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From the Actrix Online Informer August 2010

by Rob Zorn

Readers' Forum August 2010

If you'd like to ask a question or request some help on any Actrix or Internet-related matter. Simply send us 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 turn up under the Helpful Tips section on the Actrix home page (www.actrix.co.nz).

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Tony writes: Whenever I respond to an email on Microsoft Outlook, that person and their email address gets automatically placed into my 'Contacts' listing without my sanction. How do I stop this from occurring? Keep up the good work with your Monthly Informer Great reading!

Hi Tony, and thanks for your kind words. This one is a common complaint but there doesn’t seem to be an easy solution. By default Outlook is only supposed to do this for emails with digitally encrypted signatures (this is to make it easier for you to send encrypted replies). If it's doing it for every single email, then you may have the “Add Contacts” add-in installed. This is supposed to be an extra feature you have to download and install. However, many users in online forums complain that Outlook automatically adds to their Contacts even though they don’t have the add-in installed. You can check whether you have the Add-in under Tools/Trust Center/ Add ins. And instructions for removing add-ins can be found here.

If you can’t get rid of this behaviour, some people suggest turning off auto-complete. This will stop people’s email addresses automatically appearing when you type into the “To” field. You can do this under Tools/Options. Select the Preferences tab. Click Email options, then click Advanced email options. Untick the box that says “Suggest names while completing…”

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Gordon writes: I write a newsletter for a small organisation I belong to and email it to about 20 people using the Bcc field. Occasionally the odd person suggests I haven't sent them a newsletter. I know I have and use, File, Properties, Details, to readily see who I have sent the email to. What I wish to do is print a copy of the 'Details' page showing to whom I have sent an email as proof (and stuff it up their left nostril, politely of course). Is it possible to do this?

Hi Gordon, There doesn’t seem to be any way to print the File/Properties/Details box, and you can’t copy and paste its text either. The only option left you might be to take a screen shot of those properties and send the picture to the person who’s nostril is concerning you. It’s not too difficult to do this using the “print screen” feature on your keyboard. This sends an image of your current screen into your computer’s memory. You can then use the Paint program to trim the image down to just the Properties/Details box.

Easy instructions for doing this can be found here. I hope that helps a bit.

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Jack writes: My computer tries to make me compact my messages in Outlook Express daily or occasionally may miss a day. Is there anyway that I can prevent this as it always takes several minutes to complete this compacting. Can you suggest a cure for this problem. Kind regards, Jack

Hi Jack, There’s no way to turn compacting completely off in Outlook Express (OE) and that’s probably a good thing. OE stores email etc in a database and compacting is important for a database to stay healthy and not expand to the point where it becomes corrupt. However, you can change a few settings to make compacting a little less onerous for you.

Click Tools/Options/Maintenance and check the "Compact messages in the background" box. This then allows you to set other options such as amount of wasted space, delete news messages, etc A low setting such as "Compact messages when there is 3% wasted space" should reduce the time compacting takes, but you could experiment with that. You would save even more time by checking "Empty messages from the 'Deleted Items' folder on exit" which prevents deleted items from building up.

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Liz writes: In the space of only one day, all three of my social networking sites have asked me for a new login. This has happened before. Do you happen to know if they automatically do this on say a monthly basis for security reasons? It's driving me mad as the message/option comes up 'have you forgotten your password' or some such similar request when I've been the same user and username for years! It's a bit freaky to say the least. Liz

Hi Liz, If it’s happened all on the same day, I would suggest your browser is more likely to be the culprit than the networking sites. In other words, for some reason it has forgotten the user names and passwords you set it to remember. This can happen if you tell your browser to delete private data, or clear it’s cache, if it installs a newer version of itself, or if you haven’t been to the site for a while. However, from my own experience, it sometimes happens for no reason at all that I can determine.

I'm pretty sure there’s no blanket procedure for social networking sites to automatically log you out once per month for security reasons and, of there was, it would be very unlikely for them to do this all on the same day. Hopefully, knowing it is probably your browser, and not the social networking sites doing weird things may make this a little less freaky-sounding.

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Karen writes: Should I do anything about this e-mail [National Bank Online Banking Login Security Update] apart from delete it – that is, should I warn anyone? I don’t actually have a National Bank account at all. Apart from that, I noticed that various spelling and punctuation errors. How do these scammers get a .co.nz email account?

Hi Karen, This is your typical phishing scam email sent out by the millions in the hopes of fooling people who may have National bank accounts. These are so common now that you probably don't have to warn anyone about it. Our filters catch most of these but every now and then one slips through. You’re right not to reply and you’re best of just deleting it (and any like it that come through in future.

The spammers don’t actually have an NZ account. They’ve just set their email address settings to make it look like they do. It is very easy to do this sort of thing which means it pays always to be careful. The poor spelling etc is another clue that the email is a scam, but phishing attempts can also appear well written.

 

 

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