Tuesday, June 7, 2011

MakeUseOf.com: “WWDC 2011: Apple Introduces iOS 5 With 200+ New Features, Beta Available Today [News]” plus 8 more

MakeUseOf.com: “WWDC 2011: Apple Introduces iOS 5 With 200+ New Features, Beta Available Today [News]” plus 8 more

Link to MakeUseOf

WWDC 2011: Apple Introduces iOS 5 With 200+ New Features, Beta Available Today [News]

Posted: 07 Jun 2011 05:13 AM PDT

In a spate of big announcements at its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on Monday, senior vice president Scott Forstall introduced the next generation of Apple’s mobile operating system to an excited crowd and global online audience.

Improvements to the OS which drives the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch include the long-awaited notifications revamp with the introduction of Notification Center, a centralised place for all notifications received. Forstall also announced that iOS 5 will employ over-the-air updates, meaning you no longer need to plug your iPhone or iPad into a PC to perform a software update.

Other features include iMessage, an iOS-to-iOS instant messaging service; an iPad app devoted to digital edition subscriptions called Newsstand and big updates to the iOS Mail app (including rich text formatting, flagging and the S/MIME encrypted protocol).

The list doesn’t stop there, however and Apple have also managed to add deep Twitter integration into the new iOS release. With a single sign-in to Twitter, many of Apple’s apps (including Camera, Safari, YouTube and Maps) are now Twitter-ready, allowing users to Tweet pictures, webpages or locations with less taps than ever.

The Camera has also been improved upon, with instant access from the lock screen and the ability to use the “volume up” button to take pictures. There’s also a big Safari update (incorporating a Reader and visible tabbed browsing), Game Centre updates and of course integration with the newly announced iCloud.

The full list of improvements is huge – way too much for us to fit into a news story here – so stay tuned for our full article exploring the full set of features and knock-on effects of Apple’s recent announcements. If you’re a paying ($99/year) Apple developer you can already get your hands on the beta, which is live on Apple’s developer site right now.

Source: Apple.com

SuperTinTin – Skype Video Call Recorder
Record and save your audio and video conversations on Skype or MSN. Easy to use.


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Cool Websites and Tools [June 6th]

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 08:31 PM PDT

Check out some of the latest MakeUseOf discoveries. Most of the listed websites are FREE or come with a decent free account option. If you want to have similar cool website round-ups delivered to your daily email, subscribe here.

Add Your Website Here!


Reppler – Our social networking profiles have become part of our image, with some companies and universities checking out your profile as part of your application. To make sure that your Facebook profile is squeaky clean, check out Reppler. This online reputation management tool actively scans your profile for dodgy content and images and points out what you need to remove. Read more: Reppler: Scans Your Facebook Profile For Embarrassing Content


WhatFont – The fonts used on a website can be found using a variety of online tools. Usually however these tools are not very user-friendly and take more time than necessary to detect fonts. Here to offer a friendlier and extremely fast solution is a tool called WhatFont, a browser bookmarklet that helps you quickly determine the font style used on any website. Read more: WhatFont: Easily & Quickly Identify Fonts Used On Any Website



Minible – The Internet is seeing a plethora of collaboration tools. However, most of them are just focused on communication or integration. Minible is a bit different as it focuses on providing a collaboration space to you and your clients where you can create content together for a website. Once you add a site in Minible, you can add as many pages as you want. Read more: Minible: Collaboratively Create Website Content



What Is Wrong With Me – Don't you hate it when your friends are too afraid to tell you what they really think of you or what you just did? Perhaps a little anonymity might help? Whatiswrongwith.me is a website that allows you to create an anonymous feedback page where your friends can drop a message for you without having their identities revealed. Read more: What Is Wrong With Me: Get Anonymous Feedback From Friends



Reminder Bear – Have you come across online articles that you thought would interest you in the future? If yes, then you can quickly set reminders to check those sites in a few days. This can be done using a web page reminder tool called Reminder Bear, a bookmarklet that helps you to set reminders to check certain websites in the future. Read more: Reminder Bear: A Web Page Reminder Bookmarklet


These are just half of the websites that we discovered in the last couple of days. If you want us to send you daily round-ups of all cool websites we come across, leave your email here. Or follow us via RSS feed.

