Ask Leo! #535 – A Question for You, Email Blocking, Gmail Routing, Email Terminology, and more…

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A Different Approach to a Book About Backing Up


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Why doesn't blocking email senders work?

How can I block addresses that come repeatedly to my junk email box? It says I am blocking email but it does not work.

In my opinion, blocking email by sender is seriously overrated.

It promises to prevent a sender's email from reaching you, but if that sender is determined enough, the block is easily bypassed.

And spammers are determined … boy, are they determined! So much so that blocking senders is pretty much useless in the war against spam.

I'll explain why, and what I'd do instead.

Continue Reading: Why doesn't blocking email senders work?

How do I route my email through Gmail?

You've mentioned that you use Gmail as your spam filter even though your email address is not a Gmail address. Can you describe how you do that?

Gmail is a great spam filter. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that as I write this, it is perhaps the best. Only a small amount of spam makes it through, and very few false positives are thrown. It's not perfect, but no solution is.

What many people don't realize is that you can use Gmail to handle email from almost any email address you have. I use Gmail almost exclusively these days to handle my email, my other business related emails, and my personal email as well. My wife does the same.

I'll show you how to use Gmail for any email account supporting POP3 and SMTP access.

Continue Reading: How do I route my email through Gmail?

What's the Difference Between an Email Domain, an Email Account, and an Email Address?

Based on questions I get, it's clear that the differences between email domains, accounts, and addresses is an area of common confusion.

It doesn't help that the terms are used inconsistently across the industry.

Most folks understand domains, more or less, but the difference between an email address and an email account? That's not always clear.

Continue Reading: What's the Difference Between an Email Domain, an Email Account, and an Email Address?


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Glossary Term


The term Zero-day is typically used in conjunction with terms such as "vulnerability" or "exploit".

A zero-day exploit refers to a vulnerability discovered in software, for which:

  • there is no available remedy – end users have no way to fix or "patch" the vulnerability
  • there is known malware actively exploiting that vulnerability to infect, damage or otherwise compromise computers on which the vulnerable software is running

"Zero-day" refers to the amount of time that the software authors have to fix the issue: zero – ideally it needs to be resolved immediately.

Any vulnerability that is first discovered by finding malware in the wild that exploits it can be considered "zero-day".

Glossary Terms are featured selections from The Ask Leo! Glossary.
Have a term you'd like defined? Submit it here.

Featured Comments

A Different Approach to a Book About Backing Up

Duane writes:

At first glance, there's nothing wrong with leaving your backup device connected at all times. Until your computer becomes infected with cryptovirus, or one of the variants. Cryptovirus will encrypt anything it finds, on any active network share, or USB device. If 'anything' includes your backup, you'll lose that as well. With the greatest of respect, I have to disagree with you on this point.

Leo writes:

My take is that the risk of not being backed up is MUCH GREATER than the risk of the crypto virus family. Many, for example, do not encrypt large files like image backups anyway. The compromise I advocate, if it's a real concern, is to leave a drive connected always so that you're guaranteed an automated backup, and then copy out the images, or swap drives, periodically to keep one or more of those backups inaccessible to malware.

Back Up Your Email Using Thunderbird

Paul writes:

Since Yahoo is on their server, I never lose my emails or contacts.

I put all important emails into a folder and can reference them instantly.

Of course, I always keep a System Image as well, and the people that don't do this are asking for trouble.

Leo writes:

What if your account gets hacked?

John at the Falls writes:

You are still dependent on Yahoos ability and williness to provide backup and customer service if something goes wrong at their end. Then there are policy changes that can happen. I too have been dependent even with a GoDaddy paid email account that recently they have been pushing for me to switch to some kind of a Microsoft email account.

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