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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Microsoft Terms of Service are changing-email is not spam but it should be!

I am getting inundated by clients asking what they are supposed to do and if this is a legitimate email or not. To answer quite simply:

Yes, it is legitimate and no, there is nothing you need to do. In fact you should NOT be clicking through the message at all. Why not? Because with most email that is sent out to people it is tracked by whether or not it is opened and more importantly, if it is read and if you click on a link within the email message then obviously it is considered to be read.  If you don't care about receiving email like this in the future then you need to do nothing more however if you wish to stop receiving email  like this then scroll down to the bottom of the message and in most cases you will find a 'unsubscribe' link. clicking on this link should take you to a page that says you are now unsubscribed and/or provides your current email address and wants you to click to accept the fact that you are unsubscribing. This is ok as well. However, BE AWARE of the ones where you click on the UNSUBSCRIBE link to end up on a page that prompts you to first enter your email address.. YOU DO NOT WANT TO INSERT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS because if you do, you are actually providing that company with a legitimate email address that is sure to be spammed in the future, if not sold off as a legitimate email address to a 3rd party spamming company.  In the case of this email from Microsoft, you will first have to click on the PRIVACY STATEMENT link at the bottom of the email you received which takes you to another long winded page about their transparency and privacy, blah, blah, blah. Here you will need to scroll down to the section about your MICROSOFT ACCOUNT and click on the OPT OUT link where you will then have the option to opt out of various advertisers.. trust me when I say you will always have to accept some of these because just like Google, Yahoo and Facebook, Microsoft is intertwined with so many companies that you are going to have to take part in some in order to utilize their services.  

If you wonder why you are receiving this email from Microsoft in the first place, it would be because you have a Windows 8 machine and if you remember initially signing in to your computer where it prompted you for your microsoft account sign in and if you didn't have one, to create one OR if you were wise enough to bypass this by signing in to your LOCAL MACHINE where you can bypass signing in to Microsoft, then you are still receiving it because in order to use the Microsoft Store, you would have had to sign in to your Microsoft account. So regardless of how you try to bypass Microsoft, they will always find a way..

If you utilize Google Gmail then you can always add this as SPAM and further mailings will go directly to your spam.. since there is really no need to read this statement.

I am enclosing part of the email message which does include the link to their privacy statement which you can then decide whether or not you wish to opt out of future mailings.



Microsoft
Microsoft
We're updating our terms of use and privacy statement.
Our users' needs are at the center of everything we do. That's why we are updating the Microsoft Services Agreement and providing a Privacy Statement for Windows Services. We want to take this opportunity to highlight some of the key changes and what they mean for you.
Privacy
As part of our ongoing commitment to respecting your privacy, we won't use your documents, photos or other personal files or what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail to target advertising to you.
Transparency
We updated our Code of Conduct so you can better understand the types of behaviors that could affect your account, and added language that parents are responsible for minor children's use of Microsoft account and services, including purchases.
Simplicity
We tailor our privacy statements for each of our products to help make it easier for you to find the information that is important to you.
The Microsoft Services Agreement applies to your Microsoft account and includes many of our customer services such as Outlook.com, OneDrive, and Bing, while the privacy statement explains how your personal information is collected, used and protected across your Microsoft account, Outlook.comand OneDrive.
The new updates to these will take effect on July 31, 2014. If you continue to use our services after July 31, 2014, you agree to the updated terms or, if you don't agree, you can cancel your service at any time.
We encourage you to use the links below for further details and to view the full agreements online.
Thank you for using Microsoft products and services.