Be on the look out for this fishy email! There is a big phishing email going around and many of our customers have reported receiving it. Make sure to look at the url these emails are coming from and double check before clicking any links.

phishing email
*Our customers are encouraged to contact our help desk when receiving emails like the above - do not click on any links.

According to, there are 10 easy ways to be able to spot phishing emails. Every day countless phishing emails are sent to unsuspecting victims all over the world. While some of these messages are so outlandish that they are obvious frauds, others can be a bit more convincing. So how do you tell the difference between a phishing message and a legitimate message? Unfortunately, there is no one single technique that works in every situation, but there are a number of things that you can look for.


1: The message contains a mismatched URL
One of the first things I recommend checking in a suspicious email message is the integrity of any embedded URLs. Oftentimes the URL in a phishing message will appear to be perfectly valid. However, if you hover your mouse over the top of the URL, you should see the actual hyperlinked address (at least in Outlook). If the hyperlinked address is different from the address that is displayed, the message is probably fraudulent or malicious.


2: URLs contain a misleading domain name
People who launch phishing scams often depend on their victims not knowing how the DNS naming structure for domains works. The last part of a domain name is the most telling. For example, the domain name would be a child domain of because appears at the end of the full domain name (on the right-hand side). Conversely, would clearly not have originated from because the reference to is on the left side of the domain name.
I have seen this trick used countless times by phishing artists as a way of trying to convince victims that a message came from a company like Microsoft or Apple. The phishing artist simply creates a child domain bearing the name Microsoft, Apple, or whatever. The resulting domain name looks something like this:


3: The message contains poor spelling and grammar
Whenever a large company sends out a message on behalf of the company as a whole, the message is usually reviewed for spelling, grammar, and legality, among other things. So if a message is filled with poor grammar or spelling mistakes, it probably didn't come from a major corporation's legal department.


4: The message asks for personal information
No matter how official an email message might look, it's always a bad sign if the message asks for personal information. Your bank doesn't need you to send it your account number. It already knows what that is. Similarly, a reputable company should never send an email asking for your password, credit card number, or the answer to a security question.


5: The offer seems too good to be true
There is an old saying that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is. That holds especially true for email messages. If you receive a message from someone unknown to you who is making big promises, the message is probably a scam.


6: You didn't initiate the action
Just yesterday I received an email message informing me I had won the lottery!!!! The only problem is that I never bought a lottery ticket. If you get a message informing you that you have won a contest you did not enter, you can bet that the message is a scam.


7: You're asked to send money to cover expenses
One telltale sign of a phishing email is that you will eventually be asked for money. You might not get hit up for cash in the initial message. But sooner or later, phishing artists will likely ask for money to cover expenses, taxes, fees, or something similar. If that happens, you can bet that it's a scam.


8: The message makes unrealistic threats
Although most of the phishing scams try to trick people into giving up cash or sensitive information by promising instant riches, some phishing artists use intimidation to scare victims into giving up information. If a message makes unrealistic threats, it's probably a scam. Let me give you an example.
About 10 years ago, I received an official-looking letter that was allegedly from US Bank. Everything in the letter seemed completely legit except for one thing. The letter said my account had been compromised and that if I did not submit a form (which asked for my account number) along with two picture IDs, my account would be canceled and my assets seized.
I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that it's illegal for a bank to close your account and seize your assets simply because you didn't respond to an email message. Not only that, but the only account I had with US Bank was a car lease. There were no deposits to seize because I did not have a checking or savings account with the bank.


9: The message appears to be from a government agency
Phishing artists who want to use intimidation don't always pose as a bank. Sometimes they'll send messages claiming to have come from a law enforcement agency, the IRS, the FBI, or just about any other entity that might scare the average law-abiding citizen.
I can't tell you how government agencies work outside the United States. But here, government agencies don't normally use email as an initial point of contact. That isn't to say that law enforcement and other government agencies don't use email. However, law enforcement agencies follow certain protocols. They don't engage in email-based extortion—at least, not in my experience.


10: Something just doesn't look right
In Las Vegas, casino security teams are taught to look for anything that JDLR—just doesn't look right, as they call it. The idea is that if something looks off, there's probably a good reason why. This same principle almost always applies to email messages. If you receive a message that seems suspicious, it's usually in your best interest to avoid acting on the message.

