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How to keep email from getting lost to a spam folder

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How to keep email from getting lost to a spam folder

Have you ever been waiting for an important email only to find out it went into your spam folder? 

This can be frustrating if you’re waiting on correspondence from someone, but it can also be frustrating — and awkward — for the sender, who is all the while waiting for your response.

While you still want your spam folder to help filter out unwanted messages, it’s important to “safelist” the email addresses you want to go directly into your inbox. And there is a way to keep actual spam emails at bay, too.

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Mail app on a smartphone   (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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What does it mean to “safelist” an email address?

To “safelist,” an email address means adding it to a special list where you mark it as trusted. When you safelist an email address, you ensure that messages from this sender go directly to your inbox instead of getting caught in spam filters. This is particularly useful because sometimes important emails can be mistakenly marked as unwanted spam.

Safelisting is a helpful tool, especially in settings where you can’t afford to miss important messages, like in business or personal communications. By adding an email address to your safelist, you’re telling your email service that you know and trust this sender and that the sender’s emails are important to you. This step helps ensure that you always receive the emails you need, including our CyberGuy newsletter.

WOMAN ON laptop

A woman on her laptop   (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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Part I: How to safelist email addresses in different email platforms

To ensure that important emails always reach your inbox and don’t get lost in the spam folder, it’s a good idea to safelist trusted email addresses. This requires adding contacts to your email platform’s address book and taking another step to ensure they go to you. 

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Here’s how to do it on different email platforms:

Gmail:

Add email addresses to contacts:

  • Go to Google Contacts (contacts.google.com).
  • Click on “Create contact” and fill out the “Create a contact” form with the email address you wish to safelist.
  • Click Save. This automatically ensures that emails from this address land in your inbox rather than your spam folder.

Safelist spam emails:

  • Navigate to your Gmail inbox.
  • From the navigation bar on the left, scroll down and click More.
  • Then, click Spam
  • Find the email from the sender you want to safelist. Click the empty box to the left of the Spam email you want to remove from Spam.
  • Now, tap Not spam 

Create a non-spam filter:

  • From your Gmail inbox, go to “Settings” (gear icon), then “See all settings.”
  • Navigate to “Filters and Blocked Addresses” and click it.
  • Then, tap “Create a new filter.”
  • Enter the email address or domain you wish to safelist in the “From” field.
  • Click “Create filter” with this search, check “Never send it to Spam,” and then click “Create filter.”

Yahoo Mail:

Add a Yahoo contact:

  • Click the Contacts card icon on the upper right corner of your inbox.
  • Then, click the three horizontal dots just below it on the right
  • Select “Add a new Contact.”
  • Fill out the form with the sender’s details, and click “Save.”

Add a filter in Yahoo Mail:

  • Click the Gear icon in the upper right corner and select “More Settings.”
  • Choose “Filters” from the left navigation menu
  • Then click “Add new filters.”
  • Fill out the form with a filter name and the email address or domain you wish to safelist.
  • Click “Save” to activate the filter.

AOL Mail:

Add an AOL contact:

  • Log into your AOL Mail account
  • Click on Contacts in the left navigation menu
  • Tap on the three horizontal dots under where it says Contacts
  • Click on Add a new Contact
  • Fill out the contact details, and click Save

Create a filter in AOL Mail:

  • Log into your AOL Mail account
  • Click on Options
  • Then, click Mail Settings
  • Under Filter Settings, click on Create a new filter
  • Enter a name for the filter, specify the condition (e.g., emails from a specific email address), and set the action to Move to inbox
  • Save the filter to ensure all future emails from this address go directly to your inbox instead of the spam folder.

StartMail

  • Log in to your StartMail account: Start by signing in to your StartMail account.
  • Access your settings: Look for a settings or options menu, typically found in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Navigate to Safelist options: Within the settings menu, find the section dedicated to ‘Filters’ or ‘Safelisting’.
  • Add the email address: In the safelist section, there should be an option to ‘Add’ or ‘Create a new rule’. Enter the email address you wish to safelist.
  • Save your changes: Make sure to save or apply the changes to update your safelist settings.

By following these steps, emails from safelisted addresses bypass the spam filter, ensuring you receive important communications directly in your inbox.

Note: One of the best features of StartMail is that it’s a more private and secure email service, which helps you take more control over what’s coming into your inbox and what you’re sending out. Find out more about upgrading the security of your email here

MORE: OUTSMART SPAMMERS TO FINALLY END UNSOLICITED EMAILS  

Part II: Why do emails I don’t want in my inbox bypass the spam filter?

