Google GMail Email Setup

If you are setting up your phone, desktop or other device to pull in mail from Google’s GMail, the process can have a few problems.  Honestly it is normally quite simple, but if you don’t do it right you can end up locking yourself out and becoming totally frustrated. I would also add that if you have a lot of mail, the initial syncing process can take a very long time and make you think something has gone wrong. So, as with any setup, patience is your best friend.

GMail SettingsBefore attempting to connect your device to GMail, make sure you can get into your mail via the web interface. If you can’t get in via http://mail.google.com then you have bigger issue with your username or password and nothing is going to work until you fix those. So, now that you know you email is working, let’s make sure GMail will let your application get to the mail.

  1. In GMail, go to setting by clicking on the gear icon up in the top right corner. It will drop down and you can click “settings”.
  2. From the settings screen, select the tab labeled “Forwarding and POP/IMAP”.
  3. Scroll down and click on “Enable POP for all mail (even mail that’s already been downloaded)”
  4. Scroll a little farther down and click on “Enable IMAP”.
  5. We will leave everything else as it is (unless you know what you are doing and what to change something).
  6. Click the Save Changes button at the bottom.

OK, so Google Mail is now ready to talk to you application, now we need to set up that app. Since there are so many different phone, applications, tablets and other devices I cannot give you the specifics for each one. How to get to email setup should be something the device instructions tell you. But once you are at that setup, here are the account settings to add into your mail application. Be aware that some applications are smart enough to know a lot of this already if you just tell them you are using Google Mail. Continue reading “Google GMail Email Setup”

Outlook Sending Multiple Copies of Email

MS OutlookI received a message recently from a client that one of their friends was sending the same email message over and over again. After a bit of investigation it turned out exactly as I thought – the friend is using Microsoft Outlook. Over the years I have seen many instances of Microsoft Outlook repeatedly sending out multiple copies of the same email. There are a number of different things that can cause this, but luckily they are all fairly easy to fix.

1) The most common cause of this problem is that there are too many items in the “Sent” folder. It sounds odd, but Microsoft Outlook can only handle a limited number of items in the Sent folder. If the program reaches its limit it cannot move files from the Outbox to Sent. When that happens it will continually resend any email that remains in the Outbox folder. The fix is simple: every once in a while you need to go in and clean out those old sent emails. If you really need to have a record of the emails you sent two years ago, archive them off to an external file so you still have them, but get them out of Sent. While you are at it, also remember to empty the trash.

2) If somehow there are multiple copies of Outlook running. Do you see more than one copy of Outlook in your task manager? If so, try closing all of them and then only opening one. Or, just restart your machine. If you are consistently having the multiple send problem though, this is unlikely to be the cause.

3) If the send/receive interval is very short, like one minute, and you are sending a very large file that takes over that interval to send then Outlook may start sending the email a second time. In this case the fix is to increase the send / receive interval. Note that this is usually only encountered when sending extremely large attachments like photos.

4) Rarely, but it can happen, the installed anti-virus software will scan outgoing messages and corrupt the queue thereby causing multiple copies to be sent. The solution here is to tell the anti-virus software not to scan outgoing messages. This can happen to all email programs, such as Outlook Express, so watch for it.

I hope this helps if you are having the Outlook multiple sending receiving email problem. If it does, or even if it doesn’t, I would love to hear from you with your experience.

Why Are You Promoting Someone Else's Business?

When you get your company letterhead printed, would you put an ad for someone else on it? When you answer the phone, would you tell who your phone company or mortgage holder is before talking to the client? Of course not, you want your business to be about you and your connection with your clients and vendors. Then why are you letting your Internet service provider come between you? Why are you buying advertising for the company you buy your Internet connection from?

email symbolWhat I am talking about here is your email address. Even if you don’t have your own website, which you should, you should have your own email address. Why should you be advertising AOL, Yahoo, Hotmail, GMail or any other email provider instead of yourself? It is a very simple matter to set up a rule with whomever your web host is to forward any mail that comes to your domain’s mailbox to the mailbox you are currently using. In other words, if your domain name is “mydomain.com” then you could have “president@mydomain.com” as an email address that simply forwards to your current account on AOL, Yahoo or wherever. And as long as you make sure to set your return address in your email program to “president@mydomain.com” no one will ever be the wiser.

Another thing you can do is map multiple address to a single end account. This means that you can make your small business seem large by having different addresses like “support@mydomain.com”, “humanresources@mydomain.com” and “complaints@mydomain.com” all as valid emails, but in reality they just go to your one main account. This is great for a growing company because as those positions actually come into existence the address can just be re-pointed to the new hire. The outside address never changes.

And that brings up another reason to do this email mapping. How many times have you changed email providers? Perhaps you moved out of Comcast’s area and now use AT&T. So your email address changed. Or maybe you simply outgrew the smaller residential service and needed a truly robust solution. Whatever the reason, every time you change your email provider then your customers need to be notified, your business cards need to be changed, your letterhead has to change, your website has to change… well, you get the picture. But, if you use your own domain’s email addressing, then you are always in control. If you move email providers there is no problem. The pointer for “president@mydomain.com” is redirected from “me@comcast.net” to “me@att.com” and nothing for your customers, vendors, or other contacts need to change.

