How to Unsend Email Using Gmail

Imagine this scenario. You just finished up a meeting with your coworker Claire, and it didn’t go well. You are writing an email using Gmail to another coworker expressing your frustration with Claire and her lack of intelligence, and you hit the send button.

As you watch your email being sent, you realize you copied in the entire company. Beads of sweat swiftly pool on your brow and your heart begins palpitating. You are overwrought with worry about sharing your thoughts with everyone in the office, including Claire.

Don’t panic, as this scenario is unlikely to occur if you adjust the Undo Send setting in Gmail before you send out the email.

Enabling the Undo Send feature when using Gmail on the web

The ability to unsend an email is a matter of adjusting one setting prior to writing your email. Retrieving an email sent in error will prevent you from having an embarrassing situation with Claire. This recall of a message will also allow you to modify spelling errors, incorrect recipients, subject line and even append forgotten attachments. Once you are satisfied with any editing, send the email on its way.

The catch to unsending an email is you must adjust the setting to a higher number than the default setting of five seconds. Let’s face it; five seconds isn’t even enough to realize you made an error, let alone hit the unsend button. Thankfully, Gmail settings provide the option of pausing an email delivery up to 30 seconds. So, let’s get to it.

Open up your settings in Gmail, then select settings:

In the Undo Send section, the default will be set to five seconds. Select the range and choose an option. It is recommended you opt for the 30 seconds as this allows a few extra moments to contemplate your email.

Once you have made your adjustment, scroll down the page and click Save Changes for it to take effect.

Done. Couldn’t be any easier. Now, it’s time to try out this potential job-saving feature.

Testing the Unsend feature

If you have an additional email address, here is your chance to test the unsend feature out. If not, send the email to the address from which you are writing your message. Here are a couple of methods for recalling your message. First, the Undo option notification.

After clicking the send button on your email, a message box will pop up in the lower left corner with the Undo option, select it and your email is instantly retrieved for you to make any corrections.

Your second method of recovering your email is using a digital trick called a keyboard shortcut. Pressing the Z key after you send your email will result in its prompt rescue. This technique is faster than selecting Undo notification with your cursor.

How to Unsend an email using the Gmail mobile app

This Unsend feature is available in the Gmail app, regardless of your device’s operating system. As with the web version, you will notice an Undo message at the bottom of your screen. Clicking the button will retrieve your message and display it for editing.

If you choose not to resend your email and return to your inbox, a message will appear at the bottom of your screen notifying you a draft of the email was saved along with the option to discard. If you decide not to delete it straightaway, the draft will be kept in your draft folder for later review.

The bad news is you probably wish you had known this tip before you sent out the email that caused a ruckus. The good news is now you are privy to this setting you will be able to save face when sending out your emails.

Geraghty, Chrita. “How to unsend email using Gmail” March 21, 2019.

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Revealing File Explorer’s Hidden Treasures

As every Windows user knows, File Explorer is the workhorse utility for managing files and folders – whether they’re stored locally, on external drives, or in the cloud.

But sometimes we forget the many ways we can manage File Explorer itself, making it an even more useful tool. Here’s a reminder of some simple ways to bend Windows 10’s file manager to our will.

File Explorer’s basic file/folder interface hasn’t significantly changed since the halcyon days of Windows XP — though there has been a steady series of enhancements along the way. The app formerly known as Windows

Explorer acquired Libraries in Win7 — a feature that initially earned a lukewarm reception. (Many of us still haven’t tapped the power of Windows libraries.) The Ribbon was added with Win8 — much to the annoyance of many longtime Windows users. And there have been numerous other, less visible, improvements.

But the basic Explorer window still sports essentially the same layout. The Details view, for example, shows the same default column descriptors: Name, Date modified, Size, and Type (Document, PDF, File folder, and so forth), as shown in Figure 1. (Note: The Ribbon is an overlay; when enabled, it covers the column titles. To show/hide it, click one of the toolbar tabs.)

Figure 1: File Explorer’s default column types provide basic information.

Want more info about your files? Right-click any of those column titles, and you now have access to hundreds of other column types, thus providing a customizable power-keg (pun intended) of app-specific details. And that’s just one of various ways you can tailor File Explorer to your needs. Here are some more.

Filter and customize file properties

We all know that clicking a column title will reverse the sort order, be it alphabetical or numeric. But clicking the down arrow immediately to the right of the title pops up a list of simple filtering tools. You can, for example, quickly set a date range for filtering the Date modified column. In the Type column, the drop-down box lets you filter by file extension — e.g., JPEGs and Word documents.

Swinging back to those additional column heads, right-clicking any title pops up a short list of column categories or types. Clicking More at the bottom of the list brings up the Details dialog box with a menu of around 300 descriptors. To add new columns in File Explorer, simply put a check mark next to those you want displayed — and leave unchecked those you don’t (see Figure 2).

Figure 2. File Explorer makes it easy to select the information it displays about files.

Obviously, most of these column types are application-specific. For example, if you have music files, you might want to add columns for Length or [track] # (see Figure 3). Likewise, if it’s a folder of screenshots or photos, consider adding Dimensions.

Figure 3. Make File Explorer more useful by adding length and track number for music files.

Obviously, neither Length nor Dimension is of any use for a folder of Word and PDF documents. But column types can give you worthwhile information when matched with a folder containing the appropriate type of file — provided that information is contained in a file’s metadata. Just because you add Video Compression to a folder of videos doesn’t mean you’ll necessarily see that information.

Again, you can use the column-management boxes to uncheck columns you don’t need. There’s no point in having the Type column in a folder full of JPEGs. But you can also use the Details box to change the order of columns — or re-order them by simply dragging and dropping them around the title bar.

You most likely know how to resize column widths by grabbing a column’s right edge. But you also have two options in the first column-management box: Size column to fit or Size all columns to fit. That’s standard Windows: multiple ways to solve the same problem.