If you plan to safelist email addresses so that you won’t miss another email from a trusted address by it going into your spam folder instead of your primary inbox, you might be wondering how this works the other way around. How do emails you DON’T want to see get into your inbox when those should be going into your spam folder?

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If you’re getting a lot of “promotional” or “spam” emails (depending on how your email labels them), it’s likely because you subscribed to them at some point in time. To find out where you’re subscribed and unsubscribe from many places at once, there are services out there like Clean Email that can help you do this quickly. But you can also do it the manual way by setting time aside to go through your inbox and unsubscribe to ones you don’t want anymore as they come into your inbox.

It could also be because your email is out there on the internet, and scammers (as well as companies) can find it and add it to a mailing list without you giving explicit permission to do so. To help minimize this, there are ways to get your data offline

woman on cellphone

A person on a smartphone looking at emails (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

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Use aliases to protect yourself from spam emails

Sometimes, it’s best to create various email aliases so that you don’t have to worry about all your info getting stolen in a data breach. An email alias address is also a great way to stop receiving constant spam mail by simply deleting it. 

My top recommendation to avoid being inundated with spam emails is to use an alias email address. An alias email address is an additional email address that can be used to receive emails in the same mailbox as the primary email address. It acts as a forwarding address, directing emails to the primary email address.

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In addition to creating throwaway email accounts for online sign-ups and other circumstances where you would not want to disclose your primary email address, alias email addresses are helpful for handling and organizing incoming communications.

Sometimes, it’s best to create various email aliases so that you don’t have to worry about getting tons of spam mail and having your email eventually stolen in a data breach. An alias email address is a great way for you to stop receiving constant spam mail by simply deleting the email alias address. See my review of best secure and private email services here

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

WOMAN checks emails

A woman checking her email on her laptop while on the phone  (Kurt “CyberGuy” Knutsson)

MORE: THE ‘UNSUBSCRIBE’ EMAIL SCAM IS TARGETING AMERICANS

Kurt’s key takeaways

Just like managing your contacts in a physical address book or on your phone takes time, managing them in your email system does, too. But by safelisting emails and using aliases to prevent spam, you’ll get your email right where you want it.

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What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to managing your email subscriptions, and how do you address it?  Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact

For more of my tech tips and security alerts, subscribe to my free CyberGuy Report Newsletter by heading to Cyberguy.com/Newsletter

Ask Kurt a question or let us know what stories you’d like us to cover

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Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com.  All rights reserved.

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Former head of NSA joins OpenAI board

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Former head of NSA joins OpenAI board

OpenAI has appointed Paul M. Nakasone, a retired general of the US Army and a former head of the National Security Agency (NSA), to its board of directors, the company announced on Thursday.

Nakasone, who was nominated to lead the NSA by former President Donald Trump, directed the agency from 2018 until February of this year. Before Nakasone left the NSA, he wrote an op-ed supporting the renewal of Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the surveillance program that was ultimately reauthorized by Congress in April.

OpenAI says Nakasone will join its Safety and Security Committee, which was announced in May and is led by CEO Sam Altman, “as a first priority.” Nakasone will “also contribute to OpenAI’s efforts to better understand how AI can be used to strengthen cybersecurity by quickly detecting and responding to cybersecurity threats.”

Recent departures tied to safety at OpenAI include co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, who played a key role in Sam Altman’s November firing and eventual un-firing, and Jan Leike, who said on X that “safety culture and processes have taken a backseat to shiny products.”

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to have huge positive impacts on people’s lives, but it can only meet this potential if these innovations are securely built and deployed,“ board chair Bret Taylor said in a statement. “General Nakasone’s unparalleled experience in areas like cybersecurity will help guide OpenAI in achieving its mission of ensuring artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.” 

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Chilling fake of birthing 30,000 babies in eerie artificial wombs

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Chilling fake of birthing 30,000 babies in eerie artificial wombs

The intriguing yet fictional video, “EctoLife: The World’s First Artificial Womb Facility,” has recently regained traction on social media, likely due to creator Hashem Al-Ghaili releasing another fake video – on head transplants called “BrainBridge” – sparking discussions and raising questions about the EctoLife video’s authenticity. 

However, both videos are conceptual presentations and do not depict an existing facility or technology.