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3 Tools For Twitter People Search

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 06:30 PM PDT

twitter people searchOver time we have shared quite a few Twitter search tips including this post on using real-time search to find a job and this guide on using Twitter to find great links.

Today’s post doesn’t tackle the “real-time” Twitter search – instead, it’s about search for people on Twitter by words they use in the “Bio” section.

The tools below can have various possible applications: for example, you can find representatives of a business you are planning to buy from or employees from a company you are interested in working for.

You can use any of the tools to ask for quotes, build new friendships or create stats reports (for example, if you’re trying to analyze which brands are making the biggest inroads on Twitter). For more inspiration, I am offering examples of possible searches for each of the tools below:


Twiangulate (find our previous Twiangulate review here) is a very interesting tool in terms of its searching feature. While it has many other options, the “Bio search” hides behind the “Keyword” tab. Whatever you search, the tool will find the matches in user name, bio and city (there’s no way to filter results by bio matches exclusively, as far as I know).

What makes this search app that interesting? Well, as a search geek I couldn’t help appreciating some of its really nice functionality:

1) Meaningful results:

According to their FAQ, the tool aims at giving you meaningful results, i.e. the list of users that look like human beings and are worth following:

We want to focus on meaningful results. @BarackObama follows 740,646 people, and as far as we can tell, their names and distribution is pretty much random. Same for other tweeps who follow 10s or 100s of thousands of people.

2) Stemming support:

Whenever you search for “tech”, words with the same root will be included in search results: “technology”, “Techcrunch”, etc:

twitter people search

3) Support of “boolean” operators:

  • Include both of these words: search [word1 & word2]
  • Find at least one of these words: search [word1 OR word2]
  • Exclude words: search [word1 !word2]
  • Find the exact match: search ["word1 word2"]

4) Handy sorting options:

You can sort results by the number of followers or “followees” as well as by name and location.

Interesting search ideas to play with:

  • Find fellow club members: search ["club name"], e.g. ["Sierra Club"]
  • Find people who are interesting in technology near by: search [tech & city-name], e.g. [tech & boston]

twitter search


FollowerWonk (find our previous FollowerWonk review here) is another search tool that helps you find users by words mentioned in their bios. It allows to search by:

  • A keyword used in the bio;
  • User locations (yes, you can list many cities separated by comma).

The tool also has very strong advanced and boolean syntax support (including the 4 operators I have listed above for Twiangulate).

Interesting search idea to play with: Do you need some inspiration for writing your own Twitter bio? See what others do: search what people love or hate: [i (love|hate)]

twitter search


LocaFollow (find our previous LocaFollow review here) is advertised as a tool to find “Tweeps” nearby but its search capabilities do go beyond that. Using the app you can search by any of (or any imaginable combination of) the following criteria:

  • A word mentioned in a bio;
  • Location;
  • A word included in the username;
  • A word mentioned in his recent Tweets.

Interesting search idea to play with: Do you need a source or a person to interview? Search for people by profession who tweet about your topic, for example, journalists who live in New York and tweet about Technology:

Your search:

twitter search

The results:

twitter people search

Are you aware of any other cool tools to search Twitter users by their interests? Please share them in the comments!

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Come & Work For Us Here At MakeUseOf – We Have Cookies!

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 04:31 PM PDT

MakeUseOf is always on the hunt for fresh new talent who have the skills, experience and energy to take the site to the next level.

Yes, that’s right, we’re recruiting for great members of staff again and if you have what it takes, you could become our next star writer who sees their work go viral to over 400,000 subscribers and 100,000 Facebook fans.

To maintain our high standards and ensure that our readers get only the very best, we will be very choosy in who we eventually take on. But if you think you have the qualifications, if you can write 8 articles or more every month that will knock everyone’s socks off, then we definitely want to hear from you.

Who We’re After

  • Someone who is naturally friendly, helpful, communicative and has a team spirit.
  • Someone with a sense of humour.
  • Someone who submits their work well before deadline and shows immense enthusiasm for the job and for the site.
  • Someone who instinctively knows the goals and aspirations of MakeUseOf so they choose knockout subjects everytime
  • Someone who speaks and writes perfect English, and needs minimal editorial guidance.