Modifying an individual file’s metadata

Information about a particular file is contained in its metadata — common stats such as date created, author, permissions, etc. plus information you might not know is kept. There may be times when you want to change, add, or remove elements of the metadata. Some of this information is locked; some isn’t — such as adding additional authors or editing a file’s read/write security settings. You can even clear most of the embedded metadata — removing, for example, personal information before sharing a file.
Customizing a file’s metadata starts by right-clicking a file’s name in File Explorer and selecting Properties from the drop-down menu. The Properties dialog box sports anywhere from four to six tabs, based on file type, but for this discussion, we’re looking at the Security and Details tabs. Figure 4 shows the former.

Figure 4. If you’re sharing a file, you might want to prevent others from changing it.

Note that managing file permissions is another whole article in itself. A WikiHow article gives the basics, but — in short — to limit access to a file, you can click Edit in the Security box and then select Add. Enter a new group called something generic such as “Users” to the list, and Windows will automatically limit the group to read-only rights. You can then click the Permissions boxes to give them more or fewer rights.
The Details tab provides more customization, though with some limitations. Moving your cursor down the Value column will give you a quick view of what can and can’t be changed. Editable fields will display a box where you can add, change, or remove metadata.
For example, in Figure 5, Joe Schmoe contributed to the target document, though well after it was created by Michael Lasky. Via the Values column, I easily added his name to the Authors field — and I removed mine.

Figure 5. It’s easy to change the metadata in any editable field. Here, I changed the name in Authors.

Digging out the details

As mentioned earlier, there are metadata fields you can’t change in Details. For example, you can’t edit Date Created or Date Modified — even if your lawyer thinks it might help to change that data before trial. However, there are perfectly legit reasons to change a file’s create/modify dates, and some third-party utilities will let you do so.

On the other hand, there are no restrictions on adding Tags, which are basically notes or subject categories that can group similarly themed documents. The primary reason to use Tags is to produce faster searches. (Reportedly, there are some instances where File Explorer doesn’t allow tagging files with AVI, BMP, MPG, or PNG extensions.)

Finally, File Explorer offers a more-powerful method for eliminating most — or partially removing some — of a file’s metadata. At the bottom of the Details box, click the Remove properties and personal information link. The Remove Properties dialog box will appear and offer two choices

The first is the nuclear option: File Explorer makes a copy of the file and clears all properties that can be removed. The second option lets you selectively remove properties from the original file. Note that the second choice doesn’t always work — you might get an exception error, probably due to some type of hidden permissions violation.

If you’ve been using Windows for a long time, you might have forgotten more than you now remember. Take some time to refresh your working knowledge of Windows’ less-obvious tools.

Lasky, Michael. “Revealing File Explorer’s Hidden Treasures” Ask Woody & Windows Secrets, Issue 16.12.0, 2019 April

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11 Gmail Tips That Will Save You Time

While you may have been using Gmail for years, there’s a good chance you aren’t aware of all of the new time-saving features. Follow our 11 tips and you’ll find yourself spending a lot less time on email.

1. Choose your Inbox style

One of the best things about Gmail is how easily you can organize. The easiest way is to enable all of the tabs: Primary, Social, Promotions and Updates. Google will attempt to sort your email for you, but you can always drag and drop an email to a tab and Gmail will remember going forward. 

In addition to tabs, you can choose to organize your inbox so you see “Important first,” “Unread first,” Starred first,” or Priority first.” 

For “Important emails, Gmail will attempt to flag anything it thinks is important, but you can also step in to unflag messages that aren’t important or flag ones that are. You’ll find that Gmail gets better over time. When you’re in a hurry, you can just look at the “Important” folder.

For starred emails, it’s primarily a manual process. As an email comes in, you can star it. The default is a yellow star, but you can enable up to 12 different “stars.” Just go to Settings > General and then scroll down to stars. You can drag and drop the ones you want to use from the “Not in use” section into the “In use” section. Just remember to scroll all the way to the bottom to save your changes.

The Priority Inbox shows you your “Important,” “Starred,” and “Unread” emails. 

2. Label absolutely everything

Instead of folders, Gmail uses labels. Each email can have as many labels as you’d like, which can determine what shows up in your inbox or help you find things later.

One of the best uses of labels is for automatically storing email that you don’t want showing up in your Inbox. Right click on the email sender and select “Find emails from _____” When the search results show up, click the downward pointing triangle in the search bar.

In the box that open, select “Create Filter.”

Using the filter you can then “Skip the Inbox” and send the email to a labeled folder. This is great for emails that aren’t very time sensitive, but that you may want to read later.

Any search can become a filter — just type in a search and then click the arrow on the right-hand side of the search box to create a filter based on your search.

On the web, you can set up labels in Settings > Labels or do it directly from an email by clicking the label button above the email and typing a new label name. (The same buttons also let you apply existing labels to emails.) In the Gmail app, click the more button in the upper right, then select change labels

3. Find exactly what you want with search

Searching in Gmail is just as easy as searching with Google. All you have to do is click the search box at the top of the screen and type whatever you’re looking for.

But just like with Google, there are ways you can improve your searches to get the email you want more quickly. A tap on the arrow on the right-hand side of the search box pulls up advanced search options, letting you search on who the email is to or from, as well as words it has or doesn’t have. You can even narrow down the date range, selecting particular dates to search around. (This is also where you create filters that can automatically apply labels to your incoming email.)

If you prefer to type, these search options (and a lot more) can be done with a few keystrokes, too — plus, as we’ve already mentioned, typing can be quicker than clicking. Searching for “from:jack” will pull up emails from Jack.  Searching “subject:dinner” will pull up emails with “dinner” in the subject field. Review this list of search operators that work in Gmail to make the most of your searches.

4. Preview and respond to an email without opening it

The standard Gmail view isn’t exactly great for multitasking. After all, when you click on an email, it takes you to the message, but you can’t see any of the other messages in your inbox. The preview pane view takes your email game to a whole other level. To turn it on, click on the downward arrow to the left of the Settings cog. You can choose from “Vertical Split” and “Horizontal Split.” It makes it much easier to digest all of the info in your inbox and you even reply without opening the emails.