An image from the controversial concept video (EctoLife)

A thought-provoking concept, not a reality

The EctoLife video, created by Hashem Al-Ghaili, a science communicator and filmmaker, presents a futuristic concept of an artificial womb facility that claims to offer a safe and pain-free alternative to natural pregnancy and childbirth.

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The video showcases rows of fetuses in clear, football-shaped pods inside a high-tech building, accompanied by a narrator describing the facility’s capabilities.

However, it’s crucial to understand that the EctoLife video is a concept video and not a representation of an existing reality. Al-Ghaili himself has clarified that the technology depicted in the video does not yet exist, and the video is marked as a “concept” near its end.

artificial womb 2

Controversial concept video (EctoLife)

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Partial ectogenesis: A more realistic approach

While the concept of complete ectogenesis (gestating a fetus entirely outside the womb) remains a distant possibility, researchers are making progress in the field of partial ectogenesis. In 2017, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia successfully gestated premature lambs in artificial womb-like “biobags” for several weeks. However, experts emphasize that these efforts are focused on potential life support options for premature human babies, not an alternative to full gestation.

WHAT IS ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (AI)?

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ARTIFICIAL womb 3

Controversial concept video (EctoLife)

Sparking discussions and ethical considerations

While the EctoLife video may not depict a current reality, it has succeeded in igniting discussions about the potential implications and ethical considerations surrounding artificial womb technology. As scientific advancements continue, it is crucial to engage in thoughtful dialogue and address the complex ethical, legal, and social issues that may arise.

As Hashem Al-Ghaili stated, the main goal of creating the video was “to ignite the discussion about an emerging technology and to highlight scientific progress in the field of ectogenesis.” By presenting a thought-provoking concept, the video has sparked conversations that could shape the future development and regulation of artificial womb technology.

artificial womb 4

Controversial concept video (EctoLife)

BOSTON DYNAMICS’ CREEPY ROBOTIC CANINE DANCES IN SPARKLY BLUE COSTUME 

Kurt’s key takeaways

While the resurfacing of the EctoLife video has reignited discussions and raised eyebrows, it’s important to separate fact from fiction. The video, though intriguing, is a conceptual presentation and not a depiction of an existing reality. However, its creator, Hashem Al-Ghaili, seems to have a knack for sparking conversations with his thought-provoking, albeit fictional, videos.

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The recent release of Al-Ghaili’s “BrainBridge” video on head transplants has likely contributed to the renewed interest in the EctoLife concept. While these videos may not represent current scientific capabilities, they serve as a reminder of the rapid pace of technological advancements and the ethical considerations that must accompany them.

As we continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible, it’s crucial to engage in thoughtful dialogue and address the complex ethical, legal, and social issues that may arise. The EctoLife video, though fictional, has succeeded in igniting discussions about the potential implications of artificial womb technology, and these conversations could shape the future development and regulation of such technologies.

Ultimately, while we may not have artificial womb facilities like EctoLife just yet, the video serves as a thought-provoking glimpse into what the future might hold and a reminder to approach such advancements with careful consideration and ethical responsibility.

What are your thoughts on the implications of artificial womb technology? If a facility like the conceptual “EctoLife” were to become a reality in the future, what potential concerns would you have? Let us know by writing us at Cyberguy.com/Contact.

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Copyright 2024 CyberGuy.com. All rights reserved.

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The Beats Studio Pro are down to $180, nearly matching their all-time low

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The Beats Studio Pro are down to $180, nearly matching their all-time low

If you’re not an audiophile and can’t otherwise afford to splurge on a substantial pair of headphones like the AirPods Max or the new Sonos Ace headphones, a pair of Beats can do the job just fine. The brand’s headphones consistently sound pretty good and have kept up well with the times under Apple’s stewardship. You can consider the Beats Studio Pro the pinnacle of the line right now, and the flagship over-ear pair are nearly matching their all-time low price at around $179.95 ($170 off) at Amazon and Best Buy. That’s only $10 more than the all-time low price we saw during Black Friday.

For example, these headphones are more adaptable than most across the mobile ecosystem duopoly currently ruled by iOS and Android. On iOS, they support key features like one-touch pairing, Siri, spatial audio with dynamic head tracking, Find My, and iCloud sync. On Android, you also get Fast Pair, Find My Device support, and automatic pairing and seamless audio switching between Android devices and Chromebooks. Plus, you get better active noise cancellation and transparency mode compared to the Beats Studio 3 they replaced, not to mention lossless USB-C audio (although you give up the aforementioned audio features when using it).

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