Introducing Groups in Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android

As written on
More than 10 million people rely on Groups in Outlook every month to work together and get things done. Groups is proving useful to our customers. And for that, we couldn’t be more thankful. Groups in Outlook offers huge improvements over traditional distribution lists, with a shared space for group conversations, calendars, files and notebooks, the convenience of self-service membership and much more.
Today, we’re pleased to announce Groups is now rolling out to Outlook for Mac, iOS and Android. Groups is already available in Outlook for Windows and on the web—so now you can access your group conversations and content no matter which platform you use.
With these updates, you can:
  • View your group list.
  • Read and reply to group conversations.
  • Add group events to your personal calendar.
  • View unread messages sent to the group.


View group details within the group card (Outlook for iOS and Android only).


There is more to come as we continue to work on making Groups better in response to your input, so stay tuned.
Recently released updates for Groups in Outlook
In addition to bringing groups to more Outlook apps, we’ve released several new features for Groups in Outlook on other platforms, too.
Give guest access—Last fall, we updated Outlook on the web to give you the ability to set up guest access for people outside your organization, set group classification as defined by Office 365 admins, and view usage guidelines. Now, these same capabilities are available in Outlook for Windows.
Invite people to join—One of our most requested improvements was an easier way to invite multiple people to join a group. We’ve released the Invite to join feature to Outlook on the web, which lets you create invitation links and share them with others via email or other channels, giving them a quick way to join the group.
Multi-delete conversations—Group owners can now multi-select conversations and delete them from the group conversations space in Outlook for Windows.
Send email as a group—Office 365 admins can grant send-as and send-on-behalf-of permissions to members of a group using the Exchange admin center. Group members who have these permissions can then send emails as the group, or on behalf of the group, from Outlook for Windows and Outlook on the web.
What’s next
We’re always listening to your feedback as we deliver new Groups capabilities to Outlook. Here are a few of your key requests we are going to tackle next:
  • Add appointments to a group calendar in Outlook for Windows—When adding an event to a group calendar, you will have the option to do so without sending an invite to everyone in the group.
  • Addition of Mail Contacts as guests—You will be able to easily add Mail Contacts in your company’s directory as a guest in a group.

About Managed Solution

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Outlook’s new and improved calendar on iOS and Android

By Javier Soltero as written on
Whether you’re planning your next dinner date or an upcoming meeting with teammates, the Outlook team’s mission is to provide you with the best calendar app out there. Today, we’re happy to share that it’s about to get even better on iOS and Android—with new features and a better overall experience to help you manage and make the most of your day.
Here’s a look at what’s new:
Stay connected with Interesting Calendars
A few months ago, we introduced Calendar Apps to let you connect your favorite apps—Wunderlist, Facebook and Evernote—to your calendar. Our goal? To give you a complete and clear view of your day with your events, tasks and notes in one place.
Today, we’re taking this idea one step further by adding Interesting Calendars, which allows you to subscribe to your hometown sports team’s calendar and see the events automatically pop up in your calendar. TV shows and more will be following soon


Interesting Calendars is available today to Outlook for iOS users with an Office 365 email address (coming soon to Android). Users with an email address will be able to subscribe later this year, with Gmail and other accounts to follow.
Add some personality to your agenda with event icons
Try typing “coffee” or “lunch” next time you create an event and see what happens in your agenda view—the keywords automatically trigger an icon that matches your event title. Icons come in handy when you want to scan your day quickly and see what’s coming up. Also, they’re fun.
For Sunrise users, we even added new icons on top of our regular list. Let us know once you’ve found them all.
Know where you need to go with maps in event details
Don’t want to get lost on your way to your next appointment? Just start typing a location next time you create an event, choose one of the handy suggestions (powered by Bing) and Outlook will include a map with your event details.
Now, before your next event, you can simply tap on the map in the event details and get directions from your favorite maps app.
Schedule in a snap with improved date and time pickers
As we continue to bring more of the Sunrise design expertise to Outlook, we updated our date and time pickers so that scheduling is easier than ever. Our new design provides a simpler, more intuitive way to choose the date and time when creating a meeting—matching how Outlook works on the web or desktop. You can try this out today in Outlook for iOS, and it is coming soon on Android.
Update meetings on the fly with recurrence editing
Recurring meetings can be edited from your mobile device. Now you can adjust the time, location, attendees or even delete the event if necessary while on the go. Outlook confirms if you’d like your changes to apply to the individual instance or all the meetings in the series. We will be adding the ability to create recurring events in an upcoming update.
Make meetings on the go easier with Skype for Business
Following our Skype integration, you can now create Skype for Business meetings directly from your phone. When creating a new event on your Office 365 calendar, the option to add a Skype meeting is now included. Simply tap the Skype Meeting toggle and Outlook includes your company’s Skype information in the description of the event. When the meeting arrives, you’ll also be able to join the call with just a tap.
And there’s even more to come!
Let us know what you think of our new calendar features! We’re not stopping here in our quest to provide you with the best calendar experience on iOS and Android. If you have other ideas for what would make the calendar experience even better for you, let us know right from Outlook by going to Settings > Suggest a Feature.





