Trending February 2024 # Send Mass Emails Using Mail Merge In Mozilla Thunderbird # Suggested March 2024 # Top 6 Popular

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One of the most annoying things that could happen is receiving an unsolicited email from someone which obviously shows it is a mass email. As a recipient you know and can tell if it is another marketing hype or a sincere message of “Hi, Hello, and Goodbye!”

If you’re a Google Apps user, perhaps you have heard the sending a mail merge in Gmail that allows you to send a single message to quite a number of recipients without looking spammy using Google Drive and Google Scripts. On the other hand, there is another way to do it using the Mail Merge extension in Mozilla Thunderbird. Create a message or template in the drafts and send it to many recipients, with it looking personal and customised.

Kicking it off with the basics and email configurations

This tutorial requires you to have the following:

For first time users, you need to set up your default email account in Thunderbird. Here are expanded tutorials on Automatic Account Configuration and Manual Account Configuration on Mozilla support.

How to set up Mail Merge and Thunderbird

If you’re using Thunderbird as your default e-mail client, proceed to the Mail Merge download and installation.

1. After downloading the Mail Merge file “mail_merge-3.10.1-sm+tb.xpi,” launch Thunderbird. You may set it as your default email client or skip the integration.

3. Choose “Install Add-on from File,” and open the Mail Merge file that you previously downloaded; restart the email client for the changes to take effect.

Sending the first personalised message

3. Once you finish writing the draft, go to File and select Mail Merge. Set the Mail Source to CSV, the Delivery Mode (Send as Draft, Send Later, and Send Now), the Format (HTML or Plain) and if you have attachments.

Final thoughts

Let us know how it works on your side and feel free to share other ways to create mail merge.

Maria Krisette Capati

Krisette is a technology writer who loves to cover disruptive technologies, trends, and a myriad of rumors and news updates. To satiate the inconsolable longing to feed her gadget addiction, she simply writes and tinker her gadgets for reviews. You may follow her blurbs, too! @krisettecapati

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How To Send Mass Emails From Gmail

How To Send Mass Emails from Gmail

So, if you are a marketer or individual planning to send an email to multiple recipients, this post might be helpful for you. Wondering how to send mass emails in Gmail? Well, yes, Gmail is an excellent place to start. In this post, we have covered a step-by-step guide to refer to when sending mass emails in Gmail.

Also Read: How to Empty Your Gmail Inbox with Quick Simple Steps

How to Send Mass Emails from Gmail? Step 1: Install a Mail Merge Extension on your Browser

So, here comes the first step. To send mass emails from Gmail, you must first install and add an extension to your Chrome browser.

Visit the Google Workplace Marketspace page and type “Yet Another Mail Merge” in the search box.

Hit the “Install” button to add the extension to your Chrome browser.

A pop-up will now appear on the screen asking for Installation permission. Tap on “Allow” to proceed.

And that’s it! Once the extension is successfully added to your browser, proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Draft your Email Message

Open a new tab, visit Gmail, and log in to your account. Draft your bulk email message creatively. And yes, don’t forget to add a personalized greeting on the top for more impact.

Step 3: Create a Subscriber List

Here comes the next step in our post on how to send mass emails in Gmail. To lessen your workload, we recommend you create a subscriber list in Excel that includes all the subscribers’ email addresses.

Open Google Sheets and create three columns: Email address, First name, and Business name.

NOTE: Ensure you accurately enter all the email addresses on the Google Sheet.

Step 4: Use the Mail Merge Extension

Now, tap the “Extensions” option on the top menu bar and select “Yet Another Mail Merge” from the context menu. Select “Start Mail Merge.”

Type your name or your company’s name in the “Sender name” textbox.

Select the “Email Template” and pick the email you recently drafted on Gmail.

Hit on the “Send Emails” button. You can tap the “Schedule” button if you wish to send your bulk email at a specific time.

And that’s it, folks. Here’s how you can send mass emails on Gmail. However, there’s one little catch. The “Yet Another Mail Merge” extension only allows you to send up to 50 emails at a time. So, if you want to send bulk emails to more than 50 recipients, you can use an email marketing tool like Send in Blue.

