Email Security and Encryption Interview with Fox News Affiliate

“On Monday, 25 July 2016, I was interviewed by our local Fox News affiliate on the topic of email security. The report is archived below, the original is online.” ~ Greg Johnson


Full Report

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) — Hackers have already disrupted the Democratic Party after releasing many damaging emails from the Democratic National Committee. They were embarrassing for party leaders and will likely result in at least the party chair stepping down this week.

But IT security for political groups and organizations at many different levels often balances on human error.

Running a campaign is a lot like a small business. There’s plenty of things to spend money on. With so much technology all around us, it’s often not an area where campaigns spend a lot of extra resources.

Physical protection is generally something we think politicians and their Secret Service Agents get right, especially at the highest levels.

Online, Director Greg Johnson says even they fall short.

“There are just so many points of failure,” said Johnson.

CBS2/FOX28 spoke to local campaigns and elected officials from both major political parties about their IT security. They say, generally, campaign staff email is handled through services like Google’s Gmail and some additional security options within those programs. Rarely will even the most Congressional races have a dedicated IT team to keep it safe.

“Just using Google, or some similar service, steps it up a bit, but it’s not entirely secure,” said Johnson.

Once a candidate is elected to Congress, their staff is brought on to Federal Government systems. That’s usually a step above most security, but Greg says it still doesn’t solve human carelessness.

“All it takes is for one person to lose their computer or have one person get their password and suddenly, that person has access to all those emails that somebody was copied on, or anything they’ve ever sent or received,” said Johnson. “It would be a huge collection of emails just from one account getting breached.”

Greg says there is encryption software that would make sure emails and information is locked and can only be accessed by someone with the right password. He says that can be free, or be as expensive at $175.

Network Solutions Webmail Login Not Working

If try accessing your email by going to the web portal either at or at you may find that these don’t work.

Instead try this email web portal login link which is based on the address but has the additional required URL statements for the login to work.

Here’s the full URL for what seems to be the only working login:


Apple iPad Pro Email Signature Duplication Problem

There’s presently an issue that seems to only be happening on the Apple iPad Pro where email signature is duplicated at the bottom of emails when changing the From sending address.

Here’s how to reproduce the error:

  1. Setup multiple send from addresses following the instructions found here: “Using Multiple Send From Email Addresses in Apple iOS.” Keep in mind that this has only been tested for people who have generic IMAP or POP3 email services (like those provided by a website hosting company).
  2. Create a new email message or reply to an existing message.
  3. For the From address, choose an account, and then choose another account. Each time you choose a new account, the signature won’t be replaced (as is normally the case), but instead an additional signature will be placed at the bottom of your message.
  4. If you switch to another app, and return to your in-progress draft email, another email signature will be added again each time you switch away and come back.

If a solution is found, it will be posted here.

Using Multiple Send From Email Addresses in Apple iOS


The Apple iOS platform (the operating system for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) let’s you have multiple send from email addresses. This document explains why you’d want to do that, and how to set it up.

Why Multiple Send From Addresses are Helpful

If you have a website, and the website hosting package comes with email service, and if you use a ‘catch all’ email account, you can setup various alias email addresses that forward to a central mail account. Email messages sent to or or will all go to the main ‘catch all’ account. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Save Time. A ‘catch-all’ account eliminates having to manage multiple email accounts.
  • Be Spontaneous. You can create an email address in an instant, from anywhere, and know it will work immediately. This is very helpful when standing in line at a store, and wanting to provide an email address that is unique for that vendor.
  • Sort Efficiently. You can setup email rules based on the address a message was sent to.
  • Manage Spam. If you start getting spam at an email address that is unique for a specific vendor, then it may be they are selling your email address to third parties.
  • Keep Organized. If you have several areas of expertise and services you provide, you can have an email for each of them.

How to Setup Multiple Send From Addresses

In the iOS platform (used for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), it’s possible to setup multiple sending addresses. Here’s how this is done:

  • Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Mail > and selecting an email account.
  • Tap on Account
  • Tap on Email (found below Name)
  • Tap on Add Another Email to create an additional email address you can send from under this same account.
  • You must press the enter/return key after typing the email address to save it. Then you can return back to the main Settings screen, saving as you go.

Transfer Windows Live Mail to Microsoft Outlook

If you’ve been using Windows Live Mail and plan to upgrade to a new computer, you may want to follow these instructions to get your email transferred. These instructions assume some advanced knowledge of Microsoft Outlook.

