Using A Digital Signature With Outlook

Introduction

This article covers some of the issues involved when using a Digital Signature. Each Digital Signature is generated from a Digital Certificate (otherwise known as a Digital ID) issued by a certifying authority.

All examples given are created using Microsoft Outlook 2010 on a PC using Microsoft Windows 10, but the principles apply to other versions of Outlook and other email clients.

This article has been written to compliment my previous article Make Safe Financial Transactions.

Anyone using an Apple Mac can get appropriate certificate information in this article published by TechRepublic entitled: How to configure digitally signed email in Apple Mail.

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How You Can Make Safe Financial Transactions

Warning

NOTE: “I am trying to help people make safe financial transactions but I take no responsibility for anyone’s financial loss. Reading and following this information is done at your own risk.” — HC

Introduction

“The criminals hack into the email chains between sellers and buyers and their solicitors and estate agents. The fraudsters then send an email – usually on the day of sale completion – informing the parties that bank account details have changed at the last minute and that money should be deposited in a different account.” – Robert Mendick, and Nicole Blackmore, The Telegraph

The news is telling us about people who have been defrauded while making financial transactions where they have to exchange large sums of money, particularly when purchasing or selling real estate. This has made me think through the issues and give my two penny worth of advice about how to make safe financial transactions, particularly when email is involved. In particular I refer to the use of Digital Certificates otherwise referred to as Digital IDs (Identities) when sending emails.

Digital Certificates are used to digitally sign an email. When the process is performed correctly by all parties it would take a really massive effort by a fraudster to make his fake email appear genuine.

I cannot deny that steering clear of computers, mobile phones and other forms of IT would be the safest way. Beware of information passed in a phone call too. That could be fraudulent as well.

“We are getting more and more instances of this. The outcome for the fraudster is tremendous. They can earn £1m on the sale of a house in the south-east.” – Steve Proffitt, deputy head of Action Fraud. (Quoted from The Telegraph)

This Article About Safe Financial Transactions Covers:
  • Methods used to get people’s money by using fraudulent communications,
  • How to avoid being persuaded to send money to a fraudsters account,
  • Use of email Digital Certificates (Digital IDs).

Continue reading “How You Can Make Safe Financial Transactions”

Fourteen Different Calendars

Introduction

If you didn’t already know it the 1st January next year will always be on a different day to the 1st January this year. This comes about because:

  • for ordinary years 365 days in a year ÷ 7 days in a week = 52 weeks and 1 day remaining,
  • for leap years 366 days in a year ÷ 7 days in a week = 52 weeks and 2 day remaining.

This means that:

  • if the 1st January is on a Monday in an ordinary year then so is the 31st December. So the next year must have the 1st January on a Tuesday,
  • if the 1st January is on a Monday in a leap year then the 31st December is on a Tuesday. So the next year must have the 1st January on a Wednesday.

If there had been 364 days in every year the 1st January would always be on the same day of the week.

As a consequence of all this movement around the week, by the 1st January, next years calendar is always different to this years. That leads to the question: “There’s only seven days in a week so how many different ones do we need? Just seven.” Well the answer is, “No, you need another seven as well, for all the leap years. They too can start on any day of the week.” Continue reading “Fourteen Different Calendars”

Solar Panel Orientation In The Northern Hemisphere

Introduction

In the northern hemisphere solar panel orientation is unsuitable because they mainly point south. This enables them to generate the most electricity when the sun is highest in the sky and is shining straight down (or as near to that as possible) on the surface of tilted panels. This approach does allow the panels to generate the greatest possible amount of electricity, but not at the best time of day. This is because there are problems connecting intermittent sources of electricity to the grid. It seems midday electricity isn’t required so much as afternoon electricity. (I’m not sure what is required in the morning.)

More Info on Northern Hemisphere Solar Panel Orientation

Find out more detail about northern hemisphere solar panels pointing the wrong way in this article from The Telegraph.

ABCON PostShip Parcel Scales Review

Introduction

I found these ABCON PostShip parcel scales in COSTCO, Derby. They seem to be a parcel shipment person’s dream. They’re great for sellers on auction sites.

NOTE: ‘ABCON’ and ‘PostShip’ are registered trademarks.

parcel scales
ABCON PostShip Parcel Scales

Until I bought these ABCON PostShip parcel scales I had been using my wife’s Salter Electronic (Model No.3007) kitchen scales for weighing packages destined for the mail.

Continue reading “ABCON PostShip Parcel Scales Review”

CycloCable Gets Bikes Up That Hill

CycloCable

We all know it’s a bit of a pain cycling up steep hills especially on your journey to work, but CycloCable gets bikes up that hill.

Well the Norwegians have got that sorted, in Trondheim at least. Just watch this video:

You can see more detail about how the ‘CycloCable gets bikes up that hill’ at Gizmodo. Better still why not nip over to the Poma CycloCable® Page to read more about the system.

New One Pound Coin in 2017

Why A New One Pound Coin?

Due to excessive counterfeiting of the existing one pound coin The Royal Mint has decided to introduce a new one pound coin design, in 2017, with new security features:

“It will be constructed from two different coloured metals and contain an iSIS security feature – a revolutionary new high security coinage currency system developed by The Royal Mint.” — Royal Mint

“iSIS – Integrated Secure Identification Systems – enables not just coins, but the whole cash cycle to be more secure, protecting the public, vending machine operators, retailers, and the wider banking system. …” — Royal Mint

“There are many customer benefits to iSIS:

  • Both robust and secure, its issuance protects the reputation of a country, projecting a positive image of the nation and its economy.
  • It will reduce costs by replacing expensive clad and homogeneous coins with a more affordable full-plated option.
  • It will generate lifetime cost savings through unmatched durability, lasting up to 30 times longer than an equivalent value banknote.
  • iSIS is not a surface coating so it will not wear off over time.” — Royal Mint

Read more about this new coin and project iSIS at The Royal Mint.

Existing Counterfeit One Pound Coins

Here in the BBC News Magazine is an article explaining how you can identify a fake one pound coin.