Facebook Is Correcting Username Misspellings on Login

Spotted this earlier today, in the Outlook app on Android, while I was reconnecting my Facebook calendar to my Outlook calendar.

Facebook Is Correcting Username Misspellings on Login

It looks like you entered a slight misspelling of your email or username. We’ve corrected it for you, but ask that you re-enter your password for added security.

I see this a potential security issue, especially if someone is guessing which username / password you’ve used but has the password. Thankfully it’s not too much of a problem if you have two-factor authentication enabled, but it’s still a potential security issue.

Don’t Tell Me What To Think

Nothing Serious Podcast - Don't Tell Me How To Think

Paul, Daniel and Steven are joined by Mykel Alvis on the latest episode of Nothing Serious Podcast for a quick fire jaunt through class divides, free speech, atheism, PETA, fallible popes, Facebook restricting speech, the entertainment industry wanting to infect and monitor your computer, the law breaking the law, patent trolls attacking podcasters and much, much more…

Stories mentioned in this episode of the Nothing Serious Podcast include:

To Unsubscribe Or To Unsubscribe?

Electronic Email Spam I received an email yesterday asking to be unsubscribed from the double opt-in daily newsletter which goes out from this site.

Now, despite the, as stated, double opt-in nature of signing up for a newsletter with Feedburner, what confused me about this email was that the sender was afraid of using the “Unsubscribe now” link at the bottom of the email for fear it would verify existence of their email to a spammer.

I don't believe I ever subscribed to this newsletter.  Someone at your end must have decided to include me in your mailing list, without reference to me.  Usually it is not a good idea to click the "unsubscribe" link on this sort of spam -- it simply confirms one's existence to the spammers

Yet, they were completely content to hit the reply button and send an email asking to be unsubscribed directly to the email address which the newsletter originated from.

I for one am not afraid to use “Unsubscribe” links on email newsletters as I keep track of the newsletters and sites to which I subscribe and am sure that what I am clicking on is legit. Well, legitimate enough for me to have signed up in the first place.

If I receive a newsletter from a source I did not signup for, I simply sentence it to live forever in my spam folder and ignore it.

Experience shows that most people don’t keep track of what they’ve subscribed to and if they don’t remembered signing up for a legitimate newsletter ,or simply don’t want to receive it any more, they don’t bother emailing to be unsubscribed or clicking the unsubscribe link. They simply hit the “mark as spam” button and forget about it.

This behavior makes me wonder 3 things:

  1. What percentage of spam is actually legitimate email that people have forgotten they’ve subscribed to?
  2. How badly this “false positive” spam pollutes the spam filters used by ISP’s and email providers?
  3. Whether there is another way to handle to issue of ensuring that real email and newsletters are not marked as spam?

Finally I wondering what you do when you no longer wish to receive a newsletter you’ve subscribed to?  I’ve added a poll to the comments section so that you can have your say.

Those of you reading this in an aggregator or in the newsletter, will have to click through to have your say.

O’Flaherty Episode #13 – Hail to the King!

Hail to the King!

Alec and I talk about Google, FeedBurner, privacy issues and Bruce Campbell?



Download Podcast MP3: O’Flaherty #13 10.75 Mb 0:24:32

I am the CC King of Spam!

Well, not really, but if folks keep sending me emails that have been forwarded 200 hundred times and packed with addresses in the CC (Carbon Copy or Courtesy Copy) field then I could quite easily be if I wanted.

I have no need to start scraping the internet for addresses all I have to do is sit back and wait for them to come to me. Yesterday, I received 9 different forwarded messages, and could have scraped more that 1300 addresses between the lot of them.

Here’s a quick tip folks. Every email client allows you to put addresses into the BCC, Blind Carbon Copy (wikipedia link) field. If you put the addresses you want to forward your email to in the BCC field other folks won’t be able to see who you emailed it to, and the folks you receive it won’t know who else you emailed it to.

This is also handy when you’re writing important emails and want somebody else to have a copy to , for security, else without the original recipient knowing that you simultaneously sent multiple copies or who you sent them to.

BCC is for protecting the privacy of others. When you forward an email to 20 people who’s only connection to each other is you, you’re putting their privacy in danger. They may not want me to have their email.

There’s also a good chance that their email address could end up in the hands of a spammer because you were a lazy sod and didn’t bother using the correct field (BCC instead of CC) when spamming your friends with the latest virus filled PST file.

But you, dear CC abusers, are not alone in the blame.

The developers of many (many – not all before the Open Source Advocates flame me) Open Source email clients don’t display the BCC field by default. It usually has to be enabled by via  a menu option. But then again, if you’ve switched to Open Source then I would have considered you informed enough to have figured this out for yourself. Unfortunately, looking at the header file of some of these emails, it’s quite obvious that many open source users have just forwarded blindly.

Also proprietary software developers such as the guys at Microsoft behind Office 2007 are to blame.

When you create a new email in Outlook it shows the “To” field and the “CC” field. There’s not a sign of the BCC field. It should be there if folks are expected to use it.

Also, when you click the “To…” button, or the CC one, to add addresses without typing them, the BCC field is shown, but it is last on the list, it should be second. Drop CC to the end. It’s a small design change but it would make protecting each others privacy a lot easier as it’s more likely to be selected first.

Better yet, how about a dialog box appearing every time you use CC asking “Are you sure you want to ruin your friends privacy and give these emails to spammers?

I propose not just moving BCC above CC, but instead of it standing for Blind Carbon Copy, how about changing the meaning to “Before Carbon Copy”. After all that’s how it should be used.