Limitations of Sending Mass Emails from Gmail:

You can only send up to 500 emails per day.

Most of your emails may land in the Spam folder and might be unable to make it to the Inbox.

You must design your emails manually, like text formatting, adding images, graphics, brand logos, etc.

Use the Send in Blue Email Marketing Tool to Automate your Workload

There are a few limitations when choosing Gmail or an email extension for sending mass emails. So, we have a useful suggestion if you are looking for a more professional email marketing tool.

The Send in Blue email service can be your savior as it allows you to work “Smart” and not hard. It is one of the smartest and most intuitive platforms that you can use for sending free bulk emails to up to 300 contacts a day.

Why Should You Choose the Send in Blue Email Marketing Service?

40+ customizable, eye-catchy, responsive email templates.

Better email deliverability.

Allows you to send more than 500 emails per day.

24×7 customer support.

Provides detailed email reports, conversions, unsubscribes, and other vital info.

Advanced automation tools.

Customizable sign-up forms.

Create custom landing pages.

Send in Blue email marketing tool is a nifty tool to engage the audience that is ideal for small businesses, e-commerce brands, or large enterprises.


This wraps up our guide on how to send mass emails in Gmail. You can easily send bulk emails from your inbox using Send in Blue, an all-in-one email marketing tool. Send in Blue is a dedicated marketing tool to automate your workflow that will make your mass emails stand out and offer you better deliverable results.

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About the author

Rimzhim Sharma

A tech blogger and part-time explorer of “Everything cool and trendy”. Slipped into the writing career a couple of years back, for the love of technology. Rimzhim’s blogs solely focus on problem-solving troubleshooting guides for Windows, macOS, Android, and iPhone. She curates tech-related content, tips, DIY hacks that resolve common errors and bugs. Born and raised in the pink city.

Mozilla Thunderbird Vs. Microsoft Outlook

Along the same lines as what I said last month about Internet Explorer vs. Firefox , I am convinced I’m safer using pretty much any email client other than Microsoft’s Outlook. Outlook is simply not as secure as its competitors.

So again, instead of taking my opinions at face value, let’s explore how I came to believe them. Bear in mind, though, that I’m comparing Outlook against its competition, which is a pretty vague comparison. So, when specifics are called for, I’ll call in Mozilla’s Thunderbird as a prime example of an Outlook competitor.

• Lower profile target. Face it, what do most people use the Internet for? Web browsing and email are likely to be at the top of just about anyone’s list. What are the most popular browser and emailer? Simple: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer and Outlook, and by a pretty darned big margin. Sure, Outlook Express probably deserves an honorable mention here, along with a few others, but in terms of market share, it’s IE and Outlook.

The corporate world loves IE and Outlook (paired, almost inevitably, with Microsoft Exchange) for all sorts of reasons. So do phishers and other Internet miscreants. I’d even venture to guess that no software in the history of software—such as it is—has been attacked as much as IE and Outlook have.

If you’re using either of these in their default configurations and without any additional security protection from anti-virus products, firewalls, spam filters, etc., your computer is almost certainly not fully under your own control any longer. I don’t say that as mere hyperbole either.

As such, using just about anything other than Outlook has got to be lower risk—not necessarily more secure, however.

Qualitative score: Outlook gets an F while Thunderbird (et al.) get a B+.

• Default configurations and configurability. Perhaps this one is a bit of a trick criterion, as pretty much every mailer I’ve ever installed came “out of the box” in a default configuration that was akin to walking through a crowd with copious quantities of $100 bills hanging out of your pockets—and then being surprised when you get robbed.

That said, most mailers these days allow the user to configure a pretty rich set of options regarding HTML rendering, automatic image downloading, message previewing, and script running. Many mailers nowadays take that a step further by watching out for emails containing known phishing sites, spam messages, and such—in essence, an auto-updating blacklist of bad characters. Although I’m not a fan of blacklisting (vs. whitelisting), they’ve no doubt prevented a lot of users from loading messages that could have harmed them.

