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Get to inbox zero faster with AnyAlias disposable emails

(TECH NEWS) Say goodbye to hackers and phishers— with AnyAlias there’s now a way to sign up for anything you want without sacrificing your personal email privacy.

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INFINITE CONTENT

In the past, if you don’t want to use your personal email to sign up for sites or promotions, you were stuck with two options: create a new address, or don’t sign up for the thing. Then if you make a new address, you either had to forward everything to your real email or check multiple accounts.

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I can’t even keep track of how many fake email addresses I’ve abandoned and left to die in the internet desert. Instead of these undesirable options, AnyAlias allows you to create an infinite number of addresses all under one account.

HOW AnyAlias WORKS

AnyAlias offers “unlimited free disposable email addresses” so you can protect your inbox and still get in on all those coupon deals. You just sign up and pick your personal username. Then whenever you need to sign up for something with an email but don’t trust the site with your personal address, simply use your account name.

The service uses a basic template for each address, [name]@[yourusername].anyalias.com. For example, if I signed up with my own name as the username, I could use this for some weird site: weirdsite@lindsay.anyalias.com.

If I then wanted to sign up for another thing, I could pick a different alias name, like “catstuff” or “freecoupons” to keep track of each site.

You choose the identifier while the domain name remains the same. There’s even a Chrome extension that auto-generates disposable addresses whenever an email address is required if you’re not feeling creative.

LIKE AND (UN)SUBSCRIBE

Any emails sent to your AnyAlias account will forwarded to your private address. If you ever want to stop receiving emails, you have the option to block directly from each email, or via your AnyAlias account management panel.

Normally it can be a pain to get off a mailing list, and some companies make it quite difficult to unsubscribe. After you block an address with AnyAlias, the alias will keep receiving the spam, but it will no longer reach your actual email address. Hello, Inbox Zero.

BUILDING TRUST

AnyAlias utilizes TLS protocol to encrypt all emails, and uses the latest email security technologies like SPF and DKIM to further protect your information. They won’t sell you out to third parties either. However, AnyAlias recommends not using their service for sensitive data like credit cards and bank information.

Oh and hey guess what? The service is totally free. But if you’re feeling generous, the nice people at AnyAlias suggest, “you’re more than welcome to buy us pizza, extra pepperoni please :)” via donations.

#AnyAlias

Lindsay is an editor for The American Genius with a Communication Studies degree and English minor from Southwestern University. Lindsay is interested in social interactions across and through various media, particularly television, and will gladly hyper-analyze cartoons and comics with anyone, cats included.

Tech News

Facebook starts handing out merit badges like we’re Girl Scouts

(TECH NEWS) Facebook offers merit badges to users, and it’s pretty neat, but we’re also rolling our eyes.

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According to some Facebook Group administrators, Facebook has today rolled out merit badges. So far in the wild, we’ve spotted “Conversation Starter” which praises the admin (or user) for starting engaging posts that got the conversation going.

We have asked numerous users if they’ve seen these badges, and so far it appears that only one badge has been rolled out, potentially with more on the way. Upon logging into the group where you have earned a badge, you’ll see a notification at the top of the feed informing you of your new badge (get out your vest, it’s time to start collecting them all)!

The merit badge that you’ve earned shows up in your profile when other group members (where you’ve earned the merit badge) click on your face:

Currently, when an Admin posts in the group, it still only has their Admin badge next to their name, not the “Conversation Starter” or other badges lined up next to it, but if a regular group member has posted something engaging, the badge appears next to their name (it may be a one-badge-limit so far, maybe hold off on buying a Girl Scout vest for your badge collection):

Lastly, users apparently do have control over the display of whichever neato merit badges we eventually earn or collect:

There is no word on what the ultimate plan is or what merit badges will be awarded, and it appears to be limited to Facebook Groups at the present.

We’ve reached out to Facebook for comment and will update the story as we learn more. For now, if you want a badge, you can at least get a “Conversation Starter” badge in Facebook Groups, so go get ’em – we’ll soon know which other badges we can earn slash collect slash compete for slash game.

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Tech News

Slack video messaging tool for the ultra lazy (or productive) person

(TECHNOLOGY) Courtesy of a company called Standuply, Slack’s notable lack of video-messaging options is finally addressed.

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Slack — the popular chat and workflow app — is still going strong despite its numerous technical shortcomings, one of which is its notable lack of native video or audio chat. If you’re an avid Slack user, you might be interested in Standuply’s solution to this missing feature: video and audio messaging.

While it isn’t quite the Skype-esque experience for which one might hope when booting up Slack, Standuply’s video messages add-on gives you the ability to record and send a video or audio recording to any Slack channel. This makes things like multitasking a breeze; unless you’re a god among mortals, your talking speed is significantly faster than your typing, making video- or audio-messaging a viable productivity move.

The way you’ll record and send the video or audio message is a bit convoluted: using a web browser and a private Slack link, you can record up to five minutes of content, after which point the content is uploaded to YouTube as a private item. You can then use the item’s link to send the video or audio clip to your Skype channel.

While this is a fairly roundabout way of introducing video chat into Slack, the end result is still a visual conversation which is conducive to long-term use.

Sending video and audio messages may feel like an exercise in futility (why use a third-party tool when one could just type?) but the amount of time and energy you can save while simultaneously responding to feedback or beginning your next task adds up.

Similarly, having a video that your team can circle back to instead of requiring them to scroll through until they find your text post on a given topic is better for long-term productivity.

And, if all else falls short, it’s nice to see your remote team’s faces and hear their voices every once in a while—if for no other reason than to reassure yourself that they aren’t figments of your overly caffeinated imagination.

At the time of this writing, the video chat portion of the Slack bot is free; however, subsequent pricing tiers include advanced aspects such as integration with existing services, analytics, and unlimited respondents.

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Tech News

This phishing simulator tests your company’s (lack of) readiness

(TECHNOLOGY) Phishero is a tool which tests your organization’s resistance to phishing attacks. Pro tip: Most companies aren’t ready.

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In the wake of any round of cyberattacks, many organizations question whether they’re prepared to defend themselves against things like hacking or other forms of information theft. In reality, the bulk of workplace data thievery comes from a classic trick: phishing.

Phishing is a catch-all phrase for a specific type of information theft which involves emailing. Typically, a phishing email will include a request for sensitive data, such as a password, a copy of a W-4, or an account’s details (e.g., security questions); the email itself will often appear to come from someone within the organization.

Similar approaches include emailing a link which acts as a login page for a familiar site (e.g., Facebook) but actually stores your account information when you sign in.

Luckily, there’s a way for you to test your business’ phishing readiness.

Phishero, a tool designed to test employee resistance to phishing attacks, is a simple solution for any business looking to find any weak links in their cybersecurity.

The tool itself is designed to do four main things: identify potential targets, find a way to design a convincing phishing scheme, implement the phishing attack, and analyze the results.

Once Phishero has a list of your employees, it is able to create an email based on the same web design used for your company’s internal communications. This email is then sent to your selected recipient pool, from which point you’ll be able to monitor who opens the email.

Once you’ve concluded the test, you can use Phishero’s built-in analytics to give you an at-a-glance overview of your organization’s security.

The test results also include specific information such as which employees gave information, what information was given, and pain points in your current cybersecurity setup.

Phishing attacks are incredibly common, and employees – especially those who may not be as generationally skeptical of emails – are the only things standing between your company and catastrophic losses if they occur in your business. While training your employees on proper email protocol out of the gate is a must, Phishero provides an easy way to see how effective your policies actually are.

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