Email Without A Computer

Though not my typical type of blog post (as a project manager for the software development group at Beacon), I needed to do some research on this topic for my grandmother and I thought it might be useful info to followers of our blog as well, especially those with elderly family members that are proficient in the use of technology, like mine.

My 93-year-old grandmother is quite technically savvy for her age (93 years young – wow!), and has become dependent over the years upon email for updates from family members since she lives several states away from most of us. However, her relocation to an assisted living home earlier this year (without broadband access) has made the set-up and maintenance of a PC too laborious and her failing eyesight makes a cell phone or tablet impractical. Therefore, we are in the market for some type of “computer-less” email system, I and found the following while researching today.

Informational/Comparison Articles

 

Product Pages

  • Presto – Requires printer ($99.99) and mail service ($149.99/year or $14.99/month), uses standard phone line, cannot be used to scan or send replies, list of people that can send mail as well as formatting and text can be remotely administered
  • MailBug – $9.95/month, uses standard phone line and local calls, does not accept email attachments, can send and receive email
  • Celery – can use any fax machine (or purchase for $89.00), $19.95/month or $198/year for color service OR $13.98/month or $138/year for black and white service subscription

 

In addition, several visitor comments in the articles mentioned that a standard fax machine might do the trick as well.  Not sure which way we’ll go yet, but I’ll update this blog post with how it goes!  Please add a comment if you have experience in this area and can provide your recommendations!  Thanks!

By | 2017-08-14T11:00:19+00:00 January 29th, 2013|Digital Marketing|Comments Off on Email Without A Computer

Watching your site’s content for Google isn’t enough anymore

I found this article very interesting (and annoying??) and wanted to share: FYI: Your site’s email newsletter affects your Google rankings.  What’s next???  Maybe they will start checking Google maps to make sure we have sufficient numbers of cars parking in our lot each day??  Groan!

Full disclosure– Google rankings isn’t my area of expertise, but my colleagues in our Web Marketing department are experts in this area, so be sure to contact us if you have questions!

P.S.  Apparently there’s been some controversy over this article since it was original posted on May 31  and some alternate and contradictory views have been posted on the same site, including some input from Google’s head of webspam, Matt Cutts, so be sure to get all the sides on this issue!

By | 2017-08-15T15:55:16+00:00 June 1st, 2011|Digital Marketing|Comments Off on Watching your site’s content for Google isn’t enough anymore

Bank Phishing Scams – What Everybody Must Know!

It can sometimes be difficult to determine if a message purporting to be from your bank is legitimate or is an attempt to steal your personal information.  Wikipedia.com defines phishing as, “the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details, by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Communications purporting to be from PayPal, eBay, Youtube or online banks are commonly used to lure the unsuspecting.”   Our anti-spam firewall processes over 100,000 messages a day so I get so see a lot of quarantined and blocked email messages that have tried to phish for personal information.

Since phishing emails are sent out in bulk to purchased or stolen email lists, it’s more likely that you don’t do business with the company named than that you do.

Here are some of the things to check before responding to any messages that claim to be from your bank.

1. Is it really from your bank?  I have seen hundreds of messages from different banks and received many with whom I don’t do business.  If it’s not your bank, it’s probably a scam.

2. Does the message look professional or that the sender is comfortable and competent in the messsage’s language?  Look for spelling and grammatical mistakes.  If there are mispelled words, awkword sentence structure, misplaced punctuation, then the message probably didn’t come from a legitimate source.

3. Does the salutation contain your name or is it a generic message sent to “Account Holder”, “Valued Customer”, “Dear Bank Member”, etc?  Your bank should know your name.

4. Does the message ask you to send your personal information, either by responding to the message, or by fax, or even telephone?  I’ve never seen a legitimate company send an unsolicited request for personal information.

5. Does the message contain dire warnings about locking, closing or deleting your account?  Scam artists try to scare you into acting without thinking.  Take a deep breath and review all the other items on this list.

6. Should you follow the link to the web site?  Even if the URL on the page looks legitimate, take the time to look for these telltail signs of fraud:

  • Pausing the mouse over the link shows a different URL than you would expect for the web site.
  • Does the URL contain a numeric address (for instance: http://10.100.10.151/login.html)?
  • Does the URL have a misspelled company name (http://secure.bnkname.com/ instead of http://secure.bankname.com/)?
  • Does the URL have an altered name (http://secure-bankname.com/ instead of http://secure.bankname.com/  Notice the ‘-‘ and’.’ in front of bankname.com)?
  • Does the message claim that the link is secure (using SSL) and your data is safe?  The URL should start with “https://”, not “http://”; notice the missing ‘s’?

If, after all the above, you’re still not sure if you’re being scammed, pick up your phone book (don’t use any telephone numbers in the message) and call the institution.  You can be reasonably sure that if you call them, you’re at least talking to a legitimate company.  Mention that you received a suspicious email and want to verify that the message is legitimate.

You can also visit the institution’s web site (don’t follow the links in the email; open a browser and enter the web site’s address in the browser address bar).  The institution’s web site will have a Contact Us form where you can ask if the information you received is legitimate.  You can also log into the site and verify your account information.

By | 2017-02-21T13:00:59+00:00 December 2nd, 2008|Web Development|Comments Off on Bank Phishing Scams – What Everybody Must Know!
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