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Hotmail - blocked senders
Thread poster: Kim Metzger

Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 03:02
German to English
Mar 14, 2008

I just received a message from a ProZian wishing to add me to his/her network of trusted colleagues. The trouble is, I can't tell who sent the invitation because my Hotmail service categorized it under dangerous messages, and I don't know how to unblock it. I checked my blocked senders and didn't find a proZ address anywhere. I'd appreciate your suggestions.

Red shield with a white X in the middle. This message has been blocked for your safety. Open message
[ProZ.com] invites you to join network of trusted colleagues‏
From: (Unknown)
This message may be dangerous. Learn more

Sent: Friday, March 14, 2008 10:36:16 AM
To: my email address

Dear Kim Metzger,

has invited you to join his/her network of trusted colleagues at ProZ.com, and sends you this message:

To accept and join this network, click here: http://proz.com/mynetwork/accept/...

To decline at this time, click here: http://proz.com/mynetwork/decline/...

Options
Safe and blocked senders
Blocked senders
Manage who is blocked from sending you e-mail. Messages from blocked senders are automatically deleted.

Edited according to Oddie's advice

[Edited at 2008-03-14 19:05]


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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 10:02
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
There was a bug Mar 14, 2008

Hi Kim,
Earlier today there was some kind of bug in sending network invitations. See this thread: http://www.proz.com/post/809822#809822 Due to the bug the sender's name was not visible and the notification in general was a bit awkward. My guess is that your filter caught this corrupted message.

The developers answered to my support ticket that this bug has been fixed by now.

Let's see if new invitations will go through your mail filters.


HTH,
Magda


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 03:02
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
I see Mar 14, 2008

Thanks, Magda. That makes sense. But it looks like I'll now never know who invited me. I actually entered the "accept" URL and received the message that I had been added to the person's network. But now when I look at the home page under My Network I see (0) No Colleagues Added.

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Magda Dziadosz  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 10:02
Member (2004)
English to Polish
+ ...
Me too :) Mar 14, 2008

Yes, Kim, I know what you mean - I received 2 "ghost" notifications and have no idea who has sent them and if I was added to their network or not. Certainly nobody was added to mine...
Hopefully the developers will clarify this as well.


Magda


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lexical  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 10:02
Portuguese to English
not alone Mar 14, 2008

Several members received this, including me. This is actually the second time in under a fortnight that Proz.com has been responsible for compromising my privacy and, possibly, security. On the first occasion, I received an unsolicited scam mail through my profile from a (no doubt) charming Nigerian who wanted to become intimate with my person and even more intimate with my bank account.

At no time was I asked whether I wished to sign up to receive invitations from total (or worse, unnamed) strangers to join their "Networks", nor am I aware of how I can opt out of this facility. If Proz.com wants to play in the same yard with the big boys on personal networks and instant messaging, it should get its act together on privacy. Looking at how Skype manages this would be a starting point.

I don't think I can say this loudly enough to Proz.com: My privacy and security are not yours to play with.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 10:02
English to German
+ ...
Technical problem - no breach of privacy Mar 15, 2008

Hi lexical,
I have asked site staff to comment.


Several members received this, including me. This is actually the second time in under a fortnight that Proz.com has been responsible for compromising my privacy and, possibly, security.

A nuisance - yes. Security breach - I don't think so.

On the first occasion, I received an unsolicited scam mail through my profile from a (no doubt) charming Nigerian who wanted to become intimate with my person and even more intimate with my bank account.

A variant of one of the oldest scams around - in fact, this MO predates the age of electronic communications.
In principle, your profile is exposed to spammers in the same way as any e-mail address - the fundamental difference being that the sender of a profile e-mail will not be able to see your address (unless you respond, which I assume you won't do).

You can define the degree of exposure yourself (My ProZ.com - My Settings - E-mail preferences).

At no time was I asked whether I wished to sign up to receive invitations from total (or worse, unnamed) strangers to join their "Networks", nor am I aware of how I can opt out of this facility.

The 'anonymous' notifications were the result of a bug in the software code for a new functionality (see the related discussion). Working properly, the invitation to get connected (I've successfully tested it myself) shows who sent it, with a profile link - all you need to 'do' to prevent a link-up is to ignore it. That said, a general opt-out should perhaps be added.

If Proz.com wants to play in the same yard with the big boys on personal networks and instant messaging, it should get its act together on privacy. Looking at how Skype manages this would be a starting point.

Agreed in principle, however, I don't see a breach of privacy in this instance.

Best regards,
Ralf


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writeaway  Identity Verified

Local time: 10:02
Partial member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Is there any way to opt out of this? Mar 15, 2008

lexical wrote:
At no time was I asked whether I wished to sign up to receive invitations from total (or worse, unnamed) strangers to join their "Networks", nor am I aware of how I can opt out of this facility. .


It may be a good idea to give people the option to decide whether or not they want to take part in the Network system.

[Edited at 2008-03-15 14:32]


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Kim Metzger  Identity Verified
Mexico
Local time: 03:02
German to English
TOPIC STARTER
Trojan horse detected Mar 15, 2008

This may be just a strange coincidence, but last night, the same day of the invitation, my anti-virus program detected and removed a trojan horse.

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Jason Grimes
Local time: 04:02
SITE STAFF
No privacy or security breach; email notifications disabled for now Mar 15, 2008

Hi everyone,

Thanks for writing with your concerns about the email notifications for the new "my network" feature. I'll try to respond to everyone's comments in this message.

We have disabled these email notifications until we can address the concerns raised here. Invitations to join others' networks will still be sent via the intra-site ProZ.com messaging feature. We will add the ability to opt-out of email notifications for "my network" before those email notifications are restored.

To be clear, these email notifications were not responsible for any security breaches.

Our email administrator is working with hotmail to help ensure our messages are not filtered.

The bug that caused some "my network" invitations to appear to come from "ghost" senders appears to have been fixed. Unfortunately it wasn't possible to determine the original senders of these invitations, but future invitations should not have this problem.

Regarding unsolicited "nigerian scam" or other unwanted emails, it is possible to control who is allowed to send you email via your profile by adjusting your email preferences. We will modify the "my network" feature to respect these preferences as well.

Finally, because it's not possible to send emails with attachments via the site, I don't think Kim's trojan horse had anything to do with messages from ProZ.com. But if you submit a support ticket with the complete headers of the infected message, we can determine that for certain.

I hope this is helpful.

Best regards,

Jason


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