If this sounds like you, then you need to do the following:

  • Send in an application to post4usATmakeuseof.com.
  • Enter “MakeUseOf writer application” in the subject field of the email.
  • Emails must be text only. Do not send any attachments or resumes.
  • If you have a blog showing your work, please link to it.
  • If you’ve previously written for another blog, please link to your articles.
  • Include 5 new and unique story ideas that you would write for us if we decided to take you on.
  • Do not apply again if you’ve previously been rejected.

As well as online fame, we also offer a salary and bonuses, as well as the chance to be part of a great online writing team.

We look forward to receiving your application and will respond as quickly as possible, if we feel that you have the potential.

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CheckMyTour – Discover, Track And Share Journeys With Your Smartphone

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 02:30 PM PDT

share journeyThe GPS era is well and truly upon us. From the comfort of your pocket-sized smartphone it is now possible to record detailed information about your travels and location, yet only a few years ago this would have required a costly dedicated GPS unit, cables and software combination.

Not any more, as services like Google Latitude and the recently launched CheckMyTour offer a completely wireless and comprehensive tracking service that doesn’t cost a penny. At the time of writing there is an iPhone app (currently in beta, compatible with the iPhone 4 and 3GS only) available on the App Store and an Android app in development, expected to land soon.

I loaded the CheckMyTour app on to my iPhone and went for a short wander in the hills to see what the fuss is about.

Recording A Tour

After downloading and installing CheckMyTour, it’s best to register an account as the website tracks your activity in real time. It’s easy to sign up on the website or via the app, and once done so your next stop will be the main menu screen which offers two options and a lot of greyed out buttons.
share journey
Set the ball rolling by hitting Start and selecting a mode of transport from the four options: bicycle, car, motorbike or walking. On this screen you can name your tour (by default the date will appear) and toggle GPS auto-tracking which will consume more battery but provide more regular and accurate location reports.
track journey
Hit OK and the app will immediately try and locate you. Once your location has been determined your position will be shown on a map along with weather data and space for a comment. Hit Start Tour and your trip has officially begun – time to get going!

By now all those greyed out buttons should have come to life. You can end or pause your tour using the Finish Tour and Pause buttons and if you’re interested in where you are then Location will show your current position (providing you’ve got a mobile data connection to download the map). The Route button shows your thus-far recorded route and Tour Book lists your activity on the tour. This activity includes when the tour started, any pauses, the end of your tour and notes like comments or photos.
track journey
Picture and Comment both allow you to annotate your tour, either with a camera image (directly from your lens, or from the camera roll) or a simple comment about this point in your tour. Photos and comments you add are automatically added to the route with appropriate geo-tagging. This is definitely one of the main reasons to consider using CheckMyTour, and I found it worked pretty well.

Community is a simple link to the CheckMyTour homepage and Share offers up a really quick way to share your current location. If you have connected your social accounts, instant posting to Twitter and Facebook is available as well as good old email.
track journey
Once you’ve visited grandma, taken the dog for a walk, braved the Amazon rainforest or whatever it was you were doing that required a GPS fix, hit Finish Tour. Here you can amend your tour name, add a rating (stars out of 5), upload the tour straight to the CheckMyTour website and share to your social networks.

Check Yo’ Tour

Swiping right-to-left on the main menu will reveal another set of options, including Settings where you’re able to customize measurement units, privacy settings and the regularity of GPS updates. Also present is the Archive button which lists your past tours. If you’ve not uploaded a tour then it will be indicated by a red icon.

Select a tour to see detailed information such as your exact route, tour book with annotations and photo listings as well as tour statistics. Hitting Edit will allow you to delete or upload any saved tours and once uploaded, it might be worth checking out your trip in the CheckMyTour members area.
track your trip online
The home page lists your recent activity, much like a Facebook wall. At the top of the page there is quick access to Tour (a list of every public tour on a Google map) and Tour Book, which is a log of your travels. Access Tour Book and choose a route on the left hand side. You should see an overview of your trip, with photos on the right and a map listing your movements and additional notes.
track your trip online
Hovering points of interest on the Map tab displays relevant photos or comments (or a pause) for your trip. All your usual statistics and logs are there, much like the app.
share journey


The ability to tag photos and comments directly on your route without any manual intervention is a great reason to try out CheckMyTour. Like any GPS app, battery life could be an issue though turning off Wi-Fi and 3G will help. As your phone approaches 20% battery CheckMyTour stops using automatic GPS tracking and switches to manual waypoints – so your phone is still usable.

