Ask Leo! #589 – Security Questions, Bouncing Email, Ignored Email, and more…

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The Death of the Security Question

Continue Reading: The Death of the Security Question
https://askleo.com/21676

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Will I Lose My Email If I Don't Check It For a While?

I just moved and was not able to check my email for 3-4 weeks. Will I still receive emails sent in that time period?

Probably, but it depends on a couple of things: the rules that your email provider might impose, and just how popular you are.

It's definitely something worth planning ahead for.

Continue Reading: Will I Lose My Email If I Don't Check It For a While?
https://askleo.com/2606

Can I Count on Mail to a Bad Address Bouncing Back?

Will email that I send bounce back to me to let me know if the recipient's email address is closed or no longer exists, or will it just go out into space never to be seen again?

Unfortunately, the answer is:

  1. both
  2. neither
  3. all of the above

Email bounce messages are both annoying and informative. They can help you fix a problem with an email you've sent, or they can simply be another message in a big pile of spam.

Unfortunately, about the only thing you can count on is that you cannot count on bounce messages.

Continue Reading: Can I Count on Mail to a Bad Address Bouncing Back?
https://askleo.com/2870

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Glossary Term

bounce

A bounce is an email message sent in response to an email message that cannot be delivered for some reason. The term refers to your original message "bouncing back" to you.

A message indicating that an email message has been delayed, but may still be delivered, is sometimes also incorrectly referred to as bounce. More accurately, the final message indicating that the message had not been delivered would be the bounce message.

Bounce messages are not guaranteed, meaning that not getting a bounce in response to sending an email message does not guarantee that the message has been delivered. Bounces themselves can be lost in the mail, or email providers can elect not to send them in some circumstances.

Glossary Terms are featured selections from The Ask Leo! Glossary.
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Featured Comments

How Do I Tell Which Program Is Using So Much Memory?

Karl Menzel writes:

Good article, but much more useful to let us know WHAT to turn off.

Leo writes:

There's no simple answer. It's different for everyone and every computer.

Paul Faulkner writes:

I just wanted to add that a way I've described RAM and HDDs to people in the past is analogous to a library:

Think of the library building as a hard disk. The buiilding may be huge like a warehouse or small like a shop - but it's empty until you actually put books in it.

Think of your programs and data files as the reference books or essays and dissertations which would be stored in the library. If you have a lot of such books, your library building will need to be large (like a warehouse) rather than small (like the shop) to hold them all.

Think of RAM as the library tickets. If you have only two library tickets, you may only get 2 books out to have open on your desk at any one time (analagous to only having a small amount of RAM). You could have a vast warehouse with all those books stored in them but if you can only have two at a time, rather than reading from a reference instruction book or writing an essay into an exercise book, you are going to have an awful lot of getting up and down going back and froth through security between the study area and the book repository itself if you only have 2 tickets! If you have 8 tickets or better 20 tickets then you can have multiple reading books and multiple notebooks open on your desk in the study area at any one time saving you having to spend a lot of time going back and forth to and from the book storage area in the warehouse.

So to recap. The hard disk is like the physical building; the programs and other files you have are like the content of the building (a big building doesn't mean it has anything in it) and the RAM is the amount of items you can get on the desk you site at when your read fromor write into what you actually keep stored in the building itself.

And Leo - your stuff is almost always very informative and easy to digest - keep up the good work.... And I hope my analogy will prove helpful to the bemused and lost in the fog! Paul Faulkner

Encryption, Padlocks, and Back Doors

Ray Smith writes:

'You're trusting that the key will always and only be owned by the right people.' - Indeed, and this is the - no pun intended - key issue. Create a backdoor and sooner or later - likely sooner - the mechanism to unlock that door will become public domain: it'll either be discovered by hackers or leaked/sold by an internal source. Adding an extraordinary access mechanism to a system invariably makes that system less secure (remember the CALEA/DoD phone systems debacle?). Or, to put it another way, if you create a backdoor for the good guys, it's almost inevitable that a bad guy will step through it.

Solid encryption is absolutely essential: it's what makes things like online banking and commerce possible. Break encryption, and you break the internet.

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