Monday, 16 April 2007

Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard and Facebook Fun

So some of my friends are on Facebook and I was feeling a bit left out. But I didn't want to open my inbox to a potential flood of spam which is what apparently happens sometimes with these social networking sites. This prompted to me to look into the Yahoo! mail AddressGuard feature.

The basic idea is that you create a default name (jrmailgate in my case) and then you can easily setup a number of disposible addresses, so jrmailgate-facebook@ etc. If one address starts getting too much spam, or has found itself onto a bulk list, simply trash the address. It seems like a pretty elegant way to protect your private address.

To be honest, I'm not sure I "get" the idea of a social networking site. Seems like a lot of hassle, but it's all "Web 2.0 goodness" so I should probably make an effort...

Incidently, as a follow-up to my previous post, Yahoo! Mail does not have the same nifty synchronisation capabilities as Gmail, so I'm still looking for a solution to getting a *complete* backup of my Yahoo! mailbox (including sent items) without losing the ability to access it from anywhere. Ah well, at least it's sunny... :-)

Thursday, 5 April 2007

Backing up Gmail

I've started using Gmail more and more, primarily because I like the ability to read and respond to emails while away from my home machine. The only concern is that a copy of my email remains on Google's servers and there is no guarantee that this will be available.

The ideal way to fix this is to use the POP capability to download a copy of the email for archiving purposes. This is in preference to the mail forwarding option as it will also download the sent email items (the forwarding option will not enable archiving of sent mail).

Once this is done, it's a matter of configuring your email client (Thunderbird in my case) to download from Gmail's POP server. One important thing to remember is to "leave a copy of the email on the server". This will allow access to Gmail through a browser as well as in Thunderbird.

For sending, set the Thunderbird account to send via Gmail's SMTP server. This will magically save a copy of the outgoing email in the Gmail sent email list.

Finally, setup a filter rule in Thunderbird to move all email from (where xxx is your own email address) into the Sent folder. This will keep things nice and tidy in your email client.

Not sure if the same can be done with Yahoo! mail. Will investigate...