COMPUTER 101–Email Advice

The Mouse Trap
by Janis Weber

Check out all of my archived articles from the Sylvania AdVantage HERE.

What are you using for your email software? Does it ever stop working or lose your mail? Some companies will hold your mail for a month or two so you can contact them to retrieve as much as you can. However, when a server gets hacked, there is nothing you can do until they are up and running again. I won’t mention names, but I know of three that have been compromised lately. Is there a solution? Of course, but you may not like it.

Technology is advancing faster than the techs can keep up with it, along with the bad guys trying to mess things up even more. We must be proactive whether we want to or not. We must be up on what’s happening out there. I hope I help you in a small way. I help others with many different scenarios every day. Problems I see repeated are what I write about. I will pass along what the web says is the best and most secure information.

Google’s Gmail may not be the top performer in every single metric, but if you’re looking for a solution that will work best most of the time, go with Gmail. Of course, you might not be surprised that Gmail tops my list of the best email services. It is, after all, popular worldwide and it’s for good reason: it really does deliver most of what you’re looking for in an email service. Oddly, Gmail comes with labels instead of folders. Labels work much in the same way as folders, helping you to arrange your content and find it more quickly. But we’d still like to see folders, which help you to arrange your messages more easily and don’t place annoying label tags on messages around your inbox. Although you’ll find ancillary services like Google Docs, Google Sheets and others attached to Gmail they’re far less powerful than Microsoft’s equivalents.

Microsoft’s Outlook has been in the email game for a long time. It’s still one of the best email services for anyone seeking a full-featured solution. For companies, it’s tops. In addition to accessing the service in the browser, you can download Office 365 and get the full Outlook program on your Mac or PC. is free. If you’re looking for a service that can work anywhere and everywhere in much the same way, Outlook is your winner. Outlook’s best attribute is its power. The sheer number of options and features at your disposal can be dizzying. Whether you want to set autoreplies, manage a slew of folders or manage your email more productively, Outlook can handle the task with ease. Because Outlook is so popular, many third-party extension makers offer add-ons that expand the service’s functionality. With help from some of the best spam filtering in this business, you’ll find that Microsoft’s service does a fine job of protecting you against malicious threats. But, Outlook falls short in its design. Outlook can be cumbersome to use, and its design is difficult to navigate. Although it’s a great business service, if you want to use something for basic emailing, Outlook might not be the best choice. It can be confusing for most users.

ProtonMail (2013), which you likely haven’t heard of, is far less popular than Gmail, Outlook or even Yahoo Mail. But if you’re a privacy advocate or simply care about security, ProtonMail is the best email service for you. This free download places security at the center of the experience. All ProtonMail messages are encrypted from one end to the other, ensuring that no third parties can access your messages. Better yet, you don’t need to create your ProtonMail account with any personally identifiable information, so you can make a truly anonymous account.

In its design, ProtonMail is a little behind the competition. Its look and feel are rather basic, and it may take some getting used to before you feel right at home. New Gmail users will still likely face less of a learning curve than Outlook users. You can, however, have messages sent to ProtonMail from any account. Check out having your troublesome mail flow through this.

Most people say, “I have had my email address forever, and I would have to inform so many people of my new Gmail address if I choose to switch.” This is true, but have you never physically moved from one home to another? Same thing. If you own a Gmail account you can use the free online version of documents, sheets etc. TPS is only using  Google Docs currently.

In my humble opinion, if you are frustrated with your service, create a new account or two (advertising and normal one). Don’t get rid of your old address now. Do a mass mailing to everyone in your contacts that you have changed your email as of a certain date. Use only the new one to send messages out and periodically check the old one. Do not respond with the old one. That confuses your contact. Eventually, everyone will be using the newest email address.

Next Sylvania Senior Center Classes

Many classes are open by reservation only. Computer classes are not scheduled yet, but you are welcome to use the computer lab Mondays and Wednesdays 1-4. Check the SSC newsletter and website for the most current information or call Susan Jennelle at 419-885-3913. I hope to hold classes this year. We are getting there. Check the Sylvania Center Newsletter to see what is happing.
I Make House Calls (I am vaccinated and wear a mask)
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades including software, tutoring or printer issues. I can be your resident “geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a text or call at 419-290-3570.

– It’s not if, but when you will lose data!

Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to or contact her for assistance at 419-290-3570. Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text, or email away.


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