Along these lines, the ability to plug into different anti-spam engines is a major bonus. Thunderbird, in particular, is quite flexible in how it plugs to your anti-spam engine of choice.

Both Outlook and Thunderbird carry out these features reasonably well. I have to admit, though, that I prefer Thunderbird’s security features, though this is a rather subjective measure. What I find missing, and perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places, is the sort of control that I get with the Noscript plug-in for Firefox that I mentioned last month.

Qualitative score: Outlook gets a C while Thunderbird gets a B.

Next page: Usability, and “the other guys”

Send In Your Windows Related Questions Now!

At Make Tech Easier, we have made every effort to come up with useful articles, detailed tutorials and simple tips and tricks that work. However, one thing that we are not able to do is to come up with solutions to solve your immediate problems, simply because we have no idea what’re your problems until we face them ourselves.

That is about to change. We are coming up with a new FAQ section where you can email us your problems and we will answer them on a weekly column.

For a start, we are going to focus on Windows first. Here’s what you need to do:

Send your question(s) (please provide as many detail as possible) to windows-help [at] chúng tôi or send us a tweet @maketecheasier.

That’s it.

Don’t wait, send in your questions now!

Feedbacks are welcome.

Image credit: Colin_K


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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How To Fix Thunderbird Too Many Recipients Error In 2023

Are you getting too many recipients error on Thunderbird? Know how to fix Thunderbird “too many recipients” error.

Thunderbird is a free email client that you can use for personal and business communications. You can add any email account to Thunderbird and start using that service from this desktop-based client.

If you use Thunderbird for business purposes, you might need to send emails to different teams or employees involved in a project. Those who tend to broadcast news or notification to all company employees through email will also need to send one email to a large number of people.

While sending emails from your Thunderbird account, you could be unlucky enough to encounter the “too many recipients” error. In fact, you may only be sending emails to five recipients and still getting this error. Moreover, getting the same error again and again could be frustrating and put you in a helpless situation.

If you’re facing this error and are unable to end emails to your recipients, you need to know how to fix Thunderbird “too many recipients” error. Join me as I’ll discuss the reasons behind this problem and how you can get rid of it.

Also read: How to Add Signature to Mozilla Thunderbird

Why Do Users Get Thunderbird “Too Many Recipients” Error?

The error message is quite easy to decode — you’re sending an email to the number of recipients that the mail server thinks is “too many”. For every mail server, there is a limit on the recipients, including To, CC, and BCC. There are two reasons behind this limit.

The first one is to prevent abuse of the mail server. Without any such limits, bots and malicious scripts will spam thousands of people through one sent email. Thus, it’ll become highly challenging to detect spam emails and mitigate them. For this reason, hosting providers have a limit on how many recipients can be added to one email.

Another reason to have a recipient limit is to keep memory usage in control. Especially for email services that store the data locally, the allocated memory is limited. Hence, these tend to control the usage with such restrictions.

Though this is the main reason for this error, it’s not the only one. You might be getting this error due to the VPN or antivirus software you’re running on your computer. Sometimes, certain internet service providers might also stop you from sending bulk emails to stop spamming.

Moreover, email service providers like Gmail impose a threshold for the number of emails you can send in 24 hours. If you cross that, you may end up getting this error message as Gmail prohibits you from sending bulk emails.

Also read: Fix Thunderbird Not Receiving or Sending Emails

How to Fix Thunderbird “Too Many Recipients” Error

1. Create a Mailing List

In case you aren’t familiar with the mailing list, it means creating a group consisting of multiple email addresses. For example, you can create a mailing list or distribution list for the development team and include all members of that team in it.

To avoid this error, you can create such lists in your Thunderbird account. Now, instead of adding all the email addresses one after another in your To, CC, and BCC fields, you can add the mailing list name as the recipient. It’ll be considered as one recipient, and you won’t get the error.

