The NSA and other Western spy agencies came under intense scrutiny following the massive Snowden leaks that revealed their tremendous powers when it comes to collecting increasing amounts of personal data. And while the U.S. government had to take steps to try to limit the NSA’s reach following these revelations, it turns out that the intelligence agency can bypass existing laws and still collect plenty of data – such as email – even though it’s not supposed to be legal
You may not know it, but many people who send you email know the exact moment you open it and even where you happen to be when you open it. As The New York Times explains, many people and companies have been using small pieces of code that can track both the location and the time when someone opens up the emails they send. In the piece’s example, an investor immediately received a phone call from a startup company shortly after he opened an email that he received from it earlier in the day. Essentially, they knew the exact moment he opened up the message and pounced to see if they could spark his interest in making an investment. More →
The tech world this week has been abuzz with word that a high school student managed to hack the into the AOL email of CIA Director John Brennan, gaining access to his personal information and otherwise sensitive security information in the process. Rather than employing some high-tech wizardry in order to gain access, the hacker primarily relied on tried and true social engineering techniques.
Lost in the shuffle, though, is a question that has undoubtedly crossed everyone’s mind: Why in the world is the director of the CIA, of all people, still using an AOL email address? It’s a complicated and thorny question, but we managed to come up with a few explanations which may help shed some light on the issue.
We’re waiting for some bright-eyed tech company to come up with a system to fix everything we hate about email, but in the meantime we can do some things ourselves to make it more tolerable. In fact, here are nine hacks we can use to make using email much less annoying. More →
Because you’ve used the Internet at least once in your life, you’ve probably gotten emails from someone claiming to be the deposed Prince of Nigeria who says he will send you his entire fortune as long as you send him your bank account information. British comedian James Veitch has received several such emails over his career but unlike the rest of us, he hasn’t just tossed them into the trash. Instead, he’s responded to them at length and has trolled his would-be scammers in the most hilarious way. More →
Email is probably the most annoying thing you have to deal with on a daily basis. Many companies claim they’ve fixed email for you, with Google’s Inbox being one example, and there are ways to destroy email if you take the time. But email is not going anywhere anytime soon, and chances are you’re doing it wrong, especially at work.
Thankfully, there are some simple tricks you can use to significantly improve your email skills for both work-related and personal email. More →
If I were to charge people to email me, I could likely retire before the year is done. I get more than 100 emails per day on a slow day, and my inbox can easily top 200 emails on a busy day. This, of course, is why I had no choice but to destroy email.
Of course, it wouldn’t be ethical for me to charge companies to pitch me, so I would never use a service like Wrte.io. For others out there without ethical barriers, however, a service that lets you charge people to email you might just be your new favorite thing in the world. More →
Technology makes our lives more convenient in many ways but in other ways it just makes us slaves to our jobs since we’re never off the clock and are expected to respond to work emails at all hours of the day. Psych Central brings us word of a new study from the College of Business at the University of Texas at Arlington that shows checking work email at night can have a significant impact on our overall mental health and should be avoided if possible. More →
Most people have an email problem and we all struggle with overflowing inboxes. Various solutions have sprung up, from inbox zero to apps like Mailbox and Triage that help you quickly sift through your email. But the problem will persist as long as we keep receiving so many emails each day. So what can you do? Get to the source of the problem and unsubscribe from all those unwanted newsletters you receive using one of two services that were recently recommended by Wired.
Ever since Lavabit shut itself down last year, several different new alternatives have been proposed for people who want a truly secure email system that can’t be accessed by government agencies such as the NSA. BostInno reports that a team of students from Harvard and MIT are banding together to create a new email service called ProtonMail that they say will be more secure than Lavabit and won’t be hackable by the NSA or other spy agencies. Not only does this new email service offer end-to-end encryption but it’s also based in Switzerland, where it won’t have to comply with American courts’ demands to hand over user data. The service launched as a public beta last week after spending two weeks before as an invitation-only private beta. Anyone will be able to use ProtonMail to a limited extent for free, although the students say that “power users” will have to pay $5 a month to use the service.
God, does email truly suck. What used to be the best way to keep in touch with friends and family has now become an annoying slog, especially our work email inboxes that are overloaded with mounds of useless garbage that we’ll never get around to responding to. Financial Times writer Simon Kuper has now proposed six ways that we can make using email a less miserable experience, although some of them will require changing the general etiquette for the medium in ways that will make it less time-consuming. More →
One of the more annoying features Facebook still offers to users is a special Facebook.com email address that never really took off as a viable email alternative for Facebook users. While it’s not clear whether the company plans to discontinue it, what Facebook has done is to limit its use to forwarding any messages to a user’s primary email address. More →