fraud detection check

Outlook.com is very suspicious

| To make things easy during my up-coming road trip, I moved all my email to Outlook.com. Almost every message now shows the warning, "This sender failed our fraud detection checks."

Note that it is nothing about the message per se, apparently. No, it is the sender who has failed the checks.

I didn't mind so much when the warning showed up in the test messages I sent myself to make sure everything was working. But when they started casting aspersions on my friends — that's a horse of another color!

While everybody is ventilating about government surveillance, perhaps a deep breath is called for and some reflection on the vast amount of personal data that is being amassed by private companies.

• The obvious example is Google, who knows every website you've ever visited and every search term you've ever entered. Check the Radio Shack site to see if they have a particular kind of battery, and for several weeks you will see ads for batteries every time you search for something.

• Consider why your supermarket probably has a card program: they know every single item you have bought and when you bought it. When Vons (Safeway, Pavilions) offers great deals "Just for U" they are drawing on a vast database of your buying history.

• Imagine what American Express (or Mastercard or Visa or Discover or ...) knows about you from the places you have used your credit card.

Lately I've seen the term "Big Data" being used a lot. Well, yes, we are in the digital age, and what has been digitized can be kept forever (if you have big enough storage) and it can be sliced and diced in all kinds of ways. It's not just the government to be worried about. No siree!

 

Last updated on Apr 29, 2016

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