Can downloading Adobe Reader attract spam?

January 5th, 2012 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, security, spam 1 Comment »

I’m an infrequent, inexperienced and incompetent computer user.

First PC late 2006; first 2-3 years of use, no problem with spam –  received almost nothing at all. Against better judgement, downloaded a free office WP package. Some time after started to receive quite a lot of spam. Eventually I connected it to the ‘free’ download, figured out how to remove software and  spam ceased.

After several years of ignoring invitations to download the latest Adobe update, decided should take advantage of all my computer has to offer and hit the ‘download now’ button for Adobe.  Now I receive masses of spam (several a day) offering ‘to enlarge my penis’, continuing for several weeks; this has recently changed to offerings of ‘bonus wins’ – none of which I open or delete.

Do I have to remove Adobe to get this to stop?

Cheers for the New Year.

Thanks for the new year greeting.

Unfortunately removing Adobe isn’t going to fix the spam problem. What’s happened is your email address has somehow found its way onto the spammer list, possibly through the free software you downloaded.

All you can really do about this sort of spam now is to make sure you have a good spam filter on your email program. If you’re using a web based service like Gmail or Yahoo! Mail they should deal with it automatically. Programs like Microsoft Outlook need the feature turned on.

If you let us know which email program you’re using in the comments section below, we can give you the instructions on enabling the spam checker for your service.

Updating Adobe is really important as they have had a lot of security problems in recent  times, so don’t hesitate with installing any legitimate upgrades.

A spam email has been sent from my email account

November 10th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, security No Comments »

An email was sent from my yahoo email account to all in my address book. The email advertised Viagra. I use Norton Security on my XP OS. I have run it since the “attack”. How do I know if it is gone now? What else should I do?

Spammers can get into your account through a number of ways and if your computer is up to date with security patches and anti virus protection then it’s unlikely your computer was hacked to carry out this spam campaign.

What has probably happened is your Yahoo! mail account has been hijacked, which could have happened from any computer.

Your first step is to change your Yahoo! passwords then those of any accounts that use the same password. You may also want to take the opportunity to download a copy of your online address book.

On your own computer, visit the Microsoft Update website to make sure you have the latest Windows security patches installed and the Symantec Security Centre for the latest security definitions.

It might also be a good idea to send out a message to your friends, relatives and colleagues to tell them you’re not really in the business of selling viagra or other pills.

How do we fix Outlook Express checking spelling in French

November 5th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, Office, Outlook Express, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP No Comments »

Can you please help me with the safest way to revert the Outlook Express spelling checker to English as it can’t be changed from French!

This is a problem that came along with Microsoft Office 2007 which changed the various spell checking and document proofing functions in Windows, Outlook Express itself doesn’t come with a spell checker.

As you can see from other sites’ posts – such as Jay Lee’s Chron site and Joe Duck’s Travel Blog this has caused a lot of angst for many computer users.

You can easily fix this by downloading the free Spell Checker For OE program we describe in our Outlook Express Doesn’t Have A Spell Checker post.

There are a number of registry fixes as well that can resolve this or you can reinstall the older versions of Office proofing tools but overall the simplest solution is to add the free program.


Outlook Express doesn’t have a spell checker

November 5th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, Outlook Express, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows XP No Comments »

I can’t check spelling when writing an email in Outlook Express

Outlook Express, the free email program that came with Windows 98 through to XP, doesn’t come with a spell checker built in. Instead it uses the Microsoft Office spell checker.

If you don’t have Microsoft Office installed then you can use the free Spell Checker for OE to add this function to your computer.

This problem can also happen when Office 2007 is installed on a Windows XP system as the newer program disables older spellcheckers.

Windows Live Mail Junk folders not working

August 8th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, spam, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

Since upgrading to Windows Live Essentials 2011, no spam is going into my Junk Mail folder. How can I stop the rubbish appearing in my inbox.

One of the delights of having a decent junk mail filter is you never see the dozens of pointless emails that arrive in your inbox each day. So when an update damages your spam filter it’s a real irritation.