I did encounter a few crashes, though I’m not going to dwell on them as the app is still in beta. I did notice how the app remembered my tour, where I was and continued as normal after a crash, which softens the blow.

Beyond the app, your own tours and sharing your travels, CheckMyTour offers a community full of events, groups and even photo and video albums to explore. Once the userbase grows (its still fairly quiet for now) and the Android app comes to fruition then CheckMyTour is destined to be a very popular service indeed.

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Hot Tech Deals – Olympus T10 10MP 3X Digital Camera for $49.99 + more

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 01:30 PM PDT

Looking to get a cheap digital camera? You can’t beat a $50 price tag. For $49.99, you’ll get the Olympus T10 10MP 3X digicam that weighs only 6oz, sports a 10 megapixel sensor which is pretty adequate, a 2.4″ rear LCD and support SD/SDHC cards.

For more fresh hot deals, visit our Hot Tech Deals page, which is constantly updated.

  1. Dell Inspiron 14R Intel Core i3-380M 2.53GHz 14in Laptop $399 via code HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  2. Dell Inspiron 15R Intel Core i3-2310M 2.1GHz Sandy Bridge 15.6in Laptop $499.99 via code HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  3. Dell Inspiron 14R Intel Core i3-2310M 2.1GHz Sandy Bridge 14n Laptop $549.99 via code HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  4. Dell Inspiron 17R Intel Core i3-2310M 2.1GHz Sandy Bridge 17n Laptop $549.99 via code HLSKSR06S9ZG0F (Exp Soon)
  5. LG 42LV5500 42in LED-Edgelit LCD HDTV (1080p, 120Hz) $689 Free Shipping via code S4200869 (exp soon)
  6. EVGA GeForce GTX 460 SE (Fermi) 1GB PCI-E Video Card + Photoshop Elements $122.99 via rebate
  7. Logitech Pure-Fi Anywhere 2 Portable Speakers for iPod/iPhone (REFURB) $49.99
  8. Total War: Shogun 2 Limited Edition Video Game (PC) $29.99 Free Shipping
  9. Olympus T10 10MP 3X Digital Camera $49.99

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Create Your Own Mac Fixit Toolkit

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 11:30 AM PDT

mac fixit

Though Macs are well known for being reliable computers, a cursory look at the Apple support forum reveals that users of Mac software, mobile devices, and software experience all types of problems, which fortunately you can find solutions for in a matter of minutes or a few days. If you depend upon your Mac hardware for job related purposes, you should know how important it is to be prepared for unexpected problems when they occur. The purpose of this article is to share some ideas for putting together a Mac Fixit/Troubleshooting Toolkit.

To get started with your toolkit, create a folder, titled “MacFixit” or whatever you prefer. Add saved copies of the resources below. When you come across other articles and documents addressing your particular user Mac setup just add them to your folder.

Your toolkit should be accessible beyond your main Mac computer—a collection of bookmarked, or better yet web archived pages on an online bookmarking site and/or in a 3-ring paper binder. If you have an iPad you could save them there as well. The point is, just make sure they easily accessible.

The following are some of my suggestions for a DIY troubleshooting kit. Please add your suggestions below.

Info About My Mac

One essential document you want to have in your toolkit is information about your Mac(s). Download this nifty worksheet on Apple’s site and save it as a PDF file. Then open it in Skim or Preview and use the annotation tools to fill it out. Or print and fill out the document and put in your Mac Fixit paper binder.
mac fixit
Another place I suggest keeping information about your Mac is in your Address Book. I keep information about all my Apple hardware purchases in the Note section of the Apple contact card. That contact also includes the number to Apple’s technical support: 1 (800) 275-2273.

