Readers' Forum - July 2005

from the July 2005 Actrix Newsletter

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send me an e-mail with the word "Forum" in the subject line. I'll try and get an answer to you by return e-mail, and will also post the answer here for the benefit of others who may have a similar question or problem. By the same token, if you read something here and think you may have something to suggest, please feel more than free. Please also note that questions and answers may also turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).

Pete writes: Hi Rob, I communicate to a large group of aviation enthusiasts, and would feel more comfortable not broadcasting everyone's e-mail address with each bulletin I send out, despite privacy laws. My [idea] was to send it to myself, with the group's names in the BCC field. Would that achieve complete anonymity? Your comments appreciated...... Pete

Thanks for your e-mail. I don't know a lot about privacy laws, but it is certainly a breach of "netiquette" to send an e-mail to a large number of people and put them all in the CC field. This sends a nice little collection of e-mail addresses around for a spammer to harvest, but it also shares e-mail addresses of people who may not necessarily want their addresses shared (and allows lots of unsolicited group replies).

One way to get around this is to put everyone's address in the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) field. This means that when the e-mail arrives for the recipient, no other e-mail addresses will appear. The recipient will also be unable to "reply to all".

It is best to just leave the "To" field blank. You will be able to send the e-mail as long as at least one e-mail address is in the BCC field. If you put your own e-mail address in the To field, recipients may be confused when they receive an e-mail that appears to have been sent to someone else. If you leave the "To" field blank, they will receive the e-mail and it will appear to them to have been sent to "undisclosed recipients." Most people can make sense of that.

To get Outlook Express to display the BCC filed in a newly opened e-mail, click View on the main menu and then "All Headers."

Aaron writes: Quick question - I'm looking for an easy way to back up my emails- either copy to a windows folder for later back up to CD or some other simple method. I've tried the export function but can't get much sense out of it.

Hi Aaron, The easiest way to do this is to search your computer for .dbx files, these are the files Outlook Express uses to store it's mail in. Once you've located these you can backup the ones you require, or the whole folder.

A more comprehensive and detailed guide can be found here - this  includes backing up the settings, address book, blocked senders etc -  you only need to use the sections for data you want to save: http://www.pchell.com/support/backupoe.shtml

This topic was covered in the May 2004 Reader's Forum (the answer to a question addressing backing up a specific folder): http://editor.actrix.co.nz/byarticle/0405forum.htm

An automated tool for doing OE backups is available here: http://www.oehelp.com/oebackup/default.aspx

There are a number of different approaches to take with this, and a number of guides online. A Google search for 'backup outlook express'  will return a wealth of information on the subject.

Bill writes: We have just done a Symantec anti virus scan who advised that we have an Adware.IWon virus in our system.They are unable to delete or quarantine this and although supposedly of low risk would prefer to have it out of our system. We can only think it arrived when downloading the latest messenger but this may not be correct. Could you please advise how we can dispose of this from our system. The info we got from Symantec is the program file is-Fun Web Products\Installr\1bin\F3EZSETP.DLL. Thanking you for any assistance, Regards Bill

Hi Bill, I did a quick Google on "Fun Web Products" and found a good page that discusses the product you're asking about. This might help you work out where you got it from. http://www.pchell.com/support/popularscreensavers.shtml.

The page also contains links to popular spyware removal programs that reportedly do find and remove the offending files. These are Spybot Search and Destroy and Lavasoft Ad-Aware.

It might be a good idea to download and run either or both of these on a monthly basis. They may find a few other nasties as well.

This was a fairly short answer to a pretty good question, so I might venture a couple of extra related comments. Firstly, little enhancements that are offered free on the web (e.g. click here to install the latest great little smiley thingies) almost always contain some form of spyware and should generally be avoided. Secondly, Google is a great tool for finding help with, or information about, all sorts of things online. Once you get in the habit of "googling" things you want to know about you will never go back. You'll wonder how you lived without it!