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E-mail issue. Name field: just name, no e-mail address. What do you do? Please, advice/help.
Thread poster: Marta Fernandez-Suarez
Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:07
English to Spanish
Jul 24, 2006

Hi

Time for laughing...: I believe I might have deleted job offers because of being overcatious...

Could anyone help me on this one?

I am giving my Yahoo address to prospective customers. I have been mostly using Outlook in my previous job and I always knew who was sending me e-mails; but now, working from home, I am using just Yahoo.

The problem is that Yahoo, however, does rarely show the e-mail of the sender in your inbox list, you have to open the e-mail in order to see the address of the sender. All you see is a name and —if you are lucky...— an informative enough title.

I looked in their FAQs and, apparently, the reason for this has to do with protecting the identity of people (if I remember correctly), but, what about the addressee's computer security...?!

Normally I wouldn't open an e-mail if I'm not sure who is sending it, but the other day I opened one of them and it turned out it was a message from the financial department (hence not knowing the name of the sender) of an agency I work with...

Is there any way of bypassing this problem and see, from a Yahoo e-mail inbox, the e-mail address of the sender without having to open their e-mail? Would I solve the problem if I opened Yahoo from Outlook in my personal computer?

Please, help! Thank you very much in advance!

Kind regards,

Marta

[Edited at 2006-07-24 15:16]

[Edited at 2006-07-24 15:46]

[Edited at 2006-07-25 10:22]


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:07
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
Why not open it? Jul 24, 2006

I have used two email services that are (or can be) web-based: Yahoo and ClaraNet, and neither of them shows you the sender's actual email address until you open the email. This seems normal to me and I don't see it as a problem. If you want to avoid opening an email because you don't want to execute a script that might be part of it, you can turn script execution off in your browser.
To download email from Yahoo to an email program like Outlook that you are content to use, you'll need these server addresses, that I looked up on the Yahoo site a few days ago (if they are wrong for your case, I suppose you can find the right ones on the Yahoo web site):

To receive via POP3 (the standard protocol) it's
pop.mail.yahoo.co.uk (or perhaps pop.mail.yahoo.com for you)

To send via smtp ("simple mail transfer protocol"; not part of your stated problem but you might want to use Outlook in both directions), it's
smtp.mail.yahoo.co.uk (or perhaps smtp.mail.yahoo.com for you), and authentication must be used (an option in your email program).
There are probably "scripts" on the Yahoo web site to do this for you - I'm not sure because if I set this up, I'll do it manually.

HTH a little
Oliver


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:07
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
thank you Jul 25, 2006

Hello Oliver,

Thank you very much for your answer!

I did/do not want to open e-mails that come from an unknown source because I've always been advice not to.

Unfortunately, I do not know much about how to manage one's own computer and hence, some of the things I do when it comes to it, I do them following advice, without knowing especifically why.

This posting was a genuine request for help but people must think it is a joke; it is not!

Oliver, I am trying to find where to turn the script execution off. Is it in Tools>Internet Options>Advance (?), and, if so, which option? I don't see any option for what you mention.

Thanks again in advance

Kind regards

Marta

[Edited at 2006-07-25 10:23]


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:07
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
More ideas Jul 25, 2006

Marta Fernandez-Suarez wrote:
I did/do not want to open e-mails that come from an unknown source because I've always been advice not to.

If you use Outlook Express (OE) to receive email, it can be risky if you simply open (or preview) an email (unless Active Scripting is turned off). The full Outlook program may be different. At home I don't use Outlook, and I use OE for Newsgroups only, not for email.
If you use OE you should certainly turn off the preview pane for emails: First, single-click on "local folders" or one of those folders, such as Inbox; then in View>Layout, make sure the box "show prerview pane" is not ticked. Then, when you actually want to view an email that has been received by OE you can double-click its one-line description in the list of messages.


Oliver, I am trying to find where to turn the script execution off. Is it in Tools>Internet Options>Advance (?), and, if so, which option? I don't see any option for what you mention.

You access this from IE (Internet Explorer), not OE. I wrote something about my set of options, in:
http://www.proz.com/post/291803#291803
I left Active Scripting turned on because that refers to Javascript, which is a necessary part of some Web pages and is said to be usually safe.
There's some information about active scripting on the Microsoft website; I found this by searching the Web with this line:

"outlook express" scripting

This was one of the results:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/192846/

Since Active Scripting is Javascript (JS), it (i.e. the JS part of a Web page) will be run when you open an HTML email or a Web page containing JS if you are using an application that understands HTML and JS (e.g. IE, OE, but not the email program that I use, which is called Turnpike).

