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- Lessons from a compromised email account
- Outlook’s Search bar is moving to the Title bar
- Follow up: Send message using a command line
- Don’t use email password on other web sites. Use a password manager to store your passwords.
- Don’t reply to spam.
- If you don’t recognize the sender name and/or the address doesn’t match the display name, it’s spam.
- If your email host supports 2-step authentication, enable it. Yes, it can be annoying when you need to enter a code to check email, but it adds another level of safety to your account.
- If your email host allows multiple aliases, use them to register on other sites. (If you use Outlook.com, you can change a setting so the aliases cannot be used to log into the email account.)
A client contacted me for help after they received an email from Office 365 saying a user’s account was restricted from sending messages because it sent a lot of potential spam. They wanted to know if the message was legitimate.
The message said: “User [user address] has been restricted from sending messages outside the organization due to potential compromised activity.” And yes, it was legitimate.
I logged into their Office 365 admin account and sure enough, the address sent several hundred spams over the course of 2 hours, after sending a handful of spam the day before in what appears to be a test run.
The user said he had several “weird messages” waiting in his Inbox when they logged in in the morning and didn’t think much of it as he deleted the messages.
The weird messages were replies to the spam messages. He thought the ones that included the replies were spammers, faking a reply.
- “It must have been someone else you were talking to.”
- “Who ever the **** you are quit using my email address.”
- “Don't recall Never used it. Only thot about it.”
A few of the replies included the original message. It was a simple one-line message with a spammy-looking link:
- Simply wanted to make sure that it's the one that you meant [spammy link]
- This is the one you asked me about [spammy link]
I honestly don’t understand why anyone would reply to spam, especially when the sender’s name and address did not match – the name in the reply header was a woman’s name, the email address format was the user’s full name and a traditional men’s name – but I know a lot of people do. Don't be one of those people.
When I asked the user if he used the same password on other sites, he said yes, a few. We checked his address at https://haveibeenpwned.com/ and discovered it was exposed in several data breaches.
I reset his email password and enabled multifactor authentication on his account. I left strict instructions to change his password on the other sites, to something different on each site. And definitely not to his new email password.
Office 365 subscribers on the Monthly channel have the option to try new features by enabling the Coming soon option. This month’s new feature is the search bar at the top of Outlook, in the title bar.
While the move reduces the amount of wasted space, especially for those who don’t use the reading pane on the right, and provides a larger search field when the reading pane is on the right, it’s not without negatives.
- The account and folder names are missing from the title bar, where they’ve lived for many years. (They are in the title bar of backstage, but that is not as convenient to verify which folder you’re in.)
- The search field is too far from the message list, resulting in too much mouse movement to get to it.
- It’s inconvenient to change the folder scope, with more mouse movement and extra clicks.
- The field selection dialog is extra clicks and you cannot pin frequently used fields to the search field.
Love it or hate it? Microsoft wants to hear what you think. Click on the Coming Soon button and at the bottom of the description, it will ask if the feature helps or not. Choose wisely and add your comments.
In addition to moving the search field, the new search has some nice enhancements: it will detect spelling errors and offer suggestions. It will also show you top three search results at the top of the search results. (Top results can be disabled in File > Options.)
In the last issue of EMO, I mentioned that the command line to create a new message was broken in a recent Outlook update.
This is the result of a permanent change to be compliant with RFC6068. Outlook incorrectly processed hfield values before the required “?” delimiter was specified.
Going forward, you will need to use a ? after the email address, not an &:
outlook.exe /c ipm.note /m email@example.com?subject=Me&body=myself
Description of the security update for Microsoft Exchange Server 2010: February 11, 2020
Description of the security update for Microsoft Exchange Server 2013: February 11, 2020
Description of the security update for Microsoft Exchange Server 2019 and 2016: February 11, 2020
MSExchangeDelivery.exe or EdgeTransport.exe crashes in Exchange Server 2013 and Exchange Server 2010
Description of the Connection Status dialog box in Outlook
Description of the security update for Outlook 2013: February 11, 2020
February 2020 updates for Microsoft Office
Microsoft released these security and non-security updates for Office in February 2020.