5. Use Smart replies and autofill

Gmail tries to anticipate what you’re doing to type and suggests it for you as you write. So if you’re replying to a message sent by Suzanne, you’ll see “Suzanne” pop up in grayed out letters after you type “Hi.” To accept Gmail’s suggestion, you just hit the Tab key.

Another way Gmail is helping is through Smart replies, suggested email responses that you can add with just a couple of clicks. Smart replies offer three options that are generated based on the email content: just click the option you want at the bottom of an email and hit send. You can also customize your message by editing it. This is a really fast way to fire off short email replies — and Gmail’s automatically generated responses are better than you might think.

6. Snooze emails that you need read or reply to later

If you want an email to reappear at the top of your Inbox, you can choose to “Snooze” it. To Snooze, move your mouse over the email and you’ll see four options pop up (from the left): Archive (the box with the down arrow), Trash, Mark as Unread and Snooze. You can also Snooze with the Gmail app by opening the email and selecting the top menu (the top set of three dots).

You can also turn on reminders to 

7. Get things done faster with keyboard shortcuts

When you’re at your computer, navigating applications by pointing and clicking takes time, but sometimes a simple keypress can do the same thing. It might not seem like it shaves a lot of time off your daily emailing, but those seconds add up.

First, you’ll have to turn on keyboard shortcuts by clicking settings in the upper right of the Gmail window, scrolling down to the keyboard shortcuts section, clicking keyboard shortcuts on, and then clicking save changes at the bottom of the screen. Then review Gmail’s keyboard shortcuts and start typing rather than clicking.

8. Make Gmail work with Dropbox, DocuSign, Google Calendar and more

One the computer version of Gmail, you’ll find a narrow window to the right of your Inbox. There, you can run your Calendar, Tasks, Google Keep and a variety of other programs. Most of the programs are business oriented, including Dropbox, DocuSign, and Trello. When you want to use on of the programs, you click on the inco and a wider window opens for use. 

9. Don’t waste time on annoying email and spam

Getting bombarded with email spam can be a huge nuisance, and Gmail has a lot of tools to help you get rid of spam for good. The biggest help is Google’s automatic spam filters, which files suspected spam messages under a spam label so they never show up in your inbox. (If you suspect emails are getting mislabeled as spam, click “more” in the lower left of your inbox and the spam label. If you see anything that isn’t spam, open the email and click “not spam” above the email.) If any spam messages do get through, click the exclamation mark button above the email to report it as spam — emails like that shouldn’t show up in your inbox anymore.

If a specific person is bothering you, you can also simply block them. Just open up an email from the person you don’t want to hear from, click on the arrow to the left of the reply button, and select “block.” You’ll never see another email from them.

And for the equally annoying, reply-to-all email threads that never seem to end, Gmail lets you mute them. Just click on the box to select the email and select More > Mute. The conversation will vanish from your inbox — and won’t reappear no matter how many replies it gets. However, you can still find it with by searching or, if you’ve labeled it, under a label if you need to.

Whether you intentionally create a new account or simply give a retailer your email address when you buy something, chances are you’re going to be stuck on a mailing list. And those mailing lists can fill your mailbox up fast.

While most mailing lists will have an unsubscribe option hidden somewhere in the bottom — that usually requires you to fill out a form — Gmail can make It faster. For most mailing lists messages, you’ll find an “unsubscribe” option to the right of the sender’s email address at the top of the message. One click and you’re done.

10. Send a canned response

If you frequently have to send the same email over and over again, a canned response can keep your wrists from the unnecessary copy-and-paste strain. Go to the gear, Settings, then the Labs tab. Then enable “Canned Response.” To create your own, Compose a new email, then click the downward arrow at the bottom right corner of the message box. Click “Canned Responses” and then enter its name. Write the email and send it. Then, whenever you create a new email, that particular response will be ready to go.

11. Fix your email errors

Have you ever clicked “send” on an email only to immediately remember you’ve forgotten something or made a terrible typo? Gmail has an undo send function that gives you a short window to change your mind after you’ve sent a message to take it undo the action. The notification pops up in the lower left corner of your Gmail menu after you send an email. Go to Settings and scroll down to “Undo Send” to chose a cancellation period (between 5 and 30 seconds), and then click save at the bottom of the page. 

Kantra, Suzanne. “11 Gmail Tips that Will Save You Time” Techlicious March 5, 2019 Time Savers, Tips & How To’s

Posted in: E-mail

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How to Import Excel Data Just by Photographing a Spreadsheet

  • The technology doesn’t work perfectly, but it can save you some time.
  • A version of the technology is coming soon to Excel for iOS.

Microsoft just launched a new tool inside the Excel app for Android — it’s coming to iPhones soon — that lets you take a picture of a spreadsheet and import it right into Excel. When it works, it means you don’t need to manually re-enter data into Excel, which is huge if you have a lot of printed data and can’t copy and paste the spreadsheet you’re looking at.

We tested it out and found it could be hit or miss. When we took pictures of really big spreadsheets, the kind that you’d probably most likely want to use this tool for, instead of having to re-enter all of that data, it didn’t work. There were sometimes hundreds of errors that had to be cleaned up.

But, when we took a picture of a smaller spreadsheet, like one with a few columns for a grocery list, it worked just fine. Our guess is this will improve over time, but it’s worth trying since it’s a free add-on feature for Excel anyway. Even if it’s not perfect, you can get some of the data imported with just a picture.

Here’s how to take a picture of a spreadsheet and import it into Excel.

Get the new Excel app for Android

  • Download the Excel app for your Android phone or tablet. It’s available on the Google Play Store. If you already have the app, make sure it’s up to date.
  • Create a new spreadsheet, or open up an existing one.
  • Tap on a cell in the spreadsheet, and you’ll notice different icons pop up in the row on the bottom of the screen.
  • One of the new icons shows a black and white spreadsheet in the background, and a little blue camera in the foreground. Tap that one.
  • Accept an alert that says Microsoft needs to run a cloud service to import the spreadsheet.