2. Increase the Max Recipient limit

Certain email applications come with a limit for the maximum number of recipients. You need to find out the limit for your email service provider and make sure your recipient count is below their limit. If your email service provider allows, you can even increase the maximum recipient limit.

3. Disable Antivirus and Firewalls

While antivirus applications protect your computer from viruses and malware, they are famous for causing hindrance to different regular activities you perform. It could even stop you from sending emails to a large number of recipients. Try turning off the firewall settings and antivirus application and then send the email. If the problem is resolved, you’ve found the culprit.

4. Turn Off VPN Software

For many Thunderbird users, VPNs are the reason behind the “too many recipients” error. If you try to send bulk emails with your VPN turned on, you might get this error message. So to stay safe, make sure your VPN is turned off and try sending the email again.

5. Try After Rolling 24 Hours for Gmail

If you’re using a free Gmail account on Thunderbird, you need to be familiar with its rules regarding the maximum number of emails that can be sent by one user. When you use Gmail through mail clients like Thunderbird, your limit is 100 messages every rolling 24 hours, that too if your account is old and has been established as a trusted one.

Remember that Gmail might have imposed a lesser limit on your email account, especially if the account is new and has yet to establish its reputation. Gmail even counts all the recipients you add as CC and BCC as separate emails. However, Google Workspace users may have a higher limit.

Since Gmail is not a platform for bulk emailing, it often blocks emails with multiple To, CC, or BCC addresses. When you suddenly start sending bulk messages, Google might lock your account for 24 hours from that incident, thinking that you’re sending spam or your account has been hacked.

If you keep trying to send emails despite having this error during the rolling 24 hours, the restriction period will only get extended. So, it’s wise to wait and try after the cooling period. For urgent necessities, try using your Gmail account directly from the web interface of Gmail.

Some ISPs throttle the number of emails a particular user can send during a specific period. If you end up sending emails above the acceptable threshold, the emails won’t be sent. When the above methods won’t fix your problem, or you suspect that ISP is limiting your email recipient count, you should contact them and ask them to increase the threshold.


Like every other email client, Thunderbird also comes with some errors. One of the disappointing errors is getting the “too many recipients” error message while trying to send an email to multiple people.

If you want to know how to fix Thunderbird “too many recipients” error, this is the right place for you. Here, I’ve discussed the major reasons why you’re getting this error while sending emails from Mozilla Thunderbird. Also, I’ve shared the proven solutions to this issue.

Vista Mail Vs. Outlook Express

More than just another version of Outlook Express, Windows Mail delivers robust features and a usability that will be a “first” for many users. In this chapter, we’ll take a look at some of these structural changes to the built-in mail client of Windows Vista, and we’ll compare these to the shortcomings of Outlook Express. We’ll also examine the powerful security tools incorporated to secure the Windows Mail experience.

Comparing Windows Mail with Outlook Express

When Microsoft released Outlook Express in November 1997, the user community had just undergone a seismic shift brought about by the earlier release of Microsoft’s first graphical-based OS, Windows 95. For more than two years, personal computers, thought to be forever tied to their owners’ drab and dreary cubicles for tasks limited only to work, were now making their way into homes and dormitories at an exponential rate. The Internet was also growing at an exponential rate, and the tools shipping with each revision of Windows needed to be tailored to this exploding home-based population. So, with the release of Internet Explorer 4.0 in Windows 95 OSR 2.5 came the successor to Internet Mail and News: Outlook Express.

Although Internet Mail and News was a simple freeware add-on client available to users of Internet Explorer 3.0, Outlook Express was built into Internet Explorer 4.0. Every user who purchased a Windows 95 OSR 2.5 and subsequent Windows 98 machine would get this new application as part of his Internet-browsing arsenal. In fact, Outlook Express was built with the integration of Internet Explorer in mind, something that would be both a blessing and a curse for users of the application.

Executable files could be attached to messages received by earlier versions of Outlook Express and rendered only as harmless picture attachments. Even worse, insidious virus architects found that they could launch harmful scripts in the background of a user’s session without her knowledge. Because the default behavior of Outlook Express is to automatically open the first message in the Inbox, regardless of the preview pane settings, multitudes of viruses emerged to exploit this threat. Unfortunately for many, a number of these efforts were met with great success (Nimda, anyone?).

