Outlook email coming pre-flagged and with high importance

Anyone popping in to read my post about emails in Outlook and on Outlook.com arriving flagged and with high importance, you should know that site is not available at the moment.

The lede is simple; there is no fix. 

It's disappointing, but Microsoft has chosen to do nothing to stop it. Scammers merely need to include the code that activates these features into email they send to users with an Outlook.com email address, and it's turned on. The only solution is to...

NEVER, EVER open ANYTHING that you are even slightly unsure of. 

Here are a few more tips: 

  • If you receive an email from a service you use, DO NOT USE THE LINK PROVIDED. Simply go to the site on your own, login, and check notifications there. If it's legit, then you'll have wasted a grand total of what, one minute? 
  • If you get an attachment(s) from someone you trust or are familiar with, ask them about it independently before opening it. At the very least, if they've been hacked, you'll have notified them. Good deeds!
  • Check the sender's email address. You can do this by pointing your mouse pointer at the sender name and waiting a second or two. If it's anything even slightly weird looking, it's 99% a scam. 
  • Typos are a huge giveaway, and are common these days as scammers will try anything to get around spam filters.
  • Don't use email. Sure, this is hard, but for most people you communicate with these days, they are likely on some messaging or social service where you connect directly with them.

Email is an open-ended system. Anyone with your email address can, and will, send you email. On the other hand, services like Telegram are one-to-one, making it far less likely that a message sent from your uncle or co-worker is from a scammer. Sure, you can make your profile public and scammers can try to connect with you, but you decide who gets through, and it takes a lot to take over someone's Telegram account (like, the scammers would need the username and password AND access to the phone number associated with the account to get the authorization code.) Spoofing an email address is dirt simple.

Ultimately, however, we'll continue to use email for many, many years to come, so we just need to keep it pruned like a well managed garden. Do your best to apply "Inbox Zero", which means any mail that you aren't actively using or working on, goes to the Archive. When done right, the only email in your inbox, at that point, will be current, active stuff. If you've done your part in a work email, archive it. It will show up again when the other party/parties respond, so you lose nothing. You also eliminate all of the distractions that make up modern email content these days. 

I hope that helps!

PS: Unsubscribe from everything you can, leaving only those things you need. 

PPS: Tomorrow, it will be 2022 and we'll be moving into our 3rd year of the Covid Pandemic. One of the communities that have been lost in this incomprehensibly massive and incompetent shuffle are the homeless. If you are financially comfortable, stop hoarding it like an imbecile, and help the helpers help the homeless. Give. Give until it hurts, then give some more, because I know that giving away even a single dollar just seems wrong to your hypercapitalist-addled brain. Just do right by another living, breathing human being. The first few times will feel like you're giving away your children, but after a while, you'll start to feel something new: feelings...