6 signs your company has outgrown its free email solution

A free email solution is great when your organization is first starting out. But how do you know when you have grown beyond the capabilities of your free email service and you need a more sophisticated solution? The business emailrequirements of a growing company are much different than those of a small startup. Whether you’re using or another provider, there are signs that indicate your business has outgrown free email.
The following list identifies six important capabilities you need now (or in the future) to ensure your email solution doesn’t hold you back. Needing any one of these capabilities is an indication that it’s time to consider moving from a free to a paid email solution:
  1. Security—If you’ve experienced a security breach—or are even worried about it happening—you need a more sophisticated solution that offers increased, enterprise-class security capabilities.
  1. Storage—You’ve reached your storage max: a very simple reason to upgrade. Storage space should never cause you to delete or change how you use your email, especially when paid solutions offer large stores of data.
  1. Tools—Free email tools don’t typically provide robust inbox- and user-management tools. Paid email solutions offer a range of features for managing users as well as extensive rules for managing your inbox—enabling you to spend less time managing your inbox and more time managing your business.
  1. Domain names—Using a custom domain for your business email is a vital way to ensure your business appears professional. For example, “” has a lot more credibility than “” While free custom email addresses are available, they often leave you open to security threats, because the company you host through will likely have access to your data and other information.
  1. Data—If you’ve ever felt the need to own and manage your email data, it’s time to move to a paid solution. Often, when you agree to free email terms, you’re granting the email provider permission to mine your data and send you ads—which is how their companies remain profitable while offering free services. Not only can this distract from your work, it also puts your company’s data at risk.
  1. File sharing—Need to share files and collaborate securely with your team? Paid email solutions enable team-based collaboration and sharing without putting confidential company information at risk.
Graduate to an email solution that offers your growing business increased security, enhanced customization and a variety of features and capabilities to improve collaboration. Not only will this keep your company running smoothly and increase teamwork—your IT team will no longer spend time on common free email service-level issues.

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5 ways to boost your professionalism over email

Every day, inboxes are packed with more than one billion emails. For small businesses, the challenge to set yourself apart and establish what your business represents in a single email can feel daunting, but it’s easier than you think.


Follow these five simple—yet highly effective—strategies to convert the customer, close the sale, build your brand and continue to build your small business through effective use of business email.
1.Create a custom email address for your business— Show you mean business, and get taken seriously with a properly formatted email address. If you use your personal email, you’re not communicating all the potential your business has to offer. Instead, format your email as
2.Use the To, CC, and BCC lines strategically— Eliminate the risk of unnecessary replies or over-filling inboxes. Ask yourself a few questions to determine if a BCC or CC line is the right choice. Do the contacts know each other (or need to)? Does every recipient need to read every response? Respect recipients’ privacy by placing contacts in the BCC line and add people in the BCC field to eliminate the opportunity for “reply all” blunders. While you’re at it, consider waiting to fill all To, CC, and BCC lines once you’ve drafted and proofread your email. This eliminates the risk of an email “misfire” and gives you a chance to think about what you’ve written before pressing send.
3.Write smart subject lines— A catchy or motivating subject line enhances the chance your email will be read. Create a subject line that’s focused, personal and shows the value or urgency of reading. To create click-worthy subject lines, combine a few action-based and topical subject line elements with an added value to readers.
4.Include a clear next step— Include clear calls to action with precise next steps. Whether you want readers to follow a link, call a number, reply to your email or something else, state it clearly and make it easy for them to follow through. Need a question answered? Don’t dance around it. Ask the question in the beginning of your email, and prompt your recipients to answer toward the end.
5.Proofread— Spellcheck will only get you so far. Don’t just proofread for spelling and grammar; check that your tone is appropriate to the subject matter. Be careful of jokes and sarcasm, as humor can easily be mistaken and misunderstood. And check for one of the most common email errors: referring to an attachment but forgetting to include one.
It’s amazing how impactful simple email strategies are, and you will see the results as you implement them into your small business email communication plan. Once you’ve implemented these strategies (and proofread one more time, for good measure), you’re ready to send.