If you want to be cautious, set Active Scripting to "prompt" instead of On or Off. Then, whenever you look at an HTML document that contains JS, you will be prompted and can decide whether to let it run or to inhibit it.
In my experience, malicious or spam emails can be detected very easily simply from the sender's name and the subject that are displayed in the Web view.
Example: right now, my Web view of email contains the following that are all obviously in these categories:
From Freddy Charles, Subject Better Success, weaver finch
From Harvie Gledhill, Subject Re: zopeeVjIAGRA
From William Schneider, Subject Watcher Update
From Josefa Bernal, Subject Beautiful quartz, water-resistant Rep...
Also, any email that appears to have no sender and no subject, I always delete without opening.
Sometimes I receive an email that I am 95% confident is spam or a virus. Then, I open it (from the Webmail page) and my suspicion is usually confirmed. Very occasionally, a "suspicious" one is genuine.
Another piece of advice: I suggest that people who send me emails should do this and I do it when I send emails: include in the Subject line, something that is likely to be known to the sender and the recipient but not to somebody unconnected with both of you - this gives reassurance that the sender is a real person who knows something about the recipient.

Notice that in IE, there are 2 separate long lists of options that you can turn on or off: one is Tools>Internet Options>Security and the other is Tools>Internet Options>Advanced.
One aproach you can try, is to turn everything off (or set to "prompt") in both lists, until you discover which ones you actually need to have.
In my experience, opening an email is safe, especially from the list you see in Webmail. But what you must NEVER do unless you first consider it consciously and make an informed decision, is to open an attachment to an email; that is, I think, the usual way that viruses and trojans are spread.
Look at my posting here to see an example of how you need to be careful when dealing with attachments.

http://www.proz.com/post/300294#300294

Oliver
(I hope you can make sense of this posting, which I composed and then edited more than once, not simply from top to bottom!)


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:07
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
thanks again Jul 25, 2006

Hi Oliver,

Thank you very much, you've been a great help! Lots of information and interesting links to more information.

I understood the posting despite the editing you mentioned.

I gather then, that even if I went onto opening Yahoo from Outlook, I will not be able to see (without opening the email nor previewing it) the address of the sender. The only advantage of OE would be that I can increase the security levels. Given that and the fact that you say that normally it is not a problem to open the e-mails, providing you do not open the attachement, I think I will keep on reading e-mail from ordinary Yahoo and plead everybody to write clear and informative e-mail titles with the name of the company they work for.

After all, if an agency is really interested in a translator, they should not be sending e-mails that can make the addressee feel suspicious...

Hopefully, I won't keep on deleting valuable things (let's keep fingers closed).


By the way, it is a bit of a relief to know that someone who understands computers 200 times better than me, has the same antivirus; at least, something I got right...


Kindest regards,

Marta


[Edited at 2006-07-25 13:12]


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Oliver Walter  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:07
Member (2005)
German to English
+ ...
I agree with your conclusions Jul 25, 2006

Hello again, Marta
Marta Fernandez-Suarez wrote:
I gather then, that even if I went onto opening Yahoo from Outlook, I will not be able to see (without opening the email nor previewing it) the address of the sender. The only advantage of OE would be that I can increase the security levels.

Yes, and the fact that the email then exists in a file on your computer, not on the server of Yahoo.
ClaraNet Webmail also shows you the size of each email - I don't remember whether Yahoo does, and there aren't any emails on my Yahoo account just now, to check. The size can be a giveaway. Short, plain text messages are usually 2k to 4k in size; viruses are typically at least 20k (including the attachment). I used to receive emails with attachments about 150k in size, claiming they were software updates from Microsoft. They were viruses of course, and Microsoft never sends updates by email.

Given that and the fact that you say that normally it is not a problem to open the e-mails, providing you do not open the attachement, I think I will keep on reading e-mail from ordinary Yahoo and plead everybody to write clear and informative e-mail titles with the name of the company they work for.

Indeed. Titles such as "Translation about XX", "Translation job for YY" or "Inquiry for En-Es job" where XX is a subject or YY is a company.
I have a niece who leaves all her emails "out there" on the gmail server. Personally, I feel safer when the emails are located on my computer. It means, for example, that I can read them and compose replies without needing an Internet connection except at the time that I actually send or receive them. OTOH (on the other hand) you might value the ability to see all your past and present emails out there on the server from any Internet-connected computer, not only your own.

After all, if an agency is really interested in a translator, they should not be sending e-mails that can make the addressee feel suspicious...

