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How a computer technician deals with email

Even though I am a computer technician, I still have the same email problems as everybody else. But I have learned a few simple things to avoid spam, phishing, and unwanted email. So here is how I deal with email.

How a computer technician deals with email

Now I am not your average email user. Polls show that the average person has between two (2) and four (4) email addresses. I currently have twelve (12) addresses I actively manage (check daily).

I also primarily use a computer to check my email since I have so many accounts and get so much junk mail. I have only three (3) of those addresses on my phone (only the essential ones) and only read mail; I rarely respond to mail on my phone. And since I only read mail on my phone, I only use the built-in email app.

But on my desktop, that is an entirely different story. Since I was initially in the corporate work environment, I became used to using Microsoft Outlook for managing my email. Technically Outlook is a PIM (Personal Information Manager), but that is just splitting hairs.

With Outlook, I can set up filters and rules to sort incoming emails automatically. This can include filtering messages by sender, subject, or even specific keywords. Doing this lets me quickly identify and prioritize important emails.

The advantage of using an email program like Microsoft Outlook or Mozilla Thunderbird is that you can store a copy of your mail on your computer. I have had too many discussions with customers on how I cannot recover deleted mail when it is erased on the cloud.

Security tip: Do not use the automatic preview pane in any mail program. If a mail contains malicious code, accidentally previewing it will run it. With no preview pane, you can safely select and delete any mail without worrying about executing malicious code.

The only problem I had using an email program was that I could not prevent it from downloading junk mail in the first place. Years ago, I discovered an anti-spam program called MailWasher. It allows me, by default, to read only the text of mail and delete any mail on the server.

Over the years, I have become good at spotting junk mail. In fact, I maintain a detailed article about just that, so if you want to learn more about identifying junk mail, check out the following link.

How to spot a piece of spam email

Finally, I always make sure to follow proper email etiquette. This means using a professional tone, avoiding overly casual language or abbreviations, and being mindful of the recipient's time and schedule when sending messages. And use spell check and avoid using ALL CAPS when possible.

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