Nevertheless, Outlook Express has always maintained a solid following. As a news and mail application, it is easily a favorite among home and small-office users for managing mail for Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3) and Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP). Outlook Express had a wizard-driven introduction to usher a new user down the road of configuration and quickly provided users an “Outlook” experience for free.

As Outlook Express continued to be refined, the application began to incorporate the functionality of supporting multiple mail and user accounts, which solidified its place in the home PC used by the entire family. It was not long before Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) and Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions (S/MIME) were added to the list of supported protocols. Even Mac users found the opportunity to explore the utility in a version free for download when Microsoft chose to support the application for those running classic Mac OSes (8.1 to 9.x).

Aside from this sidestep into the Mac world, Outlook Express has remained an application built into the Microsoft OSes and browser, something you could expect to find answering every hyperlink with an @ symbol as you browsed with Internet Explorer.

Windows Mail is the next iteration of this product. Although it is absolutely a “version” of Outlook Express, carrying with it many visual similarities to the Outlook product, Windows Mail is fundamentally a different application. Although Outlook Express is tied to Internet Explorer, Windows Mail is more tightly integrated into the OS. This may well be serving the purpose of delineating the product from its predecessors as well as making it more difficult for antitrust lawsuits to be filed against Microsoft for “bundling” products into its OS. Windows Mail is not designed as a plug-in or addition to Internet Explorer, and though it is very much its own application, it is now a fundamental component of the OS itself.

The integration of applications such as Outlook Express and Internet Explorer has been both a blessing and a curse for Microsoft. Although considered a sacred cow for Microsoft in the States, the European Union charged that Microsoft’s “bundling” of software presented an unfair and almost impossible challenge for vendors of competing software. Although a version of Windows XP was released that did not include Media Player (Windows XP N), the EU required the software giant to pay an initial fine of $613 million.

Database Architecture

At its core, Windows Mail runs with a completely different architecture than Outlook Express. Outlook Express presented a set of direct database files to both the user and the OS. At least four default folders are created with each “identity” in Outlook Express. These are:

C:Documents and SettingsLocal SettingsApplication DataIdentities{GUID}MicrosoftOutlook ExpressFolders.dbx

C:Documents and SettingsLocal SettingsApplication DataIdentities{GUID}MicrosoftOutlook ExpressOutbox.dbx

C:Documents and SettingsLocal SettingsApplication DataIdentities{GUID}MicrosoftOutlook ExpressInbox.dbx

C:Documents and SettingsLocal SettingsApplication DataIdentities{GUID}MicrosoftOutlook ExpressOffline.dbx

Outlook Express utilizes the single database file, chúng tôi as the master index for the entire messaging store. It holds the tree structure for all mail folders, the newsgroups on each news account, and even the options for the synchronization of “subscribed” folders. It is ultimately in this design that Outlook Express begins to fall short of many hopes and expectations. All mail items reside within each of these folders, meaning that the corruption of any of the folders results in the loss or corruption of all the mail stored within. Even worse, there are functional capacity limits for each of the individual files. If any of these files gets too large, typically near 2 GB, searching for mail and even opening Outlook Express becomes slow or even impossible.

For these reasons, the Windows Mail design team did away with the single storage-file design. Instead, Windows Mail utilizes a JET database, the same database engine in use for Exchange and Active Directory, and the very same instance in use in the Vista OS on which Windows Mail is installed. The database file tree structure that existed in Outlook Express now exists only as folders within the OS. All of these folders, as well as the pointers to the actual messages, are located in a single folder for each user.

The Windows Mail Folder Structure

If you were paying attention, you may have noticed our use of the term pointers regarding messages. Via JET, Windows Mail now stores each piece of mail and each news post as a separate file within the OS. Mail files are given the .eml file extension and news posts receive an .nws file extension. Each of these files is composed of two streams. For messages, the primary stream of the file is the RFC standard MIME. This is the portion of the message that is easily read by opening an .eml file in Notepad.exe.