Trust Us: Your Auto-Reply Message Can Get You Into Trouble


By Andy O'Donnell as written on
So, you're headed off on a business trip. You've got your plane tickets, hotel reservations, and everything is good to go. Only one thing left to do, it's time to set your Outlook Out-of-Office Auto-Reply message so that clients or coworkers e-mailing you will know how to contact you while you're away, or will know who they can contact during your absence.
Seems like the responsible thing to do, right? Wrong! Out-of-Office Auto-replies can be a huge security risk.
Out-of-Office replies can potentially reveal a huge amount of sensitive data about you to anyone who happens to e-mail you while you're away.
Here's an Example of a Common Out-of-office Reply:
"I will be out of the office at the XYZ conference in Burlington Vermont during the week of June 1-7. If you need any help with invoice-related issues during this time, please contact my supervisor, Joe Somebody at 555-1212. If you need to reach me during my absence you can reach me on my cell at 555-1011.
While the message above is helpful, it may also be harmful because, in a couple of short sentences, the person in the e-mail above revealed some incredibly useful information about himself. This information could be used by criminals for social engineering attacks.
The example out-of-office reply above provides an attacker with:
Current Location Information
Revealing your location aids attackers in knowing where you are and where you aren't. If you say you're in Vermont, then they know that you aren't at your home in Virginia. This would be a great time to rob you. If you said you were at the XYZ conference (as Bill did), then they know where to look for you. They also know that you're not in your office and that they might be able to talk their way into your office saying something like:
"Bill told me to pick up the XYZ report. He said it was on his desk. Do you mind if I pop in his office and grab it." A busy secretary might just let a stranger into Bill's office if the story seems plausible.
Contact information
The contact information that Bill revealed in his out-of-office reply may help scammers piece together elements needed for identity theft. They now have his e-mail address, his work and cell numbers, and his supervisor's contact info as well.
When someone sends Bill a message while his auto-reply is turned on, his e-mail server will send the auto-reply back to them, which in-effect confirms Bill's e-mail address as a valid working address. E-mail Spammers love getting confirmation that their spam reached a real live target. Bill's address will likely now be added to other spam lists as a confirmed hit.
Place of employment, job title, line of work, and chain of command
Your signature block often provides your job title, the name of the company you work for (which also reveals what type of work you do), your e-mail, and your phone and fax numbers. If you added "while I'm out please contact my supervisor, Joe Somebody" then you just revealed your reporting structure and your chain of command as well.
Social engineers could use this information for impersonation attack scenarios. For instance, they could call your company's HR department pretending to be your boss and say "This is Joe Somebody. Bill Smith is off on a trip and I need his Employee ID and Social Security Number so I can correct his company tax forms."
Some Out-of-Office message setups allow you to restrict the reply so that it only goes to members of your host e-mail domain, but most people have clients and customers outside of the hosting domain so this feature won't help them.
How can you create a safer out-of-office auto-reply message?
1. Be intentionally vague
Instead of saying that you will be somewhere else, say that you will be "unavailable". Unavailable could mean you are still in town or in the office taking a training class. It helps keep the bad guys from knowing where you really are.
2. Don't provide contact info
Don't give out phone numbers or e-mails. Tell them that you will be monitoring your e-mail account should they need to contact you.
3. Leave out all personal information and remove your signature block
Remember that complete strangers and possibly scammers and spammers may see your auto-reply. If you wouldn't normally give this info to strangers, don't put it in your auto-reply.
Just a note to my readers, I will be in Disney World all next week, but you can reach me by carrier pigeon (just kidding about the Disney World part).



