Source: This article was Published forbes.com By Lee Mathews - Contributed by Member: James Gill

The Internet is a very leaky place. Security researchers find new servers spilling private data with alarming regularity. Some incidents have involved well-known, reputable companies. This one does not. It involves a server that helped cyber criminals run a massive SPAM campaign.

While investigating massive spam-producing malware network, security researchers at Vertek Corporation made an unexpected discovery. One of the servers linked to the malware hadn't been properly secured. Anyone who had the IP address of the server could connect at will and download a massive cache of email addresses.

Vertek tallied more than 44 million addresses in total. Of those, more than 43,500,000 were unique. The data was broken down into just over 2,200 files with each one containing more than 20,000 entries.

Bleeping Computer was provided with a list that broke down which email services were the most popular with the spammers. Yahoo addresses were the most common, at nearly 9 million. AOL was a close second at just over 8 million. Comcast addresses were the third most common at around 780,000.

The numbers fall sharply after that, with none breaking half a million. Many of the addresses that appear are provided by ISPs like AT&T, Charter, Cox, and SBC. Curiously enough, very few Gmail accounts were listed. Bleeping Computer thinks that may be because the database Vertek was able to access only contained part of the spam server's address book. It's also possible that these particular domains were chosen to target a specific type of user.

Vertek's researchers have shared their findings with Troy Hunt, who is analyzing the list against the already massive database he maintains at the breach notification service HaveIBeenPwned.

It wouldn't be at all surprising if Hunt discovers that all 43 million addresses were already exposed by other leaks or hacks. Why? Because at least two other leaks from spam-linked servers contained way, way more.

In August of last year, Hunt processed a whopping 711 million addresses from a compromised server. Many of those, he determined, had been dumped before. The biggest leak involving a SPAM service involved twice as many emails. MacKeeper's Chris Vickery discovered a mind-blowing 1.4 billion addresses exposed by a shady server.

Categorized in Internet Privacy

 Source: This article was Published techworm.net By Payel Dutta - Contributed by Member: Linda Manly

You sign up with one of the best email service providers and you get ready to launch the campaign you’ve been working on. You believe that this undertaking will generate good revenue for your business, and you expect to have it done as soon as possible. But then…you are taken by surprise. When you upload your mailing list, your progress comes to a halt. You are told to verify your email address, and you do not know what to do. In fact, some small business owners will give up at this point and turn to other digital marketing strategies available on the market.

However, you do not need to worry, as you can easily find a great email address verification service provider on the internet. What you need to know is that regardless of the service provider you decide to work with, email verification doesn’t have to break your bank, neither does it have to waste a lot of your time. It is a quick process that is geared towards improving your marketing efforts.

Have you been yearning to learn about email address verification? Below is everything you need to know about it.

Understanding email address verification – what is it?

Basically, this is a process that ensures that all the email addresses in your mailing list are connected to a legitimate, active inbox. Simply put, this is a process that guarantees all the messages you send have a safe destination to reach.

Why is email verification necessary?

You might be tempted to think that when you fail to verify your email list, nothing will happen to you. In fact, some misleading blogs and websites will tell you that hiring a professional email address verification service is a waste of time. Well, believe this at your peril.

If you skip this process, your digital marketing strategy that incorporates email marketing will be deemed to fail. Below are some of the things that expert email verification service providers like Zero Bounce protect you from:

  • Miserable marketing results

When you kick off your email marketing campaign, you believe that it will reach as many people of possible, and you will get the best sales for your goods or services at the end of the day. However, if the emails you are sending the messages to are not valid, you will end up accomplishing dismal results.

If you have many emails bouncing back, it means that your deliverability will be adversely affected to a great extent. This means that even those email addresses that are valid will not receive your well-intended messages.

Also, if any emails are not valid, it means that you will not get reliable metrics when measuring the success of your email marketing campaign. Your goal should be to make a connection with your target audiences. Getting a good email address verification service should not be an option, it should be at the helm of your priority list.

  • Money wastage

Email service providers will charge you depending on the number of subscribers you have. This means that the higher the number of subscribers, the more the amount of money you will pay. Therefore, if you keep invalidated lists, you will bear a recurring waste which is not worth in the first place.

  • Account suspension

Yes, spam monitors, email security services, as well as internet service providers have policies for undelivered messages, unsubscribes, and spam complaints. Therefore, if your mailing list is unmanaged, your account might be suspended on grounds of the three mentioned above.

Verifying your email address will minimize the number of undelivered messages; hence your account will be safe from suspension.