Take the photo

Now the app will open a camera viewfinder, which you should use to snap a picture of the spreadsheet you want to import into Excel. If you already have a photo, there’s an option to select a picture from your gallery, too.

It’s OK if the spreadsheet you’re taking a picture of is on an angle — the app will pick up on the borders of a table, or the entire piece of paper, by drawing a red box around it. Feel free to tap on the text printed on the paper in order to focus the camera.

Next, tap the circular shutter button to snap your picture.

Check the data

On the top half of the next screen, you’ll see a bunch of cells that are essentially a preview of the digital version of your data, and below that, you’ll see your photo. The performance can be hit or miss. Sometimes spreadsheets are imported without an issue, while other times they were jumbled messes of data.

Excel will let you know if it suspects there are errors, which you can move through and edit accordingly. Expect to have to make a few edits. While it’s not perfect, this will still save you a ton of time compared to having to enter in all of the data manually.

Posted in: Android, Mobile Computing, Tech Tips for Business Owners

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10 Tips That Can Make Anyone A Microsoft Word Expert

Microsoft Office is one of the most popular office suites out there. It’s used by businesses both large and small. There are versions for college students and for home use. It’s available for both PC and Mac and word around the internet grapevine is that it’ll eventually be made available for some distributions of Linux. Even though most people use it, most people do not use it to its full potential. Here are 11 awesome tips to make you better at Microsoft Word.


When you type spaces and hit the enter button, you don’t see all that much but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything there. There are actually symbols and characters all over your Microsoft Word document and you may not even know it. If you want to see all of them, Go to File, then Options, then Display, and select to Always Show These Formatting Marks on the Screen. You can also activate Draft Mode to see what the first doesn’t by going to the View menu and setting it to Draft View.


You would be surprised just how many ways you can format a paragraph. You can indent the first sentence or you can indent every other line except the first line. What’s more, the paragraph mark (shown above) is actually fairly powerful. It contains information on how each paragraph is formatted which can make them pretty powerful. If you copy a whole paragraph with the paragraph mark, you end up copying the formatting too. If you don’t copy the mark with the paragraph, the paragraph will paste without formatting.


By using the various breaks in Microsoft Word, you can better organize your documents. The best way to do this is through the use of sections. You can access the breaks menu on the Page Layout menu. Microsoft Office doesn’t see pages as you and I see them. They see sections. If you set your document up in sections, you can format each section independently and give yourself far more control than you normally would if everything were in one section!


Styles are amazingly powerful. If you create a style template, you can use it over and over again for any document. If you write a lot of memos, you can create a memo style. You can repeat the process for virtually any document type. To see existing styles, to to the Home tab in Word. You can click on the down arrow to create your own. If you write a lot in a similar style, it’s definitely worth turning it into a style so you don’t have to format so much and save yourself some time.


It’s always a good idea to get an idea of your formatting before you actually start filling in the blanks. That way you can format your headers, paragraphs, styles, etc all before you put your document together. Doing so can allow you to alter your document before you make it to make sure that everything fits appropriately. There’s nothing more frustrating than copying and pasting some information and having the formatting be all wrong.


Believe it or not, you can actually control how Microsoft Office deals with pasting words. This can be attained by clicking on the Office button (the logo at the top left), navigating to Word Options, and then to Advanced. From there you should be able to see a Cut, Copy, and Paste option that will let you configure your options. This can allow you to do things like disable hyperlinking when pasting and other formatting options to make life easier.


An often unknown option in Word is the ability to use justification formatting. You can see an example of this above. Essentially, it just means that the left and right margins are perfectly aligned. Word is able to do this by altering the spacing of words in each line so that they line up. This gives documents a professional and formal look. To use this, click the Office logo, then Word Options, and then Advanced. Expand the Layout Options and you can set it there.


For those who may not know, the ribbon interface is the toolbar that runs along the top of Microsoft Word. Some people enjoy it and others find it distracting and too busy. Thankfully, there is an easy way to get rid of the ribbon. With Word open, click CTRL+F1. The ribbon will disappear. Repeat the process to make it reappear.


Sometimes you need to blow up the formatting and start over. Formatting can get disorganized and your document can end up looking bad. When this happens it’s probably best to start over from the beginning. To do this, select any bit of text you want to remove the formatting from and click the button as shown in the screenshot above. The formatting will be removed and you will be left with just text.


Spike pasting is actually a lot of fun. Here’s the premise. You cut various words from a document and then you can paste them all together. There isn’t really a specific use-case for this tool but you’ll know when you need it. To use it, use CTRL+F3 to copy. You can do this as many times as you like. When you paste as usual, it’ll paste everything that you copied using the CTRL+F3 command. This can be useful for collecting snippets of a document and putting them together.

With these tricks and a little practice, you’ll be able to create amazing documents that’ll look professional and clean. In a word place where just knowing how to use Word isn’t enough anymore, these tips can give you a slight edge that’ll make you stand out!

Hindy, Joseph. “10 Tips That Can Make Anyone a Microsoft Word Expert” Lifehack March 2019

Posted in: MS Office Tips and Tricks, Tech Tips for Business Owners

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How to Make Sure Important Emails Stay Out of Your Spam Folder

 The algorithms guarding our inboxes have not developed to the stage that spam is usually kept at bay, but these auto-sorting processes aren’t perfect yet–if you’re not regularly opening up your spam folder to check on your email provider’s accuracy, you could well be missing some genuinely useful messages that you need to see.

While we can’t speak for everyone and every email app, we’ve noticed the occasional non-spam message get pulled into the spam pile. It’s still worth opening up your spam folder once in a while to check (spam is typically kept around for a few days before being automatically deleted).

We also recommend spending some time training the spam filter on your email client of choice, taking a few moments to help it fine-tune the techniques that help it spot spam messages from the rest. Here’s a guide through the process for some of the most popular email tools out there.


To see the spam that’s collecting in the Gmail spam folder, you can follow this link in your web browser (remember the list of messages may well stretch to more than one page). If you see something genuine, open the message then click Report not spam.