  1. Go to to purchase the full Microsoft Office 2016 suite (if you don’t already have Microsoft Outlook).
  2. Setup access to a compatible email account using POP3. This part is important because if you setup a regular Gmail or other IMAP-like synchronizing email account, the system will try to upload (synchronize) your imported emails and that can really slow down the process or cause it to fail.
  3. Open Windows Live Mail.
  4. Open Microsoft Outlook.
  5. From the File Menu in Windows Live Mail, choose Export to Excel.
  6. Choose to export all folders or select the ones you’d like to export.
  7. If the process completes, Microsoft Outlook will now have a folder with your messages in it.
  8. Save your messages to a PST file, or plan on using the default Outlook PST file and copy it to the new computer after the import / transfer is complete.


Network Solutions and Apple Email Setup for iOS and OS X

Problem Summary

If you’re a Network Solutions website hosting customer with email service, when setting up email on Apple mobile devices, the default folders may not work, and may not coincide with what is used in the Network Solutions web based email or the Apple OS X desktop Mail client. This is because the iOS and OS X mail clients are somewhat different in how they work. As a result, you might end up with emails going into different folders or no folder at all. This is especially a problem for Sent Mail and Archived mail.

Discrepancies in iOS and OS X Mail Clients

As mentioned above, iOS and OS X use different default mail folders on some email services. Additionally, the OS X desktop mail client doesn’t allow you to specify what folders to use . The iOS mail client does let you select what folders to use. Folders such as Drafts, Sent Messages, Deleted Messages, and the Archive Mailbox can be assigned however you wish in the iOS environment.

Another difference between the platforms is that OS X won’t synchronize with Microsoft Hotmail, but iOS will. So, with Apple mobile devices, you can enjoy the convenience and assuance of knowing that when you delete messages or move them to folders on your mobile device, the same will be done on the Microsoft Hotmail server. However, with the desktop mail client, only downloading of messages is possible (using the decades old POP3 standard).

Preliminary – Archive Folder

The Network Solutions email system does not have an Archive folder by default. If you create one under My Folders on the server in the web interface, it will immediately be given an icon and moved to the top level folders under Trash. Other folders you create under My Folders will remain there with a folder icon, but the Archive folder is special so it gets moved to the quick links favorites area.

This Archive folder is what iOS can use. It will show up in iOS as a top-level folder called Saved in Advanced Mail settings. This is a little bit confusing since you’d be looking for a folder called Archive .


To get to this setting, on your mobile device, go to Settings > Mail > Choose the mail account you want to configure > Click on the email address next to Account > then click on Advanced.

The Archive Folder is a very useful folder to have since many email systems will have a one-click button to move read messages from the Inbox to the Archive folder. It saves a person from the steps required to move messages to a folder (select message, click move, choose destination folder).

An alternative is to go ahead and use the longer three-click process to manually Archive messages by moving them to a folder.

iOS Alias Folder Renaming

Before folders on the server are assigned to email roles as described below, they will initially appear in the Advanced settings under the On the Server heading below Inbox. Once they are assigned to a role on the iOS device, regardless of what they are called on the server, they will no longer show up under Inbox, but instead they will appear at the top level as an iOS alias name with an icon. The remaining folders available on the server will be listed, but not the ones having been assigned.

Take a look at the image above. Notice the folders under On the Server and Inbox. When you first setup an email account, or before you’ve configured the folder assignment, every folder on the server will show up under Inbox. Once you select the assignment, they won’t show up anymore. So, the top level folders Drafts, Sent Messages, Deleted Messages, are the generic names representing whatever setting /assignment you chose for that folder.

For the remaining instructions, you’ll need to go into the Advanced settings to configure your iOS Mail settings.

For iPhone Running iOS 9.2

Some people will always use a website to check their emails. Other people always use a mail software program to read and compose emails. If you are someone who uses the web interface, you’ll want your folders to be the same on your iOS device. Use these settings on the iOS device to match the Network Solutions default folders.

  • Drafts  — Use Draft folder at the top level On the Server, not the Drafts folder under the inbox tree of subfolders.
  • Sent — Use the Sent folder at the top level On the Server, not the Sent Messages under the inbox tree of subfolders.
  • Deleted — Use the Trash folder at the top level On the Server, not the Deleted Messages under the inbox tree of subfolders.
  • Archive – Use the Saved folder at the top level On the Server, not the Archive folder under the inbox tree of subfolders.
  • Spam – Use the Spam folder under the inbox tree of subfolders.