Reasons why you have many invalid email addresses

Below are some of the reasons why you have very many risky emails in your mailing list,

  • The people in your mailing list stopped using the email addresses a long time ago
  • Your list is full of role addresses, e.g., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • You failed to validate the emails when filling out the web forms; hence there are lots of typos. The ZeroBounce API can help you here by verifying email registrations in real time.

Even the best marketers of all time have risky emails in their lists. Therefore, do not over-blame yourself when you find them. Just know how to remove them for better performance proactively. Also, proceed with care when choosing the right email address verification service, and your campaign will never fail to yield results.

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Heinz Tschabitscher - Contributed by Member: Alex Grey

Keep Email Addresses, Private, When Sending to Multiple Recipients

Sending an email to undisclosed recipients protects everyone's privacy and makes the email look clean and professional.

The alternative is to send an email to multiple recipients while listing all their addresses in the To: or Cc: fields. Not only does this definitely look messy to everyone who looks at who the message was sent to, it exposes everyone's email address.

To send an email to undisclosed recipients is as easy as putting all the recipient addresses in the Bcc: field so that they're hidden from each other. The other part of the process involves sending the email to yourself under the name "Undisclosed Recipients" so that everyone can clearly see that the message was sent to multiple people whose identities are unknown.

How to Send an Email to Undisclosed Recipients

  1. Create a new message in your email client.
  2. Type Undisclosed Recipients in the To: field, followed by your email address in. For example, type Undisclosed Recipients.
    1. Note: If this doesn't work, make a brand new contact in the address book, name it "Undisclosed Recipients" and then type your email address in the address text box.
  3. In the Bcc: field, type all the email addresses that the message should be sent to, separated by commas. If these recipients are already contacts, it should be fairly easy to start typing their names or addresses so that the program will autofill those entries.
    1. Note: If your email program doesn't show the Bcc: field by default, open the preferences and look for that option somewhere so that you can enable it.
  4. Compose the rest of the message normally, adding a subject and writing the body of the message, and then send it off when you're done.

Tip: If you end up doing this often, feel free to make a new contact called "Undisclosed Recipients" that includes your email address. It'll be easier next time to just send the message to the contact you already have in your address book.

Although these general instructions work in most email programs, small variations might exist. If your email client is listed below, check its specific instructions for how to use the Bcc field to send a message to undisclosed recipients.

Bcc Cautions

Seeing Undisclosed Recipients in the To: field of an email is a clear indication that other people received the same email, but you don't know who or why.

To understand this, consider if you decided to send your email to just one name (not Undisclosed Recipients) and still Bcc other recipients. The problem that arises here is if the original recipient or any Cc'd recipients find out other people were copied on what they assumed was a private email. This can damage your reputation and cause bad feelings.

How would they find out? Simple: when one of your BCC recipients happens to "reply to all" on the email, that person's identity is exposed to all the hidden recipients. Even though none of the other Bcc names are revealed, the existence of a hidden list is discovered.

Much can go wrong here if any of the recipients reply with disparaging remarks about someone who is on the blind carbon copy list. This all-too-easy-to-make mistake could cost a co-worker her job or damage a relationship with an important client.

So, the message here is to use Bcc lists with caution and broadcast their existence with the Undisclosed Recipients name. Another option is to just mention in the email that it was sent to other people and that nobody should use the "reply to all" option.

Categorized in How to

Phishing attacks are more rampant than ever before, rising by more than 162 percent from 2010 to 2014. They cost organizations around the globe $4.5 billion every year and over half of internet users get at least one phishing email per day.

The best defense companies have against phishing attacks is to block malicious emails before they reach customers with the DMARC (Domain-based Message Authentication Reporting and Conformance) standard. Brands must also work with a vendor that can offer email threat intelligence data revealing attacks beyond DMARC (e.g., attacks that spoof their brand using domains outside of the company’s control).

Unfortunately, no matter what companies do, some phishing emails will always make it to the inbox. And those messages are extremely effective—97% of people around the globe cannot identify a sophisticated phishing email. That’s where customer education comes in.

Here are 10 tips on how to identify a phishing or spoofing email. Share them externally with your customers and internally with your company.

Tip 1: Don’t trust the display name
A favorite phishing tactic among cybercriminals is to spoof the display name of an email. Return Path analyzed more than 760,000 email threats targeting 40 of the world’s largest brands and found that nearly half of all email threats spoofed the brand in the display name. 

