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How to Verify That an Email From Me is Genuine

01 Jan

Over the years, I’ve found people who have attempted to impersonate me via fake email addresses to scam companies out of free products.  This short tutorial will help you ensure that an email that appears to be from me is genuine.  You should be aware that it is entirely possible for someone to spoof the “From” field in an email, but I have set up my email system through Google Apps in such a way that it should be virtually impossible for someone to successfully spoof my email.

At the very least, after reading this article, you will be able to identify a spoofed or genuine email from me. This information may not apply to others who have not set up their email in the same way.  Of course, you can always send an email directly to my posted email address to verify.

Step 0: The ‘From’ Field

If the ‘From’ field does not say @ThioJoe.com, you can be assured that it is fake.  Please forward me any scam emails you receive that claim to be me.  If it does appear to originate from my domain, but you have reason to believe the email is suspicious, follow the next steps.

 

Step 1: Find the Email Headers

Email headers contain the “raw” data that the computer sees in an email that gives it all sorts of information about who sent the email, how it was sent, and other useful info.  Every email program will have the ability to view the raw headers, but the process will be different for each program (such as Outlook, Gmail, Yahoo, etc).  This website has guides for almost every email software out there, so go here to find the process specific to your inbox software: https://mxtoolbox.com/Public/Content/EmailHeaders/

 

Step 2: Use Google’s Header Analyzer Tool

Google has a very useful tool for analyzing headers, which can be found here:  https://toolbox.googleapps.com/apps/messageheader/

Copy the entire header text you found from the email in question, then on the page linked above, paste it into the box and click “Analyze the Header Above”.

Optional: Use Gmail / Google Apps Built in Header Analyzer
If you use Gmail or Google Apps, you can open any email and click the drop down arrow (next to the reply button), and click “Show Original.”  This will save you from having to copy and pasting the headers.

 

Step 3: Look at the Results

Hopefully, the results will look something like this. Notice that all three authentication tests (SPF, DKIM, DMARC) all pass.

Google’s header analyzer tool results:

messageheader

Authentic email passes SPF, DKIM, and DMARC

 

Gmail / Google Apps built in “Show Original” analyzer:

Gmail's built in analyzer will also show passed tests

Gmail’s built in analyzer will also show passed tests

How to Get Free Money (Joke Video)

22 Apr

I realized that a lot of people who initially think my videos are real were looking for something free.  Whether it be a free way to get faster internet, cable, phone calls, etc.  So I thought why not go to the heart of it all, and just make a video about how to get free money!  Surely this would be a popular one.  I thought it was pretty funny, so let me know what you think as well.

Reading Viewer Mail 1

26 Jan

This video is somewhat related to my “Reading My Hate Comments” series, but slightly different.  Instead of reading hate comments exclusively, I try to pick legitimate questions, funny questions, general comments, etc.  Although “Reading My Hate Comments” was a pretty popular series and is often requested, there’s one thing that stops me.  You see, ever since I made those videos, idiots have been spamming my videos with blatantly fake hate comments trying to get on those videos.  I always ignore them, and they would never get in a video.  I want to entertain my viewers, but I certainly don’t want to encourage stupidity in my comments section, and for this reason I probably will not do another “Reading My Hate Comments” in the foreseeable future.  This will hopefully be a suitable replacement.

Copyright Thieves and the DMCA

29 Sep

   A lot of people hate on the DMCA (Digital Millennium Copyright Act), and I agree that it does have it’s flaws.  However, I have found it to be quite useful when people steal and re-upload my videos to YouTube.  I spend a lot of time making videos, so as you can imagine, I am very frustrated when someone downloads my videos and re-uploads them as their own.  In such a case, I utilize the DMCA to remove that content quickly and easily.

     YouTube has an easy method for taking down videos. You simply submit a DMCA take-down request, and the content is removed.  The request is a legal document, and filing a false DMCA take-down is punishable by law.  In the event that someone files a false or incorrect DMCA take-down request, you can file a counter-DMCA take-down  and the only response to a Counter-DMCA request is a lawsuit.  I’ve never had to file a counter-DMCA take-down, and no one has filed one against me.

    I have had to submit over twenty DMCA take-downs over the last few months, and in every case it was someone who re-uploaded my video.  After I submit the request, the infringing video is taken down and they receive a copyright strike.  If they were to file a counter-DMCA notice (which would be perjury), I could sue them for a substantial amount of money.  One guy even had the audacity to upload five of my videos.  Well, I submitted five DMCA take-downs, and three strike is enough to get your account banned.

The Nerve of Some People

10 Mar

  Today I filed my first ever DMCA takedown notice.  You see, it all started when I was suddenly curious if anyone had downloaded any of my videos and re-uploaded them themselves.  People do this all the time in a desperate attempt to get views I guess.  Anyway I figured I would start with my most popular video by far, “Double Your Internet Speed For Free.”  Low and behold, there were two uploads; one of them very recent (in the last week).  Now, I was a little annoyed that people would do this, but that annoyance turned to anger at what I saw next.  I clicked on one of the imposters, and saw that not only was this person a partner, but he had actually PUT ADS on MY video that he stole.  He was making money (probably next to nothing, but money none the less) off of something I did.  He copied the description and tags word for word.  

  So what did I do?  Well I went to Youtube’s copyright infringement page, where there’s a convenient DMCA takedown form.  I filled it out for the video (and the second offender, since I could add multiple videos to one form), and clicked submit.  Not sure how long it takes youtube to respond to this kind of notice, but I expect no more than a week or two.  I believe I will get an email notifying me when it’s removed.

  Anyway, I posted in the youtube help forums about this guy (who I’m not going to give the benefit of naming), because he has several other videos which clearly aren’t his.  If it was just a normal youtuber there isn’t much you can do about it, and they aren’t making money so it doesn’t matter much.  But this case was different.  He was pirating my content for profit.  Never thought I’d see the day where I actually liked something about the DMCA.

UPDATE: The youtube partner took down the infringing video.  Probably only because I made a comment telling him I was filing a DMCA takedown against it.  He probably won’t get a strike, but at least he took it down quickly.  Maybe he’ll think twice about doing it with someone elses video.