Readers' Forum - November 2006

From the November 2006 Actrix Customer 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).

Geoff writes: Hi Ed, Out of curiosity of course, does Actrix have a policy on user privacy protection when it comes to the anti-piracy software in use by nzFact (see http://stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3777308a11,00.html)? 

Hi Geoff, It's easy enough in most cases for people to identify an IP address on the Internet, but only the ISP has records of who actually is or was using an IP Address at any given time. Everybody connected to the Internet has an IP address. As an ISP we receive a steady stream of inquiries from all sorts of people who want to know which of our customers was using a particular IP Address at a time they believe something unlawful was occurring. Most commonly these inquiries come from the police, but they also come from Internal Affairs, the recording industry and lawyers.

While Actrix doesn't condone unlawful behaviour on the Internet, we also believe a user's right to privacy is of paramount importance, as is the presumption of innocence. We will release what information we have about user behaviour online in two circumstances. Firstly, we'll release information about you to you, and to you alone (not to your lawyer) if you request it, if we have it, and if we can get it to you without having to tie a technician up for hours.

Secondly, we'll release it to the police or to Internal affairs (but we do carry out checks to ensure the inquiry genuinely is from law enforcement).

In cases where we were approached by the recording industry we do not provide personal details. However, if they provide us with credible evidence that one of our customers is using the net to commit acts of piracy or infringe on copyright, we will take action ourselves, either warning the customer, or closing their account immediately, depending on the seriousness of what they're doing. As stated, we believe in the right to privacy, but that doesn't mean we want our network used for illegal activity.

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Norm writes: I have new problem with the receipt of emails. The messages do not come to the top of my inbox, but sometimes appear in the middle or anywhere in the inbox of already read messages, or even in the deleted column. Can you advise how to clear this nuisance?

Hi Norm, and thanks for your e-mail. I'll assume you're using Outlook or Outlook Express as your e-mail software.

I'm not sure about e-mails ending up in the deleted column or what that means, but I can tell you that you can alter the order in which messages are displayed by clicking on the grey header at the top of each column (From, To, Subject, received, etc). If you click From, for example, all your messages will be displayed in alphabetical order according to who they are from. If you click it again, they'll be displayed in reverse-alphabetical order. Perhaps you've inadvertently clicked the From header so your e-mails are no longer displaying in time order.

Click Received, and this should make Outlook Express display them at the top again according to the order in which they were received. Click Received again if you want them displayed in reverse order. Have a bit of a play around by clicking the various headers to see what the effects are.

Outlook Express also allows you to customise what columns there are. If you right-click on one of the grey headers, and then left click on "Columns," you'll find you can add and remove different ways to sort your e-mail. You can also change the order of whatever columns are there by click-dragging them horizontally.

I hope that helps.

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Peter writes: Hi Rob, Just a note of appreciation to the Actrix team for the efficacy of the spam filter. I went straight to the web site this morning to see if there was any garbage in the Inbox before downloading and was delighted to find there was none - but there was a whopping 112 sitting in the Spam Folder for disposal.

That speaks volumes for the Actrix filtering system and I am sure I'm not alone in wishing to express a sincere thanks to all concerned. Your next newsletter might be an appropriate avenue. Kind Regards, Peter

Hi Peter, and thanks for taking the time to write and say so. Those readers wanting to check their own spam folders should log in to My Actrix on our homepage (www.actrix.co.nz) and choose Web Mail and Spam Folder.

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Roscoe writes: When logging in to "My Actrix" the auto complete feature gives me options for my user name including versions I have misspelled. Can you remind me how to clear the record of previous entries if I want to?

Hi Roscoe, I think what you're looking for is Internet Explorer's "Clear auto-complete" function. You can find this under Tools, then Internet Options. Go to the Content tab and click AutoComplete under Personal Information. There's a "Clear Forms" button in there you can click that should purge the lot for you.