For iOS 9.2.1 on iPad use the iOS settings above if you’re using the web interface a lot and want the defaults to work, or use the OS X settings described below if you want the Apple Mail client and your iOS devices to be the same. Unlike the iPhone, the folders won’t show up as top level or sub folders in iOS on the iPad. They will all be at the same level so pay attention to the names.

iOS and OS X Incompatibilities

Note that iOS lets you customize server folders for IMAP, but OS X doesn’t allow this. The OS X Mail client creates non-standard folders on the server and forces those to be used. So, in other words, drafts created with OS X will show up in Inbox>Drafts, but drafts created with iOS (or the web interface for the NetSol email) will show up in the top level Drafts folder. The real problem here is created by the fact that Apple Mail on the desktop creates new folders on the server rather than using the existing default server folders. So, the iOS device must be configured accordingly.

OS X Mail Settings for El Capitan

With the desktop Apple Mail program, the following folders will be created on the server and you can’t change or remove them (they will be created again by Mail if you do). It’s important to note that the default settings in Mail may not be correct when you setup a new email account. To check this, go to Mail > Preferences > Accounts > click on the new account > go to Mailbox Behaviors. Be sure to check all boxes in order to save all Drafts, Sent, Junk, and Trash on the server. In this way, all these messages will be available on your various devices.

Here’s an example of what can happen if you don’t store messages on the server. In the morning you might write up an important email and send it out. Then, later in the day, from your phone, you want to see that message again, but you won’t find it in Sent messages because it’s not available on the server, it was just locally stored on your Apple computer.

Here is the folder structure setup on the mail server by the Apple Mail program.

  • Drafts – This will be a folder called Drafts created by Mail on the server under Inbox tree of subfolders.
  • Sent – This will be a folder called Sent Messages created by Mail on the server under Inbox tree of subfolders.
  • Deleted – This will be a folder called Deleted Messages created by Mail on the server under Inbox tree of subfolders.
  • Archive – The Apple OS X Mail Client will use the Archive folder created on the server. It should be setup first on the server so it’s properly recognized at that level in the display of the web interface. Otherwise, it will remain in the tree of subfolders under the My folders heading without an icon in the web interface. If needed, you can move any emails already in the folder to a different folder. Then delete the Archive folder (once you’re certain the emails are moved and backed up). Then when you recreate the folder on the server, it will move to the top-level with an icon.
  • Junk – This will be a folder called Junk created by Mail on the server under Inbox tree of subfolders. This is called Spam in iOS.

Note that in iOS 9.2.1 on the iPad the top level folders may be mixed in with the sub-folders.

Using Groups for Address Book Contacts

Most email systems and email software (clients) have the ability to organized contacts into groups. Each system works in a slightly different way. For this reason, if you ever need to move your contacts from one system to another, you’ll need to consider how this will impact groups.

For example, let’s say you’re moving contacts between Gmail and Apple Mail. Those two systems approach groups in different ways. So, your contacts would copy over and import okay (with some exceptions), but the groups wouldn’t appear.

To implement a more universal method of grouping contacts, consider using category codes for groups of contacts.

Each time a contact is added to your address book, consider which group(s) that person belongs to. Then use category keys in the notes, such as “mycustomers” or “localrestaurants” being sure to not put any spaces. In this way, you can easily search in the future on those unique keywords and quickly see a listing of contacts by these keywords or tags. Always use the same spelling for these category names.

To maintain an alphabetical listing of the categories, create a contact called A – Categories (or something like that) and use the notes area to put all your categories for easy reference.

If you need to create a spontaneous group for email distribution, just search on any keyword, then add the resulting items to a temporary group for sending.

Because notes are common across multiple systems (Gmail, Apple, Yahoo, MSN), when you move your contacts from one system to another they will be preserved. This is also helpful if you’re using Apple Mail (for example) to access Gmail or a work email account like Office365.

Critical Failure of Crowd Sourcing Email Spam Filtering


Systems like Yahoo, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook and others partially rely on their users to identify spam. This helps automated systems become more effective. Even so, these hybrid systems (human + automation) have shortcomings.

Spam Variations

Traditional unsolicited emails (or spam) are simply an annoyance. They try to get people to buy something, or support some cause. Many of these can be easily detected based on the fact that millions are being sent out, with an identical message, and certain senders can be identified as sources of spam.

