Bookmarked There’s a reason your inbox has more malicious spam—Emotet is back

Emotet is yet another reminder that people should be highly suspicious of files and links sent in email, particularly if they seems out of context, such as when a friend sends an invoice. People should be doubly suspicious of any Word document that requires macros be enabled before content can be viewed. There is rarely any reason for consumers to use macros, so a good household rule is to never enable them for any reason. A better policy still is to open Word documents in Google Docs, which prevents any malware from getting installed on the local computer.

I never knew that opening a document in Google Docs provides a level of protection in regards to email.
Replied to Desperate Pleas for Nothing (Kicks Condor)

How the interview works is – someone e-mails me a desperate plea to contribute to my blog – in a voice that almost reads like an automated marketing e-mail.

I then reply that, no, they are not desperate – I am the desperate one. I truly want to interview them![1] And I attach my questions right there – to make it easy for them.

At that point, inexplicably, I never hear from them again.

Thought provoking as always Kicks. I really enjoy Alan Levine’s treatment, but you take it to a whole new creative level.
Bookmarked Your Email Spam Filter Is More Aggressive Than You Realize

Other common reasons emails get flagged as spam include sending emails with links, which I’ve typically done to make it easier for people to know who I write for — I won’t be doing this anymore (sorry!); including images in your email; and avoiding words or phrases that the filter associates with spam, from obvious ones like “double your income” to those that are more baffling and problematic, like “medium” (that presents some problems for me, as you can imagine) or “Nigerian” (extremely frustrating and unfair for anyone who needs to discuss subjects relating to Nigeria).

If you’re tech savvy, or lucky enough to have a company with an IT team, updating your SPF and DKIM records can help ensure that emails are landing in the correct inbox. An SPF, or sender policy framework record, is essentially a list of email accounts that are allowed to send messages from a specific domain. This means that only certain email addresses are allowed to send from the theoretical domain, angela dot com. DKIM, or DomainKeys Identified Mail, is a process in which emails are each sent with a key that identifies them as legitimate. Updating these records can make a big difference in your deliverability if you’re using your own domain, though if you have a Gmail account, you’re out of luck in this regard.

Angela Lashbrook discusses some of the changes associated with spam filtering. Some of the issues highlighted include sending from a personal Gmail account and including images and links.

This is an interesting topic in that there are so many aspects of the web that are dependent on email. For example, we depend upon it at work to send out new accounts, however these emails were initially completely blocked (not spammed) by Yahoo as they were coming from a mail server.

Although there are many jumping all over newsletters, one wonders what impact spam filtering may have on these. I guess it is a reminder that email is still a somewhat flawed technology.

Bookmarked DCB refund process purposely flawed (Whirlpool)

Optus was recently hit with a $10m fine plus must pay refunds to 240,000 customers for misleading them and charging them via their Direct Carrier Billing (DCB) charges for ringtones, games, tv show voting etc etc (here’s some more details:

As part of this Optus must refund customers. However, I believe the way they are doing so is deceptive.

The current process is this:
– Optus sends text message to customer with a code, saying they have a pending refund and to go to this link: to enter the code
– This site redirects to
– Customer enters the code, then can fill in a form requesting home address.
– Customer is mailed a cheque.

Upon receiving the text, I assumed it was a scam. I investigated the link, and once redirected to the link I was sure it was a scam. I then contacted Optus support separately to confirm it was a scam and to my surprise, found out it was in fact, legitimate.

Here are my concerns:
1. I believe Optus is intentionally playing on the fact the original text message looks like a scam to decrease the number of customers claiming their refunds.
2. I believe Optus is intentionally using an external URL so the process looks like a scam to decrease the number of customers claiming their refunds.
3. The fact Optus is informing a customer in this way and it is in fact legitimate will lead to many future situations where customers will click actual scam links in the future.

What are your thoughts Whirlpool? My concern is Optus is attempting to save money by not paying their customers back. I assume the ACCC ruling forced them to contact their customers. But I believe they are purposely making this sms to contact them look like a scam so not many customers will request the refund, saving Optus millions of dollars. What do you think

Another example of Optus’ suspect practices.