Let's hope they realise what they were doing, once you point it out to them.

By the way, it is a bit of a relief to know that someone who understands computers 200 times better than me, has the same antivirus; at least, something I got right...

Ah, but do we also have the same firewall? I have a desktop PC running Windows 98 and with the ZoneAlarm firewall. I also have a laptop with Windows XP that has its own firewall, but I have installed the latest ZoneAlarm there too. ZA knows how to replace the Windows firewall with itself.
BTW, if you don't download emails to your computer, your antivirus may not actually do much, until you ask it to. e.g. ask it to scan your hard disk occasionally; and certainly, if you do save an attachment to your computer, ask it to scan it before you open it.

Oliver


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:07
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
:-) Jul 26, 2006

Je, je Oliver:

Not the same firewall, I guess. Apart from the paying version of your antivirus, I just have the Windows XP one, I believe, the latest.

Ah, BTW, Yahoo does indicate how big incoming e-mails are from the Inbox screen.


I think I'll take a little course on these issues as soon as I have some money aside.

Thank you very much!

Kind regards,

Marta


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:07
English to Spanish
TOPIC STARTER
more info connection problems (AOL/ZA) masked email addresses Oct 24, 2006

Hi,

I just wanted to add some information here on my particular experience of ZA, in combination with AOL, and another point regarding emails and safe computing. I am sure there are many prozians who know more than me about this. Any comment or advice would be more than welcome!

CONNECTION PROBLEMS AOL/ZA
If ZoneAlarm firewalls your Internet access (probably by your accidentally blocking it) and you cannot connect anymore:
1st follow the instructions from AOL, i.e. telling you to make sure you enter in ZA>Program Control that you trust/add the mentioned files
2nd if it does not work you may have to reinstall AOL again

My case in detail:
I downloaded ZA (at http://www.zonelabs.com/store/content/company/products/znalm/freeDownload.jsp?dc=12bms&ctry=GB&lang=en) and found I just had no idea what to allow and what to firewall (some firewalling is done automatically, some other depends on your settings and your answer to ZA pop-up window asking you to decide). I could not understand why ZA would ask me for permission for AOL to access the Internet more than once, for example. In hindsight, my life was far easier without it (I had the Windows XP pack2 firewall activated) and I felt ZA was challenging and confusing to use if you did not have a fair amount of IT security knowledge. Well, to cut it short, I seemed to block access in one of this occassions, and the following day, that was it!, no access to the Internet anymore... After 4 frustrating hours, I called the expensive AOL helpline (ZA's, at least in the UK, is even more expensive) and listened to an automatic voice that quickly told me that if the arrows on the bottom right hand side of the screen where green I had to reinstall again. That was the only solution that worked for me (after trying two others, one of them found in ZA technical forums which involved accessing my computer in Safe Mode and deleting two files, took a while to work out how to get out of the Safe Mode, though now it is so obvious...).

------------------------------------------------
MASKED EMAIL ADDRESSES
Another issue concerning email security arised for me later on. When "I RECEIVED AN EMAIL FROM MYSELF!" (very different from "I sent an email to myself", isn't it?). If you are in Yahoo and you want to know who the reply goes to, go to Options>General Preferences>Messages>Heathers and tick the option "show all headers on incoming messages". You do have to open the email to see all this info, though. (I suppose proz rules do not allow me to mention the source of the email, then again, may be this is also masked, in case this rings bells, it was from a know company and it was congratulating me on an award).

After the initial shock and submitting a support ticket, Yahoo advised me to do that. It is obvious that this was just masking my email address; of course, no phishing (nobody would trust, let alone answer or follow instructions of an email coming from yourself). I wonder why I got this email, what is its intention?


-----------------------------------------------------
HOW DO THEY FIND YOUR ADDRESS WHEN YOU HAVE BARELY MADE IT AVAILABLE?
Last point. I wonder what happens to an email address you used in your profile when you decide to change it for another one.

I had barely given the email address in question to anybody. I used it briefly when I became a proz user and changed it soon after. I saw once a thread in which someone complained of receiving a huge amount of junk mail in an email account she had previously used for the profile. I am not trying to blame anyone here (of course, I can think of two other possibilities for someone knowing about this address), but would like to examine all possible explanations. When one changes the email address in the profile, is the previous address carefully "disposed off" by the Proz site? What happens to it?


Best wishes,

Marta

[Edited at 2006-10-25 07:38]


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E-mail issue. Name field: just name, no e-mail address. What do you do? Please, advice/help.

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