachments that you want to keep or correspondence that you’d like to hold onto should be saved on your computer in a proper place, and your email folders should be cleaned periodically and compacted to recover those empty spots that otherwise makes organizing your email even harder for the email program. Really important stuff should not only be saved locally on your computer, but you should have a copy of it elsewhere in case of disaster.
You should be changing your email password periodically, using upper and lower case letters, numbers, and even special characters in order to create a strong password that is not easily cracked.
If you are concerned about your email vulnerability, please call Mobile PC Solutions today. Let us help you organize and back up your email before your postman rebels.

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