Enterprise email—what a new business needs to know


A small investment in a business email account can be the difference between success and failure for your new business. Yet, for many businesses, finding the right enterprise email provider isn’t top of mind. Most people think email is just a given—it is free, after all, so why not just set up a simple email account, like “” While free email accounts are great for personal use, the lack of a proper business email solution could sneak up on you as your company starts to scale.
Be prepared for growth with an enterprise email account. Here are a few of the benefits from a business email account that you won’t get from a free email account:

Customers will notice your email address


Imagine you are at a networking event and meet your dream client. You spend the evening talking about your services and what makes you different from the competition. She is excited about what you bring to the table and asks for your business card. You hand it over only to show that your free email address does not reflect your business’s name. Instead of reading “,” your non-enterprise email reads “” A familiar look of uncertainty rushes over her face and you know that she likely won’t reach out after all.
Small details can make or break trust with a client. Using a free email account implies that your business is too young, small or lacking in the technical proficiency to obtain a domain-based email address—all red flags to a potential client.
Besides gaining client trust with a business email, you also have a better chance of your email being remembered in case your business card is lost. It’s standard practice for business emails to be simple, like “,” which allows for easier recall if someone is trying to get ahold of you quickly.

Build trust with your customers


Have you ever received spam from a friend’s personal account after their email address was hacked? Imagine receiving a scam from a client you recently partnered with. Would you want to continue sending your company’s sensitive information to this client?
Quality enterprise email accounts include advanced security protocols and spam filters to safeguard your email from outside threats. This becomes ever more important as business scales since it will protect both your employees and your customers.
Secure business email accounts give you the peace of mind in knowing that your important files won’t be subject to a virus. In addition, your customers will rest assured that they can email you sensitive information without fear of that email being hacked.

Rest assured that your technology will grow with you


When relying on personal emails, business owners often lose valuable insight into communications, which could hinder long-term growth. Enterprise email accounts ensure that your email service becomes an extension of your communication strategy. Employers and managers gain the ability to join the conversation, ensure their clients’ information is secure and their needs are met.
A standard business email provider will make it easy for employers and manager to:
•Check the email of a vacationing or ill employee to ensure nothing is dropped.
•Review a client email string for context on a project.
•Address a conflict at work that may have started over email.
•Add email accounts as your company scales.
•Help an employee respond to a customer on a sensitive issue.
As businesses grow, conflict is often unavoidable. Business email accounts put the ownership of all correspondence in the company’s hands, whereas personal emails put the ownership in the hands of the individual. If a conflict arises, your business has no control over or access to personal email accounts. Enterprise email, on the other hand, puts the company in control, which is a necessity as a company grows and must become even more accountable to its customers.

Make your email work for you


The best enterprise email solutions today come packed with a suite of integrated tools to add efficiency to your workday.
Quality business email accounts might include:
•Calendars for internal and external scheduling or planning.
•Office applications (like Word, PowerPoint, Excel, etc.).
•Email or phone customer service support.
•Consistent spam filtering and malware protection.
•Huge mailbox storage for better email management.
•Stronger security for protecting sensitive data.
When searching for the right enterprise email solution for your business, it’s important to compare toolset integrations to determine which option is best for you.

Save time and money


It might come as a surprise, but an enterprise email platform can save you more money than even a free solution could. Free solutions come with a set storage limit, meaning you’ll be purging your email once every few months. This not only takes time, but could leave you losing valuable emails and files in the long run.
The time it takes to manage your email storage is time you could be spending growing your company. You might consider an internal email server instead, but that requires an IT team to manage the server, which costs far more than finding a trustworthy enterprise email provider.

Enterprise email helps you scale with ease


For growing companies, switching email providers can be a daunting task. Data is often lost in the transfer, employees go without email for a few days (or even weeks) and customers grow frustrated as their emails bounce. Building your business on an enterprise email foundation will help you keep up as your company grows. Easily add and subtract accounts, change storage, back up your data and integrate collaboration tools.
Your email is a recorded history of your company, and losing any bit of that could leave you without important context as you grow. By choosing a business email solution from the beginning, you are laying the groundwork to scale with ease.


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