Gmail App

Gmail Tips And Tricks To Help You Stay Organized

Studies suggest that working individuals spend about 28% of their day on email alone. Regardless of what your job is, a majority of all work and business is done online, so it can be extremely overwhelming when you find yourself returning to the office on Monday morning only to be greeted by 200 unread emails, half of which are likely spam but you’ll still have to sift through it regardless to find the ones that actually matter. 

Gmail is one of the most popular emailing platforms out there. In 2019, Gmail had over 1.5 billion monthly users, giving it 20% of the entire world’s email market. This is likely because Google itself is one of the biggest corporations in the world and is able to connect your Gmail to a whole slew of other account services such as Facebook and YouTube. Gmail is also extremely easy to use and user friendly, however, what most people don’t realize is that the platform itself has a ton of features to make navigating your day-to-day email responsibilities much easier.  

One of the easiest ways to organize and simplify your inbox is to segment all emails using Gmail’s tab system. Gmail can automatically divide up your received emails into five categories: Social, Promotions, Primary, Forums, and Updates. You also don’t have to use all five categories if you feel that one or two don’t apply to the types of content you get sent. Once you do pick your categories, Gmail will begin sorting the emails you already have in your inbox, and continue to separate any future emails received. 

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The “primary” tab will be for what Gmail determines to be your most important emails (you can customize this in settings as well). The “social” tab is for anything relating to social media, “promotions” is for newsletters and retail/shopping related content, “updates” hold anything that you’ve already viewed or replied to, and finally “forums” will hold any online conversations from mailing lists or online forums you may be involved in.

By sorting your emails into categories you’ll be able to easily navigate your inbox and know where everything is in case you need to access a specific email at any given time. To make it even more organized and personal, you can also utilize Gmail’s many folders and label options to mark your emails. If Gmail’s five categories just don’t cut it for you, make your own categorical folders for the different aspects of your job or whatever would make your inbox seem less overwhelming. 

Using folders and tabs will give you the ability to prioritize what needs to be responded to the quickest. Gmail makes it easy, for example, say you have a few events coming up that are both business-oriented (like a district wide conference) and personal (like a wedding), you can simply click on an email relating to these events and custom label them based on what you need to do with the event; such as “RSVP” or “Calendar Events.”

Gmail also allows its users to create template responses which is especially helpful for workers who find themselves writing the same exact thing to a multitude of people. Go into Settings and click on Advanced, once there all you need to do is click the button that says “enable” next to templates and you can save what you want your automated response to be for future reference.

Your email doesn’t have to be a scary place, in fact, it’s meant to be the opposite. Your inbox is what keeps you up to date with the hottest trends, connected to important individuals in your professional circle, and also can help aide long-distance relationships amongst loved ones. So simplify your life by simplifying your inbox.


Man Reading Email on iPad

The Best iPad Apps To Have For Work And Productivity

The digital workplace is an atmosphere that’s taking over every company in the world. The image of the average 9-5 workers desk used to be one of chaos; papers everywhere, a chunky desktop modem, thick planners stacked up, and files in every drawer. Now, that image is more so just a picture of a personal device that has the capability to fully run any given workplace obligation. Many office workers are making the transition to a tablet as their digital means of working. 

What’s so great about a device such as the iPad is the fact that you can download an app for every office need you could possibly have, and the portable nature of a tablet makes it much easier to share certain documents or emails with co-workers; you can simply get up and show them yourself. However, to make the transition to a digital workplace, one needs to know and understand the standard apps to download in order to give them the smoothest work experience. 

Emailing has been the most common office practice since the creation of the internet. In order to run your work life on a tablet, you need a solid email app that can help you organize the dozens of incoming messages you get daily, and filter out all of the spam. Apple or Yahoo Mail, for example, are two great applications that make organizing your inbox super simple. Both apps flag any mailing list items you receive and make it easy to unsubscribe from them if you so desire. In addition, you can compose multiple emails at once, multi-task through your inbox while composing (in case you need a specific reference from another message), and you can keep all your current domains and simply log-in through the third-party systems. 

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The next basic necessity you’ll need is a solid calendar app that will help organize every appointment, meeting, or lunch that you have during a given month. Fantastical 2 is a popular paid option (it runs for $9.99) that syncs up your tasks and calendar entries. It allows for simple entry and navigation, for example, you could enter “lunch with head of HR next Friday at 4” and Fantastical will automatically place that event at the proper date and time. Google Calendar is a free alternative that’s also widely popular, mainly for its social feature. Google makes it easy to sync up your appointments and events with friends, families, and co-workers so that you all can easily see when each other is most available.