Any messages that are really spam can be permanently erased by clicking Delete forever. Both these options appear on the main spam folder view too, so you can select and process batches of emails together if you need to.

Spam emails can be flagged from Gmail as well: Either select the message and click Spam, or go into it and click Spam. Gmail uses all this information to improve its spam-recognizing technologies and to try and ensure fewer mistakes in the future.

All of this can be done through the mobile apps as well. Tap the menu button then Spam to check on flagged messages: Once in a message, tap Not spam if Gmail got it wrong, or the trash can icon above if Gmail got it right.

Outlook or Windows Mail

If Microsoft Outlook software is in charge of your email life, you can start doing some email training by heading into the Junk Email folder from the left-hand navigation pane. If you spot a mistake, open the message then choose Junk and Not Junk from the Home tab of the ribbon menu.

For the opposite action, choose Junk and Block Sender, which will send any other messages from the same sender straight to your spam folder as well, in the future. Alternatively, you can pick MoveOther Folder, and select Junk Email from the list.

Outlook lets you change how aggressive the spam filter is inside the client: Open up the Junk menu from the Home tab, then choose Junk E-Mail Options. You can turn off filtering altogether, filter only the most obvious spam messages, try and catch as many spam messages as possible, or only accept emails from approved senders.

In the built-in Mail program for Windows 10, you need to click on More and then Junk in the folder list to find messages marked as spam. Use the Not junkbutton to tell Mail when an email is genuine. To send a message the other way, from the message window click the menu button (three dots, top right) then Mark as Spam.

On the web, you can alert Outlook to genuine messages with the This isn’t spam button in the message header, or flag unwanted emails with the Spamoption on the toolbar. In the mobile Outlook app, you need to open the menu button (three dots, top right), then choose either Move to spam or Move to inbox if Outlook has got something wrong.

Apple Mail

Those of you that favor Apple’s brand of email clients can use the Move selected messages to Junk or Move selected messages to Inbox buttons on the toolbar (next to the trash can) to train the filter on Mail for the Mac. You can also drag and drop emails in or out of the Junk folder.

For emails that are already in the spam (or junk) folder, there’s another option—you’ll see a Move to Inbox button at the top of the email when you open it. Whichever method you choose, Mail takes note for the future sorting of messages.

You do get a few options to play around with when it comes to which emails get flagged as spam and which don’t. Open the Mail menu, choose Preferences, then Junk Mail. The filter can be turned on and off, and you can set the types of messages that are exempt (like emails from people in your contacts list).

Junk email is filtered “based on what [Mail] learns from you when you mark email messages as junk or not junk and the settings in Junk Mail preferences,” Apple says. To reset all that learning, click Reset in the Junk Mail dialog window.

You don’t get any spam filtering settings to play around with on iOS, but you can move emails in and out of the junk folder if Mail isn’t getting it quite right. With a message open, tap the Move button (the folder icon) at the bottom to choose a different folder.

Add your own rules

Don’t forget that all the email providers and clients we’ve mentioned also come with filtering options and ways to set up rules—if you find that important messages from one particular sender are always getting spammed, for example, you can set up a rule that ensures they stay in the inbox.

You can also use this to flag up messages that have particular words in the subject or that come from a particular domain name, whether you want to flag important emails or spam emails that have been mislabeled.

In Gmail on the web, you can open up a message, click the menu button (three dots, top right), then choose Filter messages like this to get started. Just type a domain name (starting with “@”) into the From box to flag up all emails from that domain, for instance.

In Outlook, open the Home tab on the ribbon menu and choose Rules: You’ll get some suggested filtering options straight away, based on the message that’s currently selected, but to set more specific filters, choose the Manage Rules & Alerts option.

On Apple Mail for the desktop, meanwhile, you can open up the Mail menu then choose Preferences and Rules to start configuring some of your own custom-made filters. Anything from words in the subject header to whether or not a contact has emailed you before can be used as a criteria.

Nield, David. “How to Make Sure Important Emails Stay Out of Your Spam Folder” March 3, 2019

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Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your Digital Footprint

The headlines around the collection and processing of Facebook user data by Cambridge Analytica further demonstrated that what you put online stays online and further grows your digital footprint. The news that dating apps were sharing user data with third parties and the fact that there are more opportunities for federated logins result in even more data available on you, which consequently makes it easier for companies to share that data and target sales.

Techopedia defines digital identity as combining elements such as usernames, online search activities, electronic transactions, date of birth and purchasing history or behavior.

What are the options to reduce the size of your digital footprint and how can you take steps to make yourself less visible online than you currently are? Infosecurity looked at some of the best options.

01 – Delete or Deactivate Old Shopping & Social Network Accounts
Go to your account settings and look for an option to either deactivate, remove or close your account on any social network or online shopping site that you no longer use. 
“How to Delete Yourself from the Internet (Item 1)” by CNet

02 – Remove Yourself from Data Collection Sites
Go to data broker sites and deal with each individually, or use a service that will do all of the deleting for an annual charge.
“How to Delete Yourself from the Internet (Item 2)” by CNet

03 – Use Stealth or Incognito Mode – or Even Tor
Internet browsers offer private browsing options to avoid being tracked, whilst the more cautious can use privacy tools such as Tor to browse incognito.
“How to Protect Your Data and Remove Yourself From the Internet” by TechRadar

04 – Deactivate Old Email Accounts
How many email accounts have you used over the years? Deactivating them is important and must include finding – and deleting – old services and corporate accounts.
“How to Reduce Your Digital Footprint” by Clark

05 – Check Your Privacy Settings
Check the privacy settings of the websites you use most often, particularly social media sites, and see what level of privacy you have set. Consider tightening your privacy options. 
“How to Protect Your Data and Remove Yourself From the Internet” by TechRadar

06 – Add Extensions or Plug-Ins 
A number of tools – extensions or plug-ins – are offered to highlight to users what trackers a website is using. Many of these tools are available for free.
Tech Tools by Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)

07 – Ask for a Website to Remove You from a Database Directly
You can go to each website you have accounts with directly and make a personal request for your account to be deleted. A service like JustDeleteMe can tell you how easy or difficult it is to delete an account.
“How to Protect Your Data and Remove Yourself From the Internet” by TechRadar

08 – Use the Right to be Forgotten
With the GDPR now the basis for European data protection law, Right to be Forgotten is available to use to remove inaccurate or out of date data.
“How to Protect Your Data and Remove Yourself From the Internet” by TechRadar

09 – Use False or ‘Burner’ Information
If you don’t want to give up your own data, create false data such as a throwaway email address or fake date of birth for non-essential mailing lists.
“Reduce Digital Footprint & Avoid Online Stalkers” by Online Sense

10 – Don’t Click on Daft Surveys
Clickbait has become part of the modern internet, but with each ‘which Friends character are you?’ survey you enter, you’re giving something up. Ask yourself whether it’s worth the trade-off.