An early attempt to get around spam filters involved having the message body contain the spam message, but then below a random snippet of text from a novel, or other random characters, would appear. Spam filters saw these as unique emails and not bulk emails. So, other measures had to be developed for identifying those more complicated spam campaigns.

Some spam is obvious, such as emails from Wells Fargo Bank with a return address email and website links that aren’t Wells Fargo, being sent to millions of people. Most systems are smart enough to filter those out.

There’s another kind of spam known as spear phishing. This occurs in smaller batches, or individual emails, crafted to be more effective at tricking you into clicking something or divulging your private information. Some of these are more automated, utilizing databases of information about people. Other attempts may be manually crafted by individuals. It’s these kinds of campaigns that may be difficult or impossible for a traditional email spam filter system to detect. This is where hybrid models of email spam filtering are useful.

How Crowd Sourcing Email Filters Work

With crowd sourcing, email service providers add a link, sometimes near the Reply/Forward button that lets you notify them of emails that are spam or phishing. Spam messages are perceived as an annoyance, but not as potentially dangerous as phishing messages which might result in account information being divulged. They are also handled differently. So, this is why Google (Gmail) provides a distinction for reporting.

In theory, the information provided by individuals helps build a smarter and more effective system utilizing human input combined with automated systems.

How Crowd Sourcing Email Filters Fail

The problem with crowd sourcing is that, like any democratic process, there can sometimes be failures. Sometimes the majority of people are just wrong, maybe due to lack of accurate information, awareness, or education/training. If people aren’t trained on how to properly use the spam and phishing response buttons, and don’t really know how to properly identify emails, then the system fails.

If you’re a Gmail user, take a look at your Spam folder sometime. You might be surprised by what you find. Along with the expected spam, you’ll notice some important genuine emails from well established and trusted businesses and organizations.

The reason for this is because those organizations send out bulk emails to their members. These are mostly ‘opt-in’ emails, meaning that people at one point, maybe a year ago, clicked a box indicating they wanted correspondence. Or, in some cases, the checkbox was already selected by default and they didn’t uncheck it.

What’s happening millions of times per day is this…

  1. People receive a legitimate email from Bank of America, United Way, Old Navy — or some other provider that they at one point in the past agreed to receive email from.
  2. They agreed to receive these, and haven’t been doing anything about it for a year.
  3. One day they get upset about receiving the emails, so instead of taking 3 seconds to click the unsubscribe link, they click the spam or phishing notification buttons.
  4. Another 10 million people do the same thing that day with similar emails.
  5. Eventually, the system determines from people’s feedback that emails from the ‘Save the Earth Foundation’ (or whatever legitimate source) are spam. So, it begins sending all messages from that organization or business into the spam folder.
  6. So, that’s why, now when you go to your spam folder you’ll find some emails there from legitimate businesses and organizations.
  7. Gmail has a mechanism in place to correct for this problem. In your spam folder there is a button labeled Not Spam. When you click this, you’re helping the system learn that these aren’t spam.
  8. However, at this point, unfortunately, the masses of millions of people who either don’t know, are apathetic, or are too lazy to unsubscribe outnumber the people who know how to use the system.
  9. It’s partially not the fault of the masses because most of the systems implemented today aren’t intuitive, aren’t usability tested, and don’t have proper documentation, tutorials, or user guides.

So, this is why when you keep clicking the Not Spam button on your legitimate desirable emails, future ones continue to end up in your spam folder.

What You Can Do

Here are some suggestions of what you can do about the predicament described above.

  1. Check your spam folder weekly, and use the Not Spam button where appropriate. This may help correct the system and stop false positives (emails mistakenly considered to be spam).
  2. When you receive undesirable emails from legitimate organizations, use the unsubscribe button. Make sure it’s actually legitimate by checking what email address it came from. Also, hover your mouse over any links in the email (such as the unsubscribe link) and make sure the address they go to is the sender’s website (or a known source like Mailchimp or Constant Contact).
  3. Make sure that desirable senders are in your address book.
  4. Create rules that override the spam filters. Such as, “emails from this sender should always go to my inbox.” Such email rules are configurable in Microsoft Outlook software or other email clients, and some online email services (like Gmail) allow you to have rules. These are sometimes called filters. It’s an automated way to have your email sorted or managed.