An unexpected need that you should have on your device is a password protection app. There are plenty of free options that offer a password-protected space for you to store all of your accounts many passwords, however, with cyber-security being one of the largest threats in the world currently, you might want a more secure option. 1Password is a paid app ($3.99) that creates and stores all your passwords for you. Because the app creates a password for you, it automatically enters it as well when you open the specific app or website. If you’re a little skeptical, no worries, 1Password offers a 30 day free trial, so you can test how secure you feel about it for the month. 

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Depending on what specific “suite apps” your company uses, you can go one of two ways with how you want to transfer and create all of your documents on your new tablet. Microsoft’s Office 365 is a subscription based app service that offers programs like Word, Excel, and Powerpoint on your tablet, and makes them all easy to use. However, if your company is more on the Google Docs wave, have no fear, as all of the Google Suite Apps (such as Docs, Sheets, Drive) are also available in the app store and, unlike Microsoft, most of them are free. 

PDF’s are another one of those foundational aspects of any workplace. The amount of PDF documents that come in and out of our inboxes on a given day can be staggering. What can be even more staggering is how to edit and annotate these documents once we download them, especially on a tablet. PDF Expert is an app that goes beyond that of a traditional PDF reader. You can edit text and images, annotate documents, fill out forms, sign contracts, etc. It has all of your possible PDF needs in one spot and makes it easy to download them from other third-party apps. 

Finally, we have an app for one of the more popular means of office communication as of late. Slack is like Twitter and LinkedIn combined, but specified to fit your specific companies needs. The app, and service in general, allows you to easily DM your connections/co-workers, send reactions and GIF’s, and mute certain threads or channels. It’s perfect for large offices with dozens of workers. 

Making the switch to a digitized platform for your job can be tough, however, with the right apps, organizing your entire career on one device becomes just as easy as hitting send on that last email of the week.


How To Organize And Speed Up Your iPhone

If you own an iPhone then you know about the struggle of keeping your phone updated, organized, and fast as it gets progressively older and newer models hit the market. It’s so easy for text messages to build up in your archive, useless screenshots from months ago to remain hidden and take up storage, and for pages upon pages of apps to grow. It’s important to go through and clean up your iPhone every couple of months or so to keep everything running smoothly. As long as you do the same general clean-ups, your phone is more likely to remain fully functioning until you’re ready for an upgrade. 

To start, go to your iPhone’s settings, hit “General” and then “About.” This page will give you all of the stats about how many songs, photos, videos, documents, apps, etc. are on your device, as well as how much storage is being taken up by each specific item. Just by looking you’re able to tell what in your phone is slowing it down the most, and from there, you can begin to make some clean-ups. 

One of the easiest and most common solutions to freeing up some space on your phone would be to upload your photos to your computer, another personal device, or my personal favorite, an external hard drive. Photos can take up so many gigabytes of storage on your phone and more times than not you probably have pictures that you don’t even remember are there. 

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By going through your library as you upload the pictures onto another device, you can easily see the hundreds of photos that you most likely won’t even want to transfer, so you can just delete them. Once uploaded, you can delete the pictures off your phone knowing they’re in a safe spot. An external hard drive is great to transfer photos from a computer, this way in case your computer is damaged or breaks, you know you have yet another backup of all of your memories saved. 

Like photos, messages can also build up without you even realizing. Messages themselves don’t necessarily take up a lot of storage, however, the data that’s exchanged via text message (photos, videos, actual documents) can build up. You can actually set your phone to automatically delete messaging threads after a certain amount of days. By going into Settings, Messages, and then Keep Messages, you can choose anywhere between 30 days and 1 year for how long you’d like your phone to keep your messages. For example, if you choose 60 days, your phone will automatically delete any texts that were sent or received 60 days prior.  

Emails can become a huge pain when it comes to storage. It’s so easy for spam emails to build and build and build in your inbox, especially if you don’t have your notifications on. Apple has a feature that actually tells you when an email is being sent to you because your username is on a mailing list. When you open the email a little message on top should appear that states “This message is from a mailing list” and right under it should be an option to “Unsubscribe.” 

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Dedicate some time, and go through the beast that is your inbox. Unsubscribe from the dozens of useless mailing lists you’re on and wait and see how much less frequently you find yourself clearing out your mailbox. 

Like the first option, you can see your iPhone’s storage broken down even more specifically by going into Settings, General, and hitting the iPhone Storage option. This section of your phone will show you every piece of information on your phone that’s taking up storage, no matter how small. From this window you’ll also see options such as “review large attachments” and “offload unused apps.” These sections can help show you the content that’s on your device that’s remaining fairly untouched, but taking up some pretty serious storage. Free up that space and clear out any and all old apps in general that you barely use. 

Clear out your notifications by swiping down and hitting the “X” next to every pop-up that appears. Make it a habit to quit your apps when your done using them, when multiple apps continue to constantly run in the background it can slow down your phone a great deal.