Raywood, Dan. “Top Ten Ways to Reduce Your Digital Footprint” Infosecurity Magazine 2018 July

We are here to help. Keep in mind that we are always looking for ways to improve your IT performance and strengthen the security of your environment. Please send us an email at or call us a call at (732) 780-8615, if you have any questions about how you can utilize IT to its fullest while keeping your IT environment safe and secure.

It’s important to keep in mind that you can never be too secure. Small business. BIG RISK. The average cost of downtime related to a ransomware attack is $46,800. Our Dark Web monitoring service scans the Dark Web 24/7/365 to determine if any of your data is for sale on any of it’s 600,000 sites. We are offering a one-time complimentary Dark Web scan for your company email domain. If there are no compromised credentials, you will have peace of mind. If there are issues, we’re here to help.

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How to Protect Your Accounts with Two-Factor Authentication

A strong password is still essential to keeping your accounts secure, but it’s not always enough. Even if you have a highly-secure password, it can be compromised in a data breach. That’s when two-factor authentication (2FA) can save the day. With 2FA enabled, your user name and password are not enough for a hacker to access your account. Anyone trying to log into your account would need to provide an additional means of verifying your identity, like a one-time use PIN delivered via an app, text message or email, a physical device that generates a passcode or a biometric device. 

Facebook, Google, Twitter, banks and password managers are among the many services that encourage users to protect their accounts with two-factor authentication – but uptake isn’t high, even among the tech-savvy. Only 10% of Google users, for example, make use of this free feature. 

Cybersecurity experts agree that enabling two-factor authentication is a crucial part of online hygiene that makes accounts more difficult to hack. “Two-factor authentication puts one more layer of defense between an attacker and your personal data, ensuring that you are not viewed as an easy target,” saysBrian Anderson, a security expert at Kaspersky Lab North America.

However, not all two-factor methods are equally secure.

Good two-factor authentication: code texts and emails

Once the bulwark of tech-savvy cybersecurity, SMS authentication has been increasingly exposed as vulnerable to scammers. “If you leverage SMS or email as your second method of authentication, it’s possible for attackers to intercept the authentication code and log into the targeted account,” says Anderson. Network vulnerabilities can allow hackers to intercept calls and text messages containing 2FA codes, as occurred in a breach of Reddit that exposed users’ email addresses and a 2007 database of passwords.

Researchers have uncovered a new tool that would allow scammers to create more convincing phishing sites by feeding content from the genuine site into the spoofed version. “2FA phishing isn’t new – it’s just easier than ever now thanks to an open source toolkit that helps you do it,” says Paul Duckin, Senior Technologist at Sophos. “The author says it’s for testing and research purposes only, but he has no way to stop the crooks using his code too.”

Better two-factor authentication: authenticator apps 

Rather than receiving a message that can be intercepted, generating codes on a device that’s with you largely keeps those codes out of hackers’ reach. That’s where authenticator apps come in. The likes of Google, Microsoft and password manager LastPass have developed their own authenticator apps which work with any platform or service that supports 2FA.

These apps can be synced with various platforms in your accounts’ settings when you enable 2FA. At this point, you’ll be asked to scan a QR code that automatically adds the account to your code-generating app. Both Google Authenticator (Android/iOS) and Microsoft Authenticator (Android/iOS) are easy to set up – but if you use Outlook, Microsoft Authenticator is the slightly better bet. You can take advantage of logging in to Outlook without a password, you authenticate by simply tapping a confirmation in the app. 

If you want a few extra features, Authy (iOS/Android) will back up your synced accounts so that if and when you upgrade your phone, you’ll only need to download Authy again to be all set up with your 2FA (whereas Google and Microsoft require you to re-sync all the accounts you want 2FA on).

Whichever you pick, the apps work the same way – by generating six-digit codes that refresh every 30 seconds or so, reducing the likelihood of these codes being scraped and reused. And, authenticator apps generate codes regardless of whether you’re online, which is handy if you’re out of reception or roaming.

The only downside comes if you lose or forget your device. Once 2FA is enabled, many accounts may by default require a 2FA code to log in every time; corporate accounts may require it for security – and forgetting your phone means being locked out of these accounts.

Best two-factor authentication: authenticator keys

While authenticator apps are better than codes sent via text message or email, they aren’t totally invulnerable. Phishing attacks, for example, could potentially steal 2FA codes if users are lured to spoof sites to enter a code and the attacker is able to capture and use the code before it’s refreshed. While an unlikely scenario for the average citizen, activists, politicians or others whose communications are targeted may need tougher security.

n this case, it’s time to ramp up to an authenticator key, a physical device that plugs into a computer’s USB port or communicates via NFC with a phone to authenticate logins.  

One of the most popular is Yubico’s YubiKey 5 NFC is $45 on Yubico (check price on Amazon), a thumb-sized key that once registered instantly works as a second-factor for dozens of services. It can also be tapped against NFC-enabled smartphones (which includes all Android phones) for authenticating logins on smartphones.

“Newer 2FA standards based on special hardware devices like YubiKeys provide extra resilience by using cryptographic techniques to prevent someone else from re-using a code that you typed in,” Duckin says. “If a crook tries to phish your code, it almost certainly won’t work if they then try to use it from their computer.”