An E-Mail File Opened in Notepad

The secondary stream is actually XML. Because JET is part of Vista and Vista supports even more metadata in the file’s file system than earlier OSes, this stream is populated with flags, account information, state information, and filter handlers that get promoted up into JET for categorization. This allows for the integration of the new Windows Search, which we’ll cover more in the section “Instant Search,” later in this chapter.

The utilization of the JET database on the OS provides myriad benefits. The most noticeable is easily the improvement in performance. Searching for mail, opening mail, and ultimately running the application is markedly faster due to the flatness of the file structure within the OS. A flatter file structure means it’s easier to grab data from the application level. In Vista, e-mail messages and news posts are found and displayed even as the user is typing criteria into the search engine, eliminating the extra actions of initiating a search and then perusing the search results for the appropriate mail content as opposed to only the filename. The use of JET also provides a self-cleaning mechanism from within the OS. As files are added and deleted, garbage collection processes within the OS groom the disk and ultimately the database in a very natural way that is transparent to the user and even the application. The result is a lighter application, a faster data store for mail, and a simpler organization of files and folders.

Loss Prevention and Identities

Windows Mail takes a significant step forward when it comes to addressing the shortcomings of Outlook Express in the area of mail corruption and loss. Once again, the chief contributor to that effort is the major player of the new architecture: JET.

Because the JET database enables the storage of e-mails as individual files, a major point of failure is avoided. In Outlook Express, the corruption of the single chúng tôi file typically meant the loss of everything in it. Now, however, the corruption of any single mail file doesn’t mean the loss of integrity of any and all mail, but rather only the single message.

Or does it?

A few surprise bells and whistles are working in the background of Windows Mail to keep order in the area of disaster recovery. In fact, there is a layered approach to the mitigation of corruption and loss. First, there is the fact that the new database is fully transactional. This means when messages are deleted, you can play back the transaction logs to re-create the full picture. For example, if you’re about to save a message and you lose power, the transaction logs will roll back to the point of failure. Second, the database can be reconstructed from the files themselves, so the loss of the database is only a minor hit. Lastly, an actual backup database is kept up-to-date with everything that takes place within the primary mail database. This database file is an exact replica of the primary one, and is located at C:UsersAppDataLocalMicrosoft WindowsWindows MailBackup.

In the event of corruption to any of the three sources (primary message database, backup database, or log files), the OS uses the other two to rebuild the third automatically. This establishes a very sound and stable environment for users, even those in business settings where locally stored mail cannot be lost to corruption.

Now, if you’ve been in the business of mail management, you know the obvious problem with the preceding statement is that corruption is only one way to lose data; disk loss is another. How does Windows Mail handle the backing up and restoring of mail and associated accounts? The answer is “much differently than Outlook Express.”

In Outlook Express, the account information that tied the .dbx files to real users was kept in the Registry. This presented two problems. First, there were now two groups of data to back up: a series of .dbx files, and then a series of Registry entries for both the mail and news accounts that are stored in the Registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet Account Manager.

At the point of a restore to a second machine or new profile, the user accounts had to be re-created first. This meant dealing with the backups of the Registry key, the importing of the Registry key, and the configuring of the profile prior to even touching mail database files. The second challenge is in the actual backup: If a user wanted to export or import his mail data he needed to be logged onto Outlook Express to run the utility in a neat and easy fashion. This was also true of managing the Address Book, which is a subset of the Windows Address book that held all contacts on the machine.

The Windows Mail design team moved the account data from the Registry into XML files that are associated with each Inbox in the Windows Mail folder. This means that to back up the totality of mail and profile information for a user, all you need to do is copy the Windows Mail folder under that user’s profile. If that folder is then copied to a new profile, all account and mail data is effectively moved and will come online when Windows Mail is launched.

The Identity Import Wizard

Import Path Choices

If you choose Import Identities, Windows Mail will search for and allow you to select the varied identities in your Windows profile. If you choose Import Identities from a different Windows account, Windows Mail will prompt you for credentials to access that other local profile.