Here’s how it works: If a fraudster wanted to spoof the hypothetical brand “My Bank,” the email may look something like:

screen_shot_2015_09_22_at_2_16_17_pm

Since My Bank doesn’t own the domain “secure.com,” DMARC will not block this email on My Bank’s behalf, even if My Bank has set their DMARC policy for mybank.com to reject messages that fail to authenticate. This fraudulent email, once delivered, appears legitimate because most user inboxes only present the display name. Don’t trust the display name. Check the email address in the header from—if looks suspicious, don’t open the email.

Tip 2: Look but don’t click
Hover your mouse over any links embedded in the body of the email. If the link address looks weird, don’t click on it. If you want to test the link, open a new window and type in website address directly rather than clicking on the link from unsolicited emails.

Tip 3: Check for spelling mistakes
Brands are pretty serious about email. Legitimate messages usually do not have major spelling mistakes or poor grammar. Read your emails carefully and report anything that seems suspicious.

Tip 4: Analyze the salutation
Is the email addressed to a vague “Valued Customer?” If so, watch out—legitimate businesses will often use a personal salutation with your first and last name.

Tip 5: Don’t give up personal information
Legitimate banks and most other companies will never ask for personal credentials via email. Don’t give them up.

Tip 6: Beware of urgent or threatening language in the subject line
Invoking a sense of urgency or fear is a common phishing tactic. Beware of subject lines that claim your “account has been suspended” or your account had an “unauthorized login attempt.”

Tip 7: Review the signature
Lack of details about the signer or how you can contact a company strongly suggests a phish. Legitimate businesses always provide contact details.

Tip 8: Don’t click on attachments
Including malicious attachments that contain viruses and malware is a common phishing tactic. Malware can damage files on your computer, steal your passwords or spy on you without your knowledge. Don’t open any email attachments you weren’t expecting.

Tip 9: Don’t trust the header from email address
Fraudsters not only spoof brands in the display name, but also spoof brands in the header from email address. Return Path found that nearly 30% of more than 760,000 email threats spoofed brands somewhere in the header from the email address with more than two-thirds spoofing the brand in the email domain alone.

Tip 10: Don’t believe everything you see
Phishers are extremely good at what they do. Just because an email has convincing brand logos, language, and a seemingly valid email address, does not mean that it’s legitimate. Be skeptical when it comes to your email messages—if it looks even remotely suspicious, don’t open it.

Want to learn how to block phishing threats before they reach your customers? Check out our guide, Getting Started with DMARC.

Source: This article was published blog.returnpath.com By Estelle Derouet

Categorized in Internet Privacy

Give me someone's name, and I'll find their personal email address. Sure, it may take some extensive digging and sleuthing, but I'll find you eventually. And I'm not paying to root you out or buying your private info from a lead gen company (though sometimes that would be easier). This is just good old fashioned, organic searching, scanning and scouring the Internet like a Web gumshoe. And not stopping until I ferret out that personal email.

How to find someone's email address [Summary]:

  1. Google Name + "Email"
  2. Google Name + Place of Work
  3. Search LinkedIn
  4. Search their company website
  5. Use Google's site search operator
  6. Use advanced Google search operators
  7. Try some "kitchen sink" queries
  8. Check social media profiles
  9. Check their personal blog
  10. Check Whois
  11. Check people search sites
  12. Message via Twitter or LinkedIn

We'll look at each of these methods in a little more detail, but first:

Why is it important to use someone's personal email address?

If you're sending out an important email that you really want to be taken seriously and improve your chances of getting an actual response, you need to go directly to the source. Sending an important, personal email to the info[at]companyX.com, or dumping it into a "Contact Us" form is a virtual black hole.

This is especially true if you're trying to get in touch with someone you don't know or you've never contacted before. Primary examples of this include:

  • Applying for a job
  • Any form of outreach, like a link request, interview request for your blog, if you're seeking media coverage for a story, etc.

What's more, by taking this extra step and getting directly to the source, you show real initiative and will distinguish yourself from the candidates applying for that same job or requesting that same link.

12 Tips and Tricks to Find Anyone's Email Address

Now, when I say "personal" email address, I'm not talking about a Gmail, Hotmail or AOL account exclusively. I'm also referring to their personal company email address, Web hosting domain email, blogger mail account, or any Web property email address I can find. Because of the depth and breadth and ubiquity of content sources on the Web, you can find contact information for pretty much anyone who has an email address, even if they don't actively promote it on their website. All you have to do is search and keep refining your searches until you strike pay dirt.