For example, YubiKeys need to be tapped before each authentication, in order to verify the user isn’t a remote hacker.

An alternative is OnlyKey ($46.00 on, check price on Amazon), which comes with a password manager that stores up to 24 accounts in its offline storage, and unlimited accounts if used with a software password manager. Plug it into a computer during a sign-in and it automatically fills in the relevant login. This additionally protects passwords from keylogger malware that might be covertly installed on sites.

Whatever method you choose, turn on two-factor authentication

Experts agree that it’s important to enable 2FA on your online accounts, whether it’s through SMS, email, app or a physical key. You may find some services only offer SMS second-factor authentication, but “don’t let [the potential for phishing] put you off. 2FA is there to provide an extra hurdle that crooks have to jump over, without removing any hurdles you already have in place,” Duckin says. You can find a list of sites that support 2FA at Two Factor Auth.

Whichever method you use, remember 2FA isn’t a security silver bullet that can override a weak password or hold off an especially interested hacker. Kaspersky Lab security software blocked more than 137 million attempts to visit phishing pages in Q3 last year, an increase of 30 million over the previous quarter. “As more people use 2FA, we could see cybercriminals attempting more sophisticated social engineering techniques or other methods to try and bypass this security mechanism,” Anderson says.

The good news, however, is that the crooks still need to entice you to a bogus website first, says Duckin. Don’t rush logging in, and be extra-wary of emails, messages or pop-ups that lead to external web pages. When entering your login or code online, always check the browser address bar — is the address the one you expected to go to?

Finally, you have another great reason to use that other must-have security feature, a password manager: Not only will it generate and save your hard-to-crack logins, but in case of phishing, your password manager will alert you that the website you’re on isn’t the one you usually use, because it won’t contain a login for the scam site’s URL.

Stokes, Natasha. “How to Protect Your Accounts with two-factor Authentication” Techlicious, February 2019

Two-factor authentication (2FA) is an intricate part of overall layered security. Because of this, over the years many different 2FA options have developed. We know that narrowing down your options can be an overwhelming task, so we have done that for you. We can work with you to find the right one to suit your particular needs.

One of our experienced professionals would be a happy to discuss the best options for you and your organization.

Give us a call at (732) 780-8615 or send us an email at to schedule a consultation.

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How to Snoop Proof Any Phone or Tablet

It’s likely that you’ve got details of your whole life stored on your phone—the people you know, the banks you’ve used, the videos you’ve wasted hours watching—and you don’t necessarily want that info getting out into the wider world. If you’re keen to lock down your handset against unwelcome visitors, you need to take a few steps.

There’s lots to cover, from protecting against friends at parties who might pick up your phone and start scrolling through photos, to government agencies who might be eager to tap into your outgoing messages. There are plenty of ways to put up barriers and stop all but the most advanced attacks, and we’ll cover the most important ones here, for phones and tablets running iOS and Android—though many of the principles can be applied to laptops and other kinds of devices too.

It’s worth noting at the outset that it’s very hard to make a device completely snoop-proof—even if you physically remove the camera and the microphone, Edward Snowden-style, determined hackers can still get at your data.

Basic security tips

Every so often a new report appears lamenting the high number of people who leave their phones unlocked, or who use an easily guessable PIN like 1234. In 2017 there really is no excuse for leaving your device unprotected, with so many options available—from trusted locations on Android, which helpfully turns on additional security when you’re not at home, to Touch ID on iOS, which demands your fingerprint for accessing protected data. Go to Security in Android’s Settings app or Touch ID & Passcode in the iOS one to get something in place.

That should stop passers-by and curious friends from getting at your phone, but more information than you might think can be accessed from the lock screen—for example, by default on an iOS device you can launch Siri and ask “who do I call most?” to see a list of recent calls, no unlock required.

The feature is designed to help someone return your phone to you if it gets lost, but if you’re not comfortable with it you can turn this and other lock screen pop-ups off by going to Touch ID & Passcode menu in Settings. You can disable notifications too if you don’t want people taking a peek at your Twitter mentions as they flash up on screen.

On Android devices the only settings to really be aware of are the notification ones controlling what appears on the lock screen. Go to Notifications in Settings and you can disable all alerts or just ones for certain apps; the recent versions of Android also let you hide “sensitive” information on the lock screen, which typically means anything that comes through one of your messaging apps.

Securing your apps

As we’ve explained before, some apps are more secure than others when it comes to protecting and encrypting your data. Our picks for the most snoop-resistant messaging apps are currently Signal (iOSAndroid) and WhatsApp (iOSAndroid), and if you’re using anything else you’re leaving yourself more at risk to getting snooped on.

When it comes to browsing, the built-in apps do a decent job protecting you against various kinds of snooping, but there’s certainly room for improvement as well. Apps like Orbot (Android) and Onion Browser (iOS) will keep all your browsing encrypted, anonymous, and very difficult (though not impossible) to track. On top of that, a VPN tool such as Opera VPN (AndroidiOS) will encrypt all the data going to and from your device, and they’re especially useful on public Wi-Fi networks in coffee shops and hotels.

Worried about app developers snooping on your activities? Besides studying the terms and conditions very closely, you can check on (and revoke) permissions for a particular app—on Android tap Apps in Settings, then select an app and choose Permissions, or on iOS, from Settings tap Privacy then choose a category to see which apps have privileges and take them back. As a nuclear option you can simply uninstall offending apps.

On Android devices, you also have the extra option of installing an app locker, which adds an additional layer of protection for specific apps or files if someone should get past your lock screen. It can range from demanding a pin number or password, to demanding a fingerprint scan every time you want to open the app. AppLock (Android), Privacy Knight (Android), and Norton App Lock (Android) are all great choices.

One of the best ways of minimizing the risk of snooping is to have as little data on your phone as possible at any one time. How you go about this will vary from app to app, but to take iMessage as an example, you can go to Messagesfrom Settings and then tap Keep Messages to have them automatically cleaned up after 30 days or a year. Other apps will have similar options. Though be sure to offload photos and videos to the web using something like iCloud or Google Photos before you start auto-deleting old texts.