Startup Key Combinations

When your Mac crashes, knowing a few startup key combinations can get you access to what  you need. OS X Daily’s 11 Startup Key Combinations for Intel Macs is a PDF you will want to have as part of your toolkit.
mac fixit guides
The document includes shortcut keystrokes for starting up from a bootable Mac OS X Install disc or starting up in Single-User mode—both of which are very common troubleshooting procedures.

Mac User Guide

mac fixit guides
If you didn’t keep the Mac User Guide information that you came with your Mac, head over to the Apple Website and download all the user guides for your Apple hardware. Sometimes the information in these guides contain the basic troubleshooting information you need.

Restoring from Bootable Backup

If you use cloning software for your Mac, like SuperDuper (the basic software is free), you will want to make sure you have instructions for restoring from the bootable backup—that you should be running on a weekly basis on your Mac. A copy of these instructions in your fixit kit will definitely relieve some stress in the event you need to reboot from your clone drive. It’s also a good idea to do a test run of your backup to see if it’s working okay.
mac fixit guides

Surviving 17 Worst Mac Disasters

The classic MacLife Magazine provides a collection of very common problems associated Mac hardware failure. It includes survival tactics for dealing with a keyboard that has been doused with a cup of coffee or other liquid, how to use the “fsck” command for when your Mac is stuck on the startup screen, and what to do when your Safari web browser becomes sluggish. This three page article is well worth saving as a PDF and adding to your toolkit.

OS X Flash Drive Installer

Another classic Mac magazine recently published a very useful how-to for creating an OS X flash drive installer for when you Mac goes into a total crash mode. This flash installer could be used as a backup or in place of the Mac OS X installer CD that came with your Mac. It’s like the installer flash that now comes with MacBook Air computers.

Reset Your Mac Password

mac fixit
OsXDaily also has a useful how-to for how to reset your Mac password with or with a Mac OS X installer CD. There are those occasions when you may forget your password after you have recently changed it, so this article will come in handy.

For more sites and resources, check out my article, 8 Troubleshooting Resources to Help You Fix Your Mac Problems.

You will see that taking a little time to put together your Mac Fixit toolkit will give you some peace of mind that in the event your Mac breaks down you have a place to start for troubleshooting the problem.

Let us know of other resources that should be a part of such a DIY Mac troubleshooting kit.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

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How To Take A Screenshot & Apply Artistic Effects With The New MS Word 2010

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 10:30 AM PDT

take screenshot with wordIf Microsoft 2007 covered all that you could think of doing with a document, think again. Two new features (among the ten or so) introduced in Microsoft Word 2010 help to reduce your dependency on third-party screenshot tools and a photo editor by just a smidgen. The latest version of Microsoft Office Suite gives you an ‘inbuilt’ screenshot tool and a slew of artistic effects to play around with in your documents. You might remember a screen clipping tool from OneNote 2007; if you used that to good effect, you will find the latest addition in MS Word 2010 and MS PowerPoint 2010 to be a welcome change.

Let's get down to the grist with a Word document and see how these two new features can be time-savers for the office worker who doesn't have to rely on a third party installed app anymore.

Do remember that the new features will not work if you save the document in the Word 97-2003 format.


Taking A Screenshot With Microsoft Word 2010

The screenshot feature allows you to take a snap of the screen or anything open on the desktop and immediately paste it in the open Word document. Let's say I am working on an article and I need to take a quick screenshot of an open app or a website. Here's how I go about it from within Word itself.

On the Ribbon click on the Insert tab and select the Screenshot tool located on the Illustrations group.

take screenshot with word

The first click on that little arrow displays a box with a list of screens of open applications on the desktop. You can select any of the thumbnails and take a screenshot which automatically inserts it into your current document.

microsoft word screenshot

If you want to capture any screen apart from those displayed in the preview box, click on the Screen Clipping button. Word 2010 minimizes and displays the desktop or the last screen that was displayed. It fades out and gives you a crosshair to drag and select your cross-section for the screen capture.

The area you dragged and selected is captured and pasted into your Word document. Notice that as soon as the capture is inserted, the context sensitive Picture Tools tab gets displayed to perform more actions on the capture.