Let the Hunt Begin

1) Basic Name Queries by Googling Emails

You can start your sleuthing by running a generic search query for someone's name. But understand that this approach probably won't get you very far, unless the person you're seeking has a unique name, like say Jets WR Jerricho Cotchery. However, if that person's name is at all common, you'll need to add some distinguishing modifiers. Think of it as engaging in the long tail of name searching.

Some initial modifiers you should incorporate to narrow and refine your search are:

  • [name] + email (or) email address
  • [name] + contact (or) contact information (or) contact me

2) Name Queries with Personal Modifiers

Now, if that doesn't work, get even more granular and add any personal information you may have already or uncovered about this person in your initial search, such as:

  • [name] + "home town"
  • [name] + "company they work for"

You can even mix and match all the above modifiers. If you succeed here, terrific. Mission accomplished. But all too often, this is only the initial stage of your research, as this method yields results less than 10 % of the time. To really find who you're looking for, you'll need to go corporate.

Hunting for Company Email Addresses

3) Business Networking Search Queries

One of the best resources for finding direct contact information is through a company email network. Anyone working for an organization has an in-house email. Now, typically if you're searching for someone's direct email for a job interview, link outreach or media coverage, you likely know where they work or conduct business already. But if you're still in the dark, ZoomInfo and LinkedIn are pretty fertile grounds for harvesting personal information.

You can either search the websites internal engine or run queries in Google, like so:

  • [name] + LinkedIn
  • [name] + ZoomInfo

Notice the quick success I had with a probe of ZoomInfo.

4) Basic Company Name Queries

Now, once you get a place of business from their profile, you should visit the company website and start running queries, using the person's name in the hope that you'll find any indexed document with their email address. Most times, generic name searches yield citations (like so-and-so pitched a gem for the company softball team), not actual email addresses. So again, get more specific with modifiers.

  • [name] + email
  • [name] + contact

Adding these modifiers will really boost your chances of finding your target.

5) Basic Company Search Operators

However, if you're still coming up short, you'll need to roll up your sleeves. This is when I break out my super-sleuth hat and get creative with Google search operators. In the majority of cases, Google information retrieval yields more results than a company's internal search. If you're not familiar with search operators, read this.

So what you'll do now is search Google, using the Google Search Operator Query "site:companywebsite.com" as your root and sprinkle in modifiers, like so:

  • site:companywebsite.com + [name] + email
  • site:companywebsite.com + [name] + contact

6) Advanced Company Search Operators

Pretty much every organization has a unique, yet uniform company email addresses structure, which you can leverage in your search efforts, using advanced search operators. For example, at WordStream our email structure is “first initial + This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.." But since each company has their own format, you'll need to play around with a host of possible email address structures using the root search operator.

Note: Use the standard format here "@," I'm using [at] so as not to activate hyperlinks.

  • site:companywebsite.com + ken.lyons [at] companyname.com
  • site:companywebsite.com + kenlyons [at] companyname.com
  • site:companywebsite.com + klyons [at] companyname.com
  • site:companywebsite.com + ken [at] companyname.com
  • site:companywebsite.com + ken_lyons [at] companyname.com

It's important to mention here that the information you're seeking with these queries will be bolded in the meta tags text snippets, like so:

Find anyone's email site search operators

An example search engine results page (SERP) with results displayed
for site-search operation results 

I'd say this method yeilds results 80% of the time for me.

7) Random Kitchen Sink Queries

However, if you're still coming up short, you can drop the company search operator root and pound away with random combinations of the above suggestions. 99% of the time, this is very effective. For example, here's a random query I ran for a faculty member at Boston University (note: name is blurred for privacy):

Find anyone's email search by email domain

Notice my query: "BU [person's name] @bu.edu." It's kind of nonsensical, but nevertheless this query combination succeeded where the other techniques failed, yielding this person's email address. Point being, at this stage, I throw everything at the wall to see what sticks.

Even More Options to Find an Email Address

8) Social Networking Profile Queries

Another avenue you can explore for personal information are social media profiles. I've had the most success with social sites like Twitter. And chances are that employing the original basic queries that I mentioned above will display if this person has a Twitter profile.

  • [name] + Twitter

9) Personal Website or Blog Search Operators

Very often, my Web sleuthing reveals a personal website that I didn't know existed. Also, people include their personal websites or their blogs on their Twitter or LinkedIn profiles. This provides you a whole new channel to explore to find contact info for them. If you do find a personal site or blog, there's often have a contact page or even their email address listed right on the site somewhere. Even still, I prefer a direct line to that person. So if you've explored the site and come up short, navigate back out to Google and run some advanced search operators.