Your phone also has a habit of tracking places you’ve been and subjects you’ve searched, so you’ll want to deactivate that, if possible. Check in the Activity Controls page of your Google account, where you can enable or disable location history, the storing of voice searches, YouTube viewing history, web browsing activities, and so on.

And something you might not often think about are third-party apps hooked up to your main apps—all those little utilities and add-ons you’ve granted permission to use your Facebook or Twitter accounts. While these are usually nothing to worry about, out-dated and unsecured connected apps can be used to snoop on your activities remotely, so it’s best to keep as few active as possible.

Head into the settings pages for all your services on the web to do this. For Google, you can go to the Connected apps and sites page; on Facebook, connected apps are listed in the App Settings page; while on Twitter, you can go to the Apps page to kick out any connected tools you don’t recognize or no longer have any need for.

Nield, David. “How to Snoop-Proof Any Phone or Tablet” GIZMODO, Mobile

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How to Send a Text Message From a Computer

Sending texts from your computer is extremely useful in dozens of situations. Perhaps you lost your phone and need to send a message to someone, maybe you’re over your monthly text limit and still need to get in touch with your friends, or you may just hate typing on a tiny keyboard. Whatever the case may be, it’s easier than you might think to learn how to send a text message from a computer.

There are hundreds of online services out there that’ll get the job done, but none of them are quite as simple and reliable as the methods outlined below.


Though iMessage formerly only handled iMessages, later iterations of Apple’s operating system include an option specifically designed for forwarding SMS messages directly to your Mac or another iOS device. Once properly set up, you’ll be able to quickly send messages from your computer to any known number using the Messages app on your machine — and receive them in a similar fashion without ever glancing at your phone.

Step 1: To set up iMessage and SMS forwarding on your iOS device, navigate to the main “Settings” menu and tap “Messages.”

Step 2: Toggle on “iMessage” and ensure you’re logged into the same iCloud account as all other devices using Messages. Also, make sure all of your devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Step 3: Tap “Text Message Forwarding,” toggle the switch directly right of the Apple device to which you want to send SMS messages, and then enter the six-digit confirmation code displayed on the device. Doing so will confirm that you want to send and receive messages from your iPhone on your Mac, and confirm you own the machine.

Once everything is set up, you can send text messages by clicking the pencil icon located above the contact list, entering your desired recipients, and composing the message as you would normally. However, keep in mind that the standard text message limit of 160 characters still applies even when using Messages. A text longer than 160 characters will likely count as two for billing purposes, or more depending on how long it is.

However, you can send messages to other iOS and MacOS users for free, as long as they use Messages. Remember, a normal text message will be in a green bubble, while an iMessage will be in a blue bubble. This method works with both Mac and iOS.


Android Messages lets Android smartphone owners text straight from a web interface, no matter what device they’re using. It works on desktops, laptops, or even iOS devices. You do have to set Android Messages as the default app on your phone though, so make sure to do so before getting started.

Step 1: Go to the Android Messages homepage.

Step 2: Open the Android Messages application on your phone.

Step 3: Tap on the three-dot menu icon and select “Messages for Web.”

Step 4: Tap “Scan QR code” and use your handset to scan the QR code from the Android Messages homepage. This will link your device and your browser, and you’ll see messages and contacts appear on your other device as they synchronize.

Step 5: Use the web interface to chat with friends and family as you would on your Android smartphone.

If you want to retain the synchronization between devices so that you don’t have to scan the QR code every time, you can hit the “Remember this computer” toggle in your web browser.


If you use an Android phone (or an old Windows Phone) and Windows 10 on your computer, you can easily send a text using Cortana. If you happen to have a Windows phone, just start typing the word “text” in Windows 10 search bar, followed by the person you’d like to contact. Assuming your computer and your phone are both signed into the same Microsoft account, Cortana will figure out who you want to text and ask you what you’d like to say.

Windows 10 devotees using Cortana on their Android device can also send and receive texts in a similar manner and the latest versions even let her read them for you.

Step 1: To send a text using Cortana on the desktop, make sure the recipient is listed within the People app. If your chosen recipient is not listed, launch the app and click the addition sign to add said recipient to the Microsoft Account database.

Step 2: Make sure the linked Cortana app on your Android device is set to “push and receive text messages” to and from your PC. Start by heading into “Settings,” then “Sync notifications,” and make sure “Apps notifications sync” is switched on.

Step 3: Tap “Choose which apps to sync” and select your device’s messaging app.

Note: You can actually enable any messaging app to send and receive messages, including Facebook Messenger, allowing you to quickly respond to a message from any PC running Windows 10.

Once both platforms are configured, you can send a text message to a Microsoft Account contact by simply saying or typing the word “Message” in Cortana’s text field in the Windows 10 taskbar. Cortana will then expand and provide fields for choosing your desired recipient, typing your message, and choosing the SMS option.

Users can actually expand on that command with “Message [insert name]” or “Text [insert name],” which will allow you to automatically select a recipient. You can even take things further, if you want to include additional context. For instance, you can say “Message [insert name] Did you already leave for work?”

As for receiving texts, the Android iteration of Cortana will forward texts to a Windows 10 PC, which will then appear as pop-up notifications in the right-hand corner of your screen. Users can reply to the message from directly within the notification, assuming only one message was received. If multiple texts arrive at the same time from the same sender, then the notification will not provide a text field for your response.

Like the Windows Phone version of Cortana, there’s no way to browse older texts in Windows 10. It’s a great way to reply to a single incoming text, however, and to send a single outgoing text without having to pick up your Android device. Unfortunately, the feature is not really meant for full conversations. This method works best if you have updated to the most recent Windows 10 edition, and will not work at all if you’ve been avoiding updates since the Anniversary edition.

Coppock, Mark. ” How to send a text message from a computer” Digital Trends, Computing January 17, 2019

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