What does all of this cost? If you own your own domain name or website you are probably already paying for it. If you need someone’s help to do the work there may be a small charge, but it would be very small. Of course there will be that initial change when you let all your contacts know your new email, but you can tell them that this will be the last time you will ever do so. What a relief to everyone involved. And, from then on, when they see your emails your brand will be reinforced – and you will be advertising yourself instead of someone else.

Apple's MobileMe

More than once recently I have been asked my opinion of Apple’s MobileMe service, so I finally decided to write my thoughts down and make them public. Please remember that your millage may vary.

First a bit of history. I have been using the service for a little over three years since back in the good old .Mac days.  The main reason I signed up originally was not for the email or web service, but for the synchronization. I really liked it because I could enable it on multiple machines and then have my bookmarks, accounts, and contacts synchronized between the various machines. Additionally, I could use iDisk to have a file area that I could access from those machines at different locations and that was also backed up “to-the-cloud.”

Fast forward a few years and we are at the MobileMe era.  One of the main changes for me though is that I know use Firefox as my main brower and with that I use FoxMarks to keep my bookmarks in sych between not only various Macs but also Windows machines. I also use GMail as my main email, so I access that from anywhere and don’t need to synch it between various machines. My contacts are still and issue, and MobileMe does keep them in synch, so that is good, but I rarely use iDisk any more. For files I either keep them on a USB memory key I keep with me or just stick them up in a temporary storage area on my website. For the few documents or spreadsheets I like to have available, I use Google Docs. Again, it means they are available anywhere and I don’t have to synch. Nothing like having your travel schedule and agenda up on line and being able to share it if you want!

As for calendaring, most of my calendar is kept on our corporate Exchange server so that is a totally seperate thing. I have been trying to decide where I will keep my calendar if I leave my current work situation, and most probably it will be Google Calendar. The nice thing about both MobileMe’s calendar and Google’s calendar, is that they can be published and shared with other people. My bias is that Google’s method is easier and more direct, but I think that is just because it was designed from the ground up as a web based public-enabled calendar.

Now, the iPhone does add a wrinkle to this and it makes me look at MobleMe again.  Email works great between GMail and the iPhone, but unfortunately neither calendar or contacts sync over the air.  The alternative is to sync the Google Cal and Contacts to the physical computer and then sync that to the iPhone manually. This is probably fine for most people. There is also a good mobile / iPhone interface for the Google calendar, so that makes things even easier.

The real deal stopper for me for complete conversion to the Google word is contacts. Simply put, Google doesn’t store them well – ie, just a “name” not first name and last name. And no details. So for mailing lists, mail merge, business use, etc… you really need to use a different app. Anybody who need anything approaching CRM or a client database has to, absolutely has to, use something else.

Now, I don’t know whether you use a Mac or a PC.  My main machines are Macs, but I use both. I use them both extensively. Some of this really does depend on your platform of choice though. A MobileMe account is much more useful for a Mac person that someone who uses Windows.

Finally, I don’t use the web galleries and publishing much on MobileMe. I have done it a couple of times just to try it out and see how it works and gain experience, but I have a websites with WordPress and galleries and such so I just don’t have the need. And I have tons of space there, so the amount of space MobileMe offers me is not that big a deal.

So, there you go. Lots of opinion and not much advice!  I hope this helps in some way, and if you have any questions – specific or general – I will be glad to try to answer.

My final thought is this, my account is up for renewal in two months. Will I renew?  I simply haven’t decided yet.  Sorry!

Security thread masquerading as UPS email

Over the past several weeks, virus researchers worldwide have been tracking a high volume of fake emails purporting to come from UPS. These emails include an attachment, with a zip file that includes a malicious executable typically named something like “UPS_Invoice.exe”.

This Trojan was highlighted in a recent article in Security Center Magazine:

http://www.scmagazineuk.com/Trojan-disguised-as-UPS-delivery-note/article/112500/

The emails typically include text similar to the following:

“From: United Parcel Service
Subject: UPS Tracking Number xxxxxx

Unfortunately we were not able to deliver postal package you sent on July the 1st in time because the recipient’s address is not correct. Please print out the invoice copy attached and collect the package at our office

Your UPS”

Generally, anti-virus engines have been able to keep up with this threat through new definition updates or heuristics. However, ongoing analysis of this Trojan shows that it continues to propagate in the wild due to highly aggressive methods used to evade detection. Test have also seen a marked increase in propagation over the past 24 hours.

Recommedation:
Do not open or forward these emails! If your virus software is up to date it should catch them, but that is no guarantee. The best course of action is to be on guard.

I have already received at least one copy of this, so it is out there. If you have any questions, please ask!