Google: Protecting businesses against cyber threats during COVID-19 and beyond

Neil Kumaran and Sam Lugani from Google recently shared staggering statistics regarding the amount of bad stuff that gets aimed at Gmail users daily: "Every day, Gmail blocks more than 100 million phishing emails. During the last week, we saw 18 million daily malware and phishing emails related to COVID-19. This is in addition to more than 240 million COVID-related daily spam messages. Our ML models have evolved to understand and filter these threats, and we continue to block more than 99.9% of spam, phishing, and malware from reaching our users."

Outlook.com has tabs now, too?

What? This seems new. Brad Gurley talks about this over on his Delivery Counts blog. He says the tabs that show up include "Focused Inbox, Microsoft’s 'Priority Inbox' clone, along with Promotions, Social, and Newsletters." Find more details and screenshots here.

Spam-a-licious!

With so many grocery store shelves running bare during the pandemic, it looks as though people are turning to Spam (the good and salty kind). "The packaged pork product that is Spam has never been more popular," reports the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Looking for recipes? They've got you covered. I'll be trying the spam fried rice, myself. It sounds like a nice change from my usual spam-and-eggs.

Beware of questionable and/or bad guys trying to take advantage of you in a rough time

You want the country to open up again? Be careful not to let your haste allow you to fall into the astroturf-driven fake news websites, or even worse, get tricked into giving your personal information out to bad actors.

Blocking emails to role accounts: Best practice?

Do you block email signup attempts from role accounts? If not, I think you should consider it.

What's a role account, you might ask? It's an email that has a username part (the part to the left of the @ sign) that is commonly reserved for either a system function or administrative role.

Call for Deliverability Monitoring Vendors: ZeroBounce

In my ongoing quest to share info about additional email deliverability testing and monitoring vendors, I've stumbled across this press release from email validation platform ZeroBounce. They say: "The ZeroBounce Inbox Placement Tester gives senders an overview of their future email deliverability. Customers will receive access to more than 20 test email addresses associated with the most popular email providers around the world. The results – inbox, spam or not delivered – give users a chance to revise their emails, troubleshoot issues, and send more confidently."

BIMI: ISP Support as of April 2020

I get asked about this quite often, so I think periodically I'll post a quick update out there showing current status of BIMI and its support by the top ISPs.

More (pointless) fun with double opt-in

For no useful reason, I took my little double opt-in tool and hitched it to a script that sends a daily automated email message. Now if you sign up for this new email list, you'll get a daily email with a link to a song or music video. Different every day, personally selected by me. Some good, some very good, some not so good. If you're bored and need a daily distraction, check it out!

Bounteous explains AMP for Email

What is AMP for Email? Where did it come from, who supports it, what do you do with it, what's its current state, and what does the future likely hold? Caity O'Connor, Campaign Specialist for Bounteous answers most of these questions in what I believe to be the best overview to date. Click here to read.

Ask Al: Help! How best to send to 70 friends at once?

Thierry writes: "For the past 3 days I have been identified by Spamhaus as a spammer, I guess, as I get error 554 when sending to domains that they filter. As you can see I have a mail.com address.

"The only change in my recent email activity is that for the past 10 days I have been writing kind of a diary email to all my friends and family (about 70 recipients). The frustrating part is that they write to me and I can't reply to them!

"If you have any advice and time to give it, that would be really really nice."

(Thursday, April 9, 2020 Edit: Updated title to better reflect the likely underlying issue.)

Why coronavirus scammers can send fake emails from real domains

Here's a very simple and straightforward explanation of how "Organizations like the WHO could prevent domain spoofing, but many don’t," by Joss Fong and Cleo Abram for Recode. If you know about DMARC, you already know what's going on here, but it's still an important read. Hopefully it'll drive further DMARC adoption.

[H/T: Brian Westnedge.]