Securing mail from your website to a mailbox

By default a wordpress installation uses a method of sending mail that does not use a mailbox to send the message and does not encrypt the message. Email cannot be confirmed to be end to end secure unless you know the receiving or sending person is using encryption and is set up correctly; you can encrypt mail in the places where you control email so that it is encrypted from the website to the mailbox. If it is your mailbox, and you know that your mail client is set up correctly with encryption, then you have end to end security. If the website is running over SSL and the address starts with https:// (98% of them are now), then a user entering information into a form is also encrypted. So the path from the users browser, through your contact form, from the website to your receiving mailbox is encrypted and cannot be intercepted as plain text.

How do I make the changes

Log into your website and go to Plugins.
Seatch for WP Mail SMTP, locate it and install it. Continue reading Securing mail from your website to a mailbox

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Do You Send Newsletters?

New recommendations for Newsletters

Some of you are using Mailpoet on your websites to generate newsletters. I have run into a lot of problems sending out my newsletter this month, I have had to send it three times. I checked through my logs and found that a very small number came out last month as well. I have been investigating what has happened.  The top two entries in the image below show there is a problem because rather than a 65%+  opening rate, there is a 4% opening rate.

Continue reading Do You Send Newsletters?

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GDPR Resources

The following is a list of sites referring to GDPR

Some of these may be touting for business. If they are, that is not why they were chosen to be included in this list. You may find some useful guidance here that relates to your organisation and what you need to do.

I am aware that some of the parent organisations of the charities I support are running training on GDPR and as such you are probably adequately covered for your operations. Others though have no centralised guidance, so are being left to their own devices. Hopefully these links will help, along with other things I have published on this site.

Information Commissioner Site

Start here: https://ico.org.uk/for-organisations/guide-to-the-general-data-protection-regulation-gdpr/

Probably answers most questions and is a comprehensive plain language guide.

General Resources

Commercial site offering guidance

https://www.itgovernance.co.uk/data-protection-dpa-and-eu-data-protection-regulation

What is personal information?

eugdprcompliant.com

Is an IP address Personal Information?

https://www.whitecase.com/publications/alert/court-confirms-ip-addresses-are-personal-data-some-cases

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Be seen (by Google)…

I have just finished working my way around 100+ websites and backing them all up. I also check them to make sure the infrastructure is up to day. There are a couple of interesting observations that are worth noting, particularly if you are new to editing, or struggling with updating your website, or don’t like updating it for some other reason.

All of the points raised and guidance are included in a downloadable document at the end of this article.

1). Google Searches.

Before I start checking a site I perform a google search on the entity name (not the domain name) to make sure it comes very close to the top, if not at the top of the first page on Google. I have never had any problems getting people to the top of searches without paying a penny. But there are things you need to do to stay there, and stay fresh.

Download some tips

2). A picture paints a thousand words

Well in web terms it doesn’t unfortunately. I have seen lots of examples of people placing images, such as posters on their home pages. Posters are generally a graphic stored as a PDF, JPG or PNG file. It is an image file. Humans can read and interpret images. Google and computers generally cannot.

Download some tips Continue reading Be seen (by Google)…

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Webmail…..

… is not JUST webmail

I thought I would make some comments here following some conversations I have had recently with people. There may be some misunderstandings.

Multiple 10GB mail boxes

If you are using the mail accounts provided with the hosting, the mail boxes are each 10GB in size. While you can access them through this address: https://stackmail.com you can also access them through ANY device with a mail client (aka mail program).

I personally access my mail account on the following devices:

iPhone, iPad (using the native email application), Macbook using Mac mail, iMac using Mac mail, Windows 7 desktop running Outlook & Thunderbird, Windows 10 laptop running Outlook and on any of those devices I can also use a browser to get to webmail. I also run my accounts as IMAP. This means on each device, I get the same view of my mail including any special folders I have set up. This is because I am viewing mail on the server, and not locally. If I was set up as POP3 on my clients, then the server is only used as temporary storage for mail.  Continue reading Webmail…..

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Free images for your website

I have been making small numbers of premium Adobe stock images available to my client base. That offer is still open, if you want to take a look at the library which is huge with millions of images available.

I have also come across the following list of sites which offer free images. You need to check the details of each, but of the one or two I have looked at, they do look useful.  The article that led me to this was sitting in the dashboard of my WordPress site.    Continue reading Free images for your website

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Colour inspiration

Palettron.com website
Click on the image to visit the website

I am currently working with a group that have independently created a logo. The logo contains a set of colours that to my eye are not naturally harmonious. The relationships between some of the colours don’t work for me, the problem is I cannot say why.

I have to add here, like most people from an IT/ Engineering background, I should be the last person to question someone’s colour choice. My wife frequently comments on mine, as does my daughter. Continue reading Colour inspiration

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Adding a signature to webmail

I  had a question about how to add a signature to webmail. A signature allows you to pre-compose part of your message, and for this to be added to any standard email. So in other words you do not need to write the end of your email each time.   This is a feature that is in Thunderbird, Outlook and many other mail programs. It will be buried in the features somewhere. At the end of this piece I will tell you where you can locate it in Outlook. For now this concentrates on Webmail.

What is Webmail?

Webmail is simply an application that runs in your browser and allows you to access (send and receive) email. It is very basic, but will meet most people’s needs without having to splash out for a mail program. Everyone in my hosting has access to this. Continue reading Adding a signature to webmail

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Introducing Forums

In July I built a site where one of the requirements was to include a forum. I have not done this before, but I  have come across them and use them on a regular basis.

I have just added the functionality to this website. If you are one of my clients you can join this area, it is managed through a registration form. I receive the form and review it. If I recognise you as one of my clients I grant you access to the system.

There are three forums set up. One is a general forum, the other two are specific to satellite website owners from Home-Start and the NACCC’s Child Contact Centres. I have built a lot of websites for these two groups, and it seems to be a good idea to offer the opportunity for an online community to share ideas and have a place to test concepts. Being specific to a group is useful, because everyone in that group will have the same clients, the same services, and the same problems to deal with.

Do you need a forum?

Continue reading Introducing Forums

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Group Calendar

I have been asked on a number of occasions is it possible to have a group or office shared calendar. The problem is generally those people who are used to using Outlook in a business context have used an Exchange Server which managed all of the calendaring functions for you. In a charity situation, particularly a small regional one, it is not very likely that your charity uses a Microsoft Exchange server. The calendar management needs to be handled at a central point such as a server.

I received a request about a group calendar a few days ago and did some digging and have come up with a solution. So if you are interested in having an office calendaring system that is online, that your volunteers and office staff can log into then this may be for you. Continue reading Group Calendar

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