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Mysterious email settings: IMAP and POP

A chalkboard is covered with advanced mathematical equations. A man stands facing it, back to us, scratching his head in confusion.

Setting up your e-mail shouldn’t be this hard.

Are you excited about the new laptop you bought? Playing with your new tablet? Well it’s all fun and games until someone gets POP-ed. That’s right: we’re going to talk about POP and IMAP.

Don’t be ashamed that you have no idea what that means; for most of my life I have closed my eyes and selected my email settings randomly and hoped for the best.

Read on. No advanced degree required.

Warning: Email phishing attacks are targeting you

Do you know how to tell a legitimate email from a targeted phishing attack?

fish hook

Phishing scams try to “hook” you into believing they come from legitimate businesses so that you’ll reveal personal or secure information.

Sometimes it’s not easy to tell what’s real and what isn’t, even for the most sophisticated email user. This article will help you or someone you care about learn what to look for so that your information stays safe.

Within the past few years, there’s been an increase in the ability of the average email user to detect and delete spam. This has not gone unnoticed, particularly by the spammers who have a direct financial interest in obtaining our confidential information. Because of this, the percentage of people who respond to spam has remarkably decreased. Now, though, we’re seeing an increase in the type of targeted spam known as phishing. We’ve entered the next evolution of email scams, and things are just heating up.
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Mail Delivery Time Monitoring

a blue stopwatch represents timing mail delivery

You can use the same code as FRII’s team to monitor the delivery time of your email.

After the launch of our new MagicMail environment last year, in order to be completely on top of any issues that may arise, we’ve steadily added more monitoring for that system. One monitoring check that required a bit of scripting is checking the time it takes for end-to-end delivery on our system.

First of all, to view the code for this system, go here: https://gist.github.com/FRII/9748818

I won’t explain every line of those files, but I’ll be going over the general concepts of each script.

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Spam Prevention

What is Spam?

in a list of email folders, the spam folder is highlighted for selection

Spam is an annoyance for most email users.

When FRII talks about spam (in the context of email), we’re referring to emails that are both unsolicited and bulk. For your convenience, here is a more technical definition from Spamhaus.org, a reputable anti-spam protection organization:

An electronic message is “spam” if (A) the recipient’s personal identity and context are irrelevant because the message is equally applicable to many other potential recipients; AND (B) the recipient has not verifiably granted deliberate, explicit, and still-revocable permission for it to be sent.
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How to use mailing lists

Types of Mailing Lists

MailingList

Mailing lists are a convenient and adaptable method for email users to manage electronic mail distributions. These lists are typically used, and are subsequently named, for one of two purposes: announcement and discussion lists. Announcement lists are used to distribute email to a group of email addresses for newsletters, periodicals, and marketing materials. Discussion lists are used to provide a forum for individuals to participate in moderated or un-moderated discussions on topics of particular interest to them.

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Mailing Lists: EZMLM v. Mailman — Which is better?

lots of envelopes with the "at" symbol, symbolizing mass mailing through e-mail

Bulk mailings should be done using email mailing lists.

If you need to send an email to a lot of people all at once, the best way to do this is through an e-mail mailing list. Most email providers won’t allow you to send too many emails without one (for instance, FRII has a rate limit that doesn’t allow any user to send email to more than 150 recipients in any five-minute period. Here’s a link to current rate limits for some major providers). Continue reading

Email Clients – What is POP3?

POP3 and IMAP4 are the two vastly most popular protocols for a computer to interact with email from a mail server. As a NOC Technician, one of the most common questions I run into on a day to day basis can be summarized as, “What the heck are those?” This is a question I hope to answer in this post, at least for POP3. I’ll be covering IMAP at a later date.

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