Apply Some Artistic Effects On Your Capture (Or Pictures)

Photoshop wannabes can warm their hands on the Artistic Effects tool on the Ribbon. Any picture inserted into a Word document by way of a screen capture or the normal route of Insert – Picture opens up the set of tools available under Picture Tools. Artistic Effects is one of them on the Adjust group.

microsoft word screenshot

Click on the Artistic Effects button to show a dropdown with a gallery of thumbnails revealing the variety of effects you can apply on the image. For e.g, something like a Pencil Sketch. Hovering over each thumbnail gives you an inkling with a live preview before applying a particular artistic effect.

microsoft word screenshot


Clicking on Artistic Effects Options opens up the Format Shape panel for you to finetune your 'artistic creations' with things like Transparency, Glow and Soft Edges etc.

take screenshot with word

That's it! Clicking on the first thumbnail in the dropdown restores the original image.

The screenshot feature is a tremendous time saver because you no longer have to rely on a third party tool to help you capture, save, and insert it into your document. You can do it from within the Word document itself. The commands available via Picture Tools also help you perform basic image editing in place within the document. Combined with the powerful formatting functions of Word, the present all-round capability can help you push out professional MS Word documents easily. Here. our previously published free guide on How To Create Professional Reports & Docs on Word also could be a great help.

Have you tried your hand on these two features to take a screenshot with Word? Let us know if you find them useful.

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How To Send Signed & Encrypted Email With Evolution [Linux]

Posted: 06 Jun 2011 09:30 AM PDT

send encrypted emailIn today’s technological world, sending encrypted messages between people has become an increasing standard. For web browsers, this has turned into a common practice, as SSL connections are constantly being used for banks and other sites that often transmit sensitive data. However, this practice has not been widely adopted for email communications, which is still a prime means of communication, contrary to popular belief. Yes, social media sites are a new way to communicate, but emails are still dominant. In order to secure your email communications, you need to sign and/or encrypt your emails.

In Linux, this is an easy task to accomplish, thanks to the presence of an easy-to-use key-generation program and a capable email client. Evolution, the default email client for the GNOME desktop, is a very capable contender to Thunderbird. For GNOME users, Evolution offers the desktop integration (for both GNOME 2 and GNOME 3 (other article)) that Thunderbird cannot offer by default. So for some it may be advantageous to use Evolution.


In order to be able to sign and encrypt your email, you will need to create your own key set. For instructions on that, you can read one of our other articles that covers the topic. Signing your email only requires your own key, while encrypting your email requires that both you and the recipient have each others’ public key. Remember, you use the private key to encrypt, others use your public key to decrypt.


To get started, open up Evolution and go to your Preferences in the Edit menu. Double click on the account you want to enable PGP Security and go to the Security tab. In there, you’ll be able to enter the Key ID of your key set so that Evolution knows which key to grab when you write with a certain email address. Remember, you can have multiple email addresses on the same key, which is recommended to avoid confusion. Ideally a person should use one key, or two if they want to separate personal from business. If you wish, you can also set the defaults below, whether you would like to have certain options enabled each time to write a new message.

send encrypted email

Further Info

That’s all you have to do to set it up. When you write a new message, you can change the options that you have set my default in the Options menu, so if you don’t encrypt your email by default (as you probably don’t have a key from everyone you send an email to), you can still enable it for that specific message.

how to encrypt email

If, let’s say, the person receiving the message is also using Evolution, he or she will see a message like this:

send encrypted email

You see a message like above (“Signature exists, but need public key”), that means that the message is signed, but you have not imported the public key of the person who sent it. This can be done in the program that handles keys.

Encrypted messages won’t have a specific message, but will be decrypted on-the-fly provided that all the keys needed are available.


Protecting your email communications is a great thing to do in a world where almost anything unencrypted can be sniffed. However, not only do PGP keys help encrypt email, but they can also simply sign email so that you can verify that the email truly came from the party they claim to be. Doing that can often times be enough to feel safe about the emails you receive. Why companies that are constantly used in scams, such as banks and PayPal, aren’t using it to prove that the emails actually came from them, I do not know.

Do you think PGP signing/encryption is or will soon be a necessary security step? Are you already following this practice or will be in the future? Let us know in the comments!

Image Credit: Shutterstock

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