In addition, go through your Contact list and make some serious cuts; you’d be surprised how many people who you haven’t talked to in years are most likely on your list and slowing down your phone. Do the same with the “notes” app and delete every old grocery list. Close every tab and window on your chosen internet app, as well as clearing out the cookies and data from settings. 

As your phone grows older, it doesn’t have to completely break down. Keep up with these tips and techniques on keeping your phone up to speed and upgraded and make it a habit to clean up unwanted and useless content. This way, you won’t have to keep breaking your bank every time a new model comes out.

Real Estate Scam

The Tiny Detail That Led to a Million Dollar Real Estate Scam

Many of us would like to believe we could spot a scam from afar, especially an email scam. There are only so many people that the Prince of Nigeria can give money to!

However a multinational fraud ring were able to swindle nearly $1 million out of the CEO of an unidentified Swiss company.

“S.K.” was purchasing some beachfront property in Belize when the fraud was committed, according to a criminal complaint that was unsealed recently.

The seller had been in discussions with S.K. with the buyer already paying a deposit on the $1,020,000 property. So when S.K. received a further email from the seller’s lawyers requesting the remaining $918,000 he wired the money across to the bank account he thought was also in Belize. However the money was sent to a Citizens Bank in Boston.

The complaint states, “The lengthy email which S.K. received included lawyerly verbiage that gave it the appearance it was from the attorney in Belize. The author included information about Belize-specific regulations on the purchase of property by a foreign company. The email included the standard confidentiality notice and legal disclaimers that are commonly part of emails from attorneys. Lastly, it included a professional signature block with the attorney’s name and contact information.”

It was when the real lawyer got in contact with S.K. to query why the money had not been sent across to them that the scam was discovered.

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An investigation revealed that the email from the “lawyer” had an extra “s” in the address, meaning the fake email was “deliberately created to deceive the recipient into believing he was communicating with the seller’s attorney.”

Recent data from the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center shows that “CEO fraud” – or business email compromise – was responsible for a loss of over $26 billion for businesses during June 2016 and July 2019, and affected all 50 US states as well as nearly 180 countries.

In 2015 Christopher Sinclair – Mattel’s CEO – emailed an employee requesting $3 million be transferred to a new Chinese vendor. As their company policy demanded any transfers of money required approval by two upper-level managers the employee complied. However when mentioning the payment to Mr. Sinclair later he was unaware of the incident. And while the bank, police and FBI were promptly called it took a long time for the company to have their money returned.

Similarly, an unidentified US defense contractor was conned into sending sensitive military equipment worth millions of dollars to a gang of international con artists. Court filings show that some of the equipment was so top secret nobody was supposed to be aware it existed with the “highly sensitive” equipment was valued at $3.2 million.

Scammers usually create false email accounts with similar addresses to the legitimate accounts that they have hacked into and generally target employees who have access to the business’s accounts, high-level executives and sometimes celebrities.

Once the information has been removed from the hacked email accounts the scammers not only steal names, account details and information about the financial transaction, they also analyze the style and tone of the messages to ensure their fake email is plausible.

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They then email the buyer requesting the next payment be wired to a bank account they look after, with the money disappearing immediately.

Online crime has been around for many years however these scams have only been noticed in the last five years. An FBI supervisory special agent was quoted as saying, “There are always digital artifacts left behind in online scams – IP addresses used to illicitly access someone’s email, for instance – and this data is often used not only to track down individual suspects but also to make connections between schemes that may not otherwise appear to be linked.”

The stolen money from S.K. was transferred almost immediately to corporate accounts at JPMorgan Chase as well as Bank of America in Atlanta. A further $200,000 was then sent to banks in Nigeria and China while a suspect was spotted withdrawing thousands of dollars in cash at several JPMorgan Chase branches.

Investigators discovered the accounts in Atlanta had been opened by “Prince Okoli” who had also paid $10,000 into his own personal account. Surveillance photos at the Atlanta banks were compared to Okoli’s driving license and they realised they had a match. When pushed for a comment Andrew Wong, Okoli’s court-appointed lawyer – would not respond.

Although scammed consumers have limited liability with losses often covered by the financial companies involved, corporations sending money to incorrect recipients are not normally covered. When filing for Chapter 11 protection earlier this year, fashion brand Diesel USA cited cyber fraud losses as one of their reasons for bankruptcy.

There are recommendations from the FBI for companies to have protocols in place so that requests for large sums of money require strict verification, such as two-factor authentication.

They also recommend you always inspect your emails for incorrect or misspelled URLs, misspelled names or information that does not quite look right. Never give out information that could be used against you to new contacts without vetting them independently first.