  • site:personalblog.com + [name] + email
  • site:personalblog.com + [name] + contact
  • site:personalblog.com + ken.lyons [at] personalblog.com
  • site:personalblog.com + kenlyons [at] personalblog.com
  • site:personalblog.com + klyons [at] personalblog.com
  • site:personalblog.com + ken [at] personalblog.com
  • site:personalblog.com + ken_lyons [at] personalblog.com

10) Whois Search

If you're still coming up empty after a deep dive of their personal website or blog, go to Network Solutions and run a Whois search for their domain registration data for an email address. 60% of the time, you'll find a personal email address here.

11) People Search Sites

Another resource for finding personal contact information are websites such as 123PeopleSearch, Intelius, and PeopleSmart. I've had great luck in the past using this type of free people search to locate the hard-to-find, and some sites allow you to search across multiple countries for personal contact info.

However, your mileage may vary from one search provider to another, and these days, it's getting harder and harder to find reliable, up-to-date information on these sites. As the Web has matured, many of these sites have either gone out of business or offer sub-par results. Sure, you might luck out, but be prepared for a mixed bag in terms of results.

It's always worth checking free people search sites as part of your research, but relying solely on sites like this is a mistake. 

12) If All Else Fails

Okay, if all else fails, you may have to resort to alternative, less "direct" methods like emailing your target through LinkedIn, or @-ting them on Twitter and asking them to follow you back so you can DM them and ask for contact information (if they're willing). For me, these are usually last-ditch efforts, which I've resorted to only a handful of times after if I've exhausted all of the other options I detailed in this post. But even though I prefer to send an email to someone's personal account, shooting them an unsolicited LinkedIn message to me is still far better than an info[at]companyX.com black hole.

Point being, 99% of the time if you're dogged, persistent, relentless and love the thrill of the chase like me, then ain't nothing gonna' stop you from finding the personal contact information you seek.

Happy email hunting!

Source: This article was published wordstream.com By Ken Lyons

Categorized in Research Methods

What You Need to Know About Finding an Email Address

Did you misplace an email you desperately need? Whether it's a business contact or an old high school friend, there are several ways to go about tracking down someone's email address. Employ these five strategies to find any email address you're looking for. 

Use Social Media

Browsing through pictures on a phone
Google/cc

Searching Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or LinkedIn could quickly lead you to the email address you're looking for.

Search each those the social media websites directly to find users. Details such as age, high school, and hometown—if you know them—are particularly helpful on social media sites.

Even if a person's page isn't public on Facebook, users sometimes allow their email address to remain public. That way,  someone who isn't a "friend," can still contact them. More »

Close up of silhouetted male hand typing on laptop keyboard
Andrew Brookes/Getty Images

Sometimes a good old-fashioned web search can help you locate someone's email address. Use a large and extensive search engine such as Google to garner the best results.

Putting the person's name in quotes often narrows the search. However, if the individual you're looking for has a common name, like "John Smith," you're going to need some additional information.

You could launch a search, like this: "John Smith" + "Brooklyn, New York." The more information you have, the better. If you know where the person works, their hometown, or place of business, be sure to add that information to your search terms. More »

Laughing architects at conference table in office.
Thomas Barwick/Getty Images

It may have a scary name—Hidden Web, Invisible Web, Dark Web—but it contains a treasure-trove of information if you just know where to look. There are plenty of less-well-known search engines that are designed to search the Dark Web, including Internet Archive Wayback Machine, Pipl, Zabasearch, and others. Some require registration and some may offer only limited information without a fee. Remember where you are, and don't be eager to enter your payment information. More »

Check Web Directories or White Pages 

Phil Ashley/Getty Images

From public records to the white pages, there are email address directories that you can find on the internet. Once on these sites, such as Whitepages, you can use search engines that help you find an individual's email address. 

It's helpful if you know the city and state where a person lives or works.  More »

Guess Somebody's Email Address

Cup and balls guessing game.
Peter Dazeley/Getty Images

Most organizations do not let people choose email addresses freely but instead assign them by name. You can take advantage of that by assuming the email address using some syntax guessing. Of course, you have to know where the person works.

Try separating the individual's first and last name with a period. If you look on a company's email directory and everyone's email starts with their first initial and the first six letters of their last name, you can try this combination.

For example, if the addresses at the company website are all in the format This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., John Smith's would be This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. However, if you see on the website that that This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. belongs to the CEO, it's more than likely that an employee named Emma Osner's email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..More »

 Source: This article was published lifewire.com By Heinz Tschabitscher

Categorized in How to

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