Prompt for Logging into a Windows Profile

Obviously, this tool is viable only on machines where the other profiles are local. Typically this will be home-based machines and shared workstations in smaller offices.

Lastly, if you choose the Delete Identities option, you are presented with a list of accounts that Windows Mail already knows about and you can elect to remove them from Windows Mail.

Keep in mind that when you create accounts from scratch within Windows Mail they are already placed under the profile that was logged on at the time of creation, so there is no need to bring the accounts into any profile. Launching the tool will result in Windows Mail notifying you that it is fully informed and content with all the POP and IMAP accounts you have presently configured.

Secure Out of the Box

Microsoft clearly designed Windows Mail with awareness that users have become savvier in terms of their technical proficiency, as well as their depth of knowledge about Internet-based threats. Out of the box, the following features are enabled:

• Phishing Filter

• Junk Mail Filter (SmartScreen)

• Integration with the Internet Explorer Restricted Sites zone

• A trigger to warn the user when an application attempts to send mail “as” the user

• Threat attachment filtering

Tools & Traps…

The Security Settings Tab

Although the Phishing and Junk Mail filters receive dedicated attention later in this chapter, the other options enabled by default are worthy of description. The Integration with the Internet Explorer Restricted Sites zone means that the ActiveX and Java settings from Internet Explorer are inherited and used to filter mail. As such, mail with this content is not displayed unless the user takes specific action to enable that content or disable this default setting.

The “send as” trigger is often a function of antivirus software, but Windows Mail enables this functionality by managing its own sensitivity to Trojans and other malware that may initiate the creation of a message. When this effort is made and detected, a Security pop-up from within Windows Vista will notify you of the effort.

Dangerous attachments are typically those that have executable extensions. By default, these attachments are blocked, in that the e-mail will be received and displayed (assuming there is no other insecure content like ActiveX), but the attachment will not be downloaded from the mail server. Windows Mail will notify you that the application has been stripped.

Tools & Traps…

Attachment Blocking, Not Filtering

Windows Mail will block all attachments with certain extensions, such as .exe, .vb, .prg, and so on. There is no way to allow a “friend” to send an attachment with such an extension and have it pass all blocking checks when this is enabled. However, you can disable the feature and then reenable it after you receive the attachment. The other option, as is often the workaround, is to Zip the file prior to receipt.

Although not enabled by default, a number of options for further securing the transport of mail are available. Under the Secure Mail section, any Vista user now has the ability to use certificates for authentication and to encrypt messages during transfer. The bottom two checkboxes detail these options, but the top two options for Digital IDs (certificates) are what we’d like to focus on for a moment.

If you choose the Get Digital IDs option, Windows Mail opens an Internet Explorer page at the Microsoft Office Web site that details various sources for obtaining digital certificates. These are not provided for free; rather, Microsoft provides the less savvy user a directory of providers.

Tools & Traps…

Preinstalled Certificates

Although Microsoft will kindly guide you to a site where you can obtain additional certificates, most Vista clients will have a plethora of certificates already installed on the machine. You can view these from within Windows Mail by selecting the Trusted Root certificates tab in the Certificate Import Wizard. Figure 8.7 shows this window as it is seen by default during an import, but selecting any of the other tabs will reveal a whole world of digital authenticity already built into Windows Vista and available to Windows Mail.

Once you have a digital certificate, you can import it into Windows Mail via the following steps:

2. Choose the Security tab.

3. In the bottom section of the Security page (refer to Figure 8.6), find the section labeled Secure Mail and select the button for Digital IDs.

The Certificates Page (Default)

The Welcome Page for the Certificate Import Wizard

6. The next window requires that you browse to the certificate you want to use. In this case, we are importing a certificate from Equifax that is located on our desktop.

Browsing for a Certificate

The Certificate Store

Completing the Certificate Import Wizard

At this point, Windows Mail will complete the action and, if successful, will display the completion notification.

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