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How To Keep Email From Ruining Your Productivity

Email is one of the greatest innovations of the online world, but if you’re not careful it will suck up your time, and be a far detriment to your business than a benefit.

Here are some tips for taming the email beast.

Turn It Off

During the day when you’re working, turn off your email client. You don’t need to be connected to everyone at all times of the day. If you leave your email client running while you’re trying to work, as soon as that next new message come...

email, productivity, time, management, tips, business

Email is one of the greatest innovations of the online world, but if you’re not careful it will suck up your time, and be a far detriment to your business than a benefit.

Here are some tips for taming the email beast.

Turn It Off

During the day when you’re working, turn off your email client. You don’t need to be connected to everyone at all times of the day. If you leave your email client running while you’re trying to work, as soon as that next new message comes in, you’ll get distracted. The constant barrage of new incoming email will break you concentration and make a project that would normally take only an hour of focused attention take four or five times as long.

Check It Infrequently

Once you’ve managed to turn your email client off, resist the temptation to keep turning it back on all day. Checking your email once or twice a day is plenty – really.

Schedule Email Time

If you typically get a lot of email correspondence that you need to reply to throughout the day, then schedule half an hour or an hour as replying to email time. Take care of all the email you need to reply to at once. You’ll find that by being able to put your focused attention to taking care of email, your replies will be thought out better, and you’ll be able to get all of your email taken care of far more quickly and efficiently.

Spam Filters

A good spam filter really can be a productivity tool. Fortunately, they’re readily available and surprisingly accurate these days. Put one on your inbox so that you’re not spending your time trying to filter out all the spam before you ever start replying to the legitimate emails.

Get A Personal Assistant Or Customer Support

If you really get a lot of email and a lot of it doesn’t require your personal attention – i.e. someone trained in your business could just as easily reply to it, then get yourself a personal assistant or customer support person who will take care of almost all the email and only forward the essential messages to you. This will free up your time to focus on far more important tasks like finding more customers and making money.

 

How to recognize a Phishing email message

Phishing is the practice of sending fraudulent email messages supposedly from a legitimate company or organization in order to trick someone into giving out personal and confidential information.

spyware removal, anti spyware, spyware protection

Phishing is the practice of sending fraudulent email messages supposedly from a legitimate company or organization in order to trick someone into giving out personal and confidential information. This information could include a user ID, password, credit card number or even a Social Security number. At its most basic level, Phishing is a form of identity theft. It is one of the fastest growing cyber crimes, and there are estimates that 1 in 20 people who receive a Phishing email will respond to it with their personal information. Since the criminals who send out these Phishing messages are good at what they do, it’s important to be able to recognize a Phishing email so you won’t respond to their request and become a victim of identity theft. Here are a few signs that the message you have received might just be a Phishing expedition.

• The email message is generic. Phishing emails are sent out in bulk to thousands of people, so you’ll see a generic greeting like ‘Dear Valued Customer’ and not directly addressed to you by name.

• The message gives a false sense of urgency. Phishing emails are developed and designed specifically to push the recipient to immediate action. If there is no compelling reason to respond to the message, you won’t. But if there is a fear of some kind of consequence for not providing the requested information you might just be motivated to act quickly.
This fear, urgency or even panic created by a Phishing email begins right with the subject line. Here are a few examples from actual Phishing messages:
‘Online Alert: Online Account is Blocked’

’Fraud Report’

’Credit Card Declined Notice’

’Unauthorized Account Access’

The text of the message builds upon the initial sense of urgency. A message may state that your account will be closed within 24 hours if you don t verify your information. Sometimes the messages state that there has been suspicious activity on your bank account, or your credit card has been charged by an undesirable web site.

The criminals who send out Phishing emails have taken their scam to a new level. Now people are getting Phishing messages that offer a reward for responding to the message. The newest Phishing scam is a message that states you ve won a gift card somewhere (JC Penney, Circuit City and The Sports Authority have been recent ones), and you need to click the link in the email to provide the information where the gift can be sent. Other Phishing emails offer free enrollment in a fraud protection program by clicking the link and providing the requested information.

• The message states specifically “this is not a scam”. How does that saying go if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. Legitimate messages don’t need to state the obvious.

• A request is made to verify your information, and a link provided for you to do so. Phishing emails will use some tactic in order to trick the recipient into providing confidential information. This request is often tied in with the false sense of urgency created in the message. The link will take you to a very authentic looking site and ask you to fill in certain personal information. If you recognize you’ve made a mistake and you try to go back to a Phishing web site you probably won’t find it. The average lifespan of a Phishing web site in December 2004 was 6 days.

The link that is included in the email message for you to click and provide information might look legitimate, but it isn’t. Often the criminals will create a web site that has almost the same name as the original web site. They might add the word “verify” or use some other word along with the company name. You should never click a hyperlink in an email, especially if you don’t know who sent it to you.

Knowledge can be power when it comes to protecting yourself from identity theft and Phishing scams. Be aware of the tricks a criminal might do to steal your information, and don’t fall prey to them.

 

How to Safely Delete Suspicious E-mails

I'm a "Newbie" at this game of computers and do not fully understand the e-mail system in Outlook Express. I save your column every week for references. But I'm stymied when I receive e-mail from someone I don't know and to be honest I'm scared to open them because they might contain viruses.

Is there some way to highlight the "strange" e-mail without it popping open and possibly contaminating my system.

Outlook Express, OE, email, e-mail, virus

Dear Computer Lady,

I read your newsletter each week, like some folk do the Bible. I'm a "Newbie" at this game of computers and do not fully understand the e-mail system in Outlook Express. I save your column every week for references. But I'm stymied when I receive e-mail from someone I don't know and to be honest I'm scared to open them because they might contain viruses.

Is there some way to highlight the "strange" e-mail without it popping open and possibly contaminating my system. This way I can contain it, right click on my mouse and hit delete. Thanks for the educational newsletter you publish to us folk out here.

Bill

Dear Bill,

There are a couple of things you can do.

First, check with your ISP and see if they offer any filtering for your e-mail. My ISP has this type of filter and I never get any infected e-mails from my e-mail account.

Second, make sure you have a good antivirus program installed and make sure you keep it updated! I use the free antivirus program, AVG and it has prevented my system from becoming infected with any viruses. In fact, most of the time, it removes the virus from the e-mail message before it allows me
to read the e-mail. You can find a link to AVG on my website at www.computerlady.org.

The final thing you can do, is turn off the auto preview in Outlook Express. You can do this by clicking on "View" then on "Layout". You will see the "Window Layout Properties" dialog. In the bottom half of the window, there is a section for "Preview Pane". Just remove the check mark in front of "Show preview pane" and click "OK". Now, you will have to double click on your messages to open them.

Elizabeth




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