The repair for this is actually quite straightforward, go to the Control Panel and select Programs in Windows 7 or Vista or Add/Remove Programs in Windows XP , click on Live Mail Essentials 2011 and select Uninstall/Change.

In the wizard that then starts select Repair all Windows Live Essentials Programs, the repair may take some hours and require a working Internet connection.

Once it’s finished, you’ll be asked to reboot the computer and the problem should be fixed after the restart.

How do I transfer email contacts to my iPad or iPhone

August 8th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in Apple, email, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP No Comments »

How do I import contacts from Mozilla Thunderbird email program into my iPad?

The process for importing contacts from any email or contact management program into an iPad, iPhone or iPod is a three step process.

First, export the  contacts from the older program into a Comma Separated Values file, in Thunderbird click Tools, Export and choose to save the exported file into a location you’ll remember. Make sure to choose the File Type as Comma Separated Value (CSV)

Then, open iTunes and select Info. In Windows tick Sync Contacts and choose Windows Address Book. On Apple systems choose Info and tick Sync Contacts.

For Apple Systems, open the Address Book application and select File, then Import and import the CSV file.

On Windows Systems open the Windows Address Book by clicking Start then Run and typing either wab (Windows XP and earlier) or clicking the Windows Orb and typing Address Book into the find box.

Once in the Windows Address Book, click File, then Import and select Other Address Book, then choose Text file (Comma Separated Values) and import the CSV file you previously saved.

Having imported the contacts, synch the iPad, iPhone or iPad and the contacts should be imported.

The iPad forums and Apple’s support website have more detailed information on how to transfer data between the applications and devices.

Recovering Outlook Express emails

July 20th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, Outlook Express No Comments »

Yesterday afternoon, I went back to my Outlook Express inbox to check an email from a few days ago and everything prior to that morning, right back to 22 July 2010 (1 years worth) had vanished. Other folders, including deleted, were still there.

Do you think they are still on the computer somewhere, and if so, how do I retrieve them.

The emails are almost certainly there, Outlook Express though is notorious for damaged folders losing email.

Recovering them is a fiddly task, first find the Outlook Express Data store as we describe in Fixing a Damaged Outlook Express Inbox.

Close Outlook Express and copy the folder that contains all the Outlook Express files to somewhere in My Documents.

Then re-open Outlook Express and import the mailboxes as we describe in the Recovering old outlook express messages and address book post. Make sure you have ticked the box reading “do not import duplicates” or you’ll double up the other folders.

Who owns copyright on my emails?

March 10th, 2011 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, Internet, security No Comments »

This isn’t a tech question, but rather one of copyright.  When I send a private email message, who holds the copyright to that?  Do I? – in which case my permission needs to be sought before forwarding it.  Or does the recipient have the legal right to do anything he/she likes with whatever drops into his/her inbox? – Lesley

That’s a great question, Lesley and being a legal question it doesn’t have a straight answer. A strict reading of the various copyright statues indicate the original writer of a letter or email does have copyright protection. Although lawyers advise you should have a disclaimer asserting copyright at the end of your emails.

Of course this doesn’t prevent “fair use” of your email’s contents, so key parts of it still could be still distributed if the extracts meet the criteria that determines fair use.

Copyright law is a pretty blunt tool to use when it comes to email contents, it may well be there are various privacy laws, employment conditions or other legal restrictions depending on where you live and whether the emails relate to business or private matters.

Generally it’s good manners to ask permission before forwarding an email containing sensitive information, however given the ease of copying of distributing digital communications, you should be wary of sending anything electronically that could embarrass or damage you. Some ideas on email etiquette are available on the PC Rescue site.

Overall though, no-one has a “right” to do anything they like with emails they receive, there are both moral and legal issues with passing on any private information they come across, whether it’s by a letter, email or any other way.

Note this is not legal advice and it is essential to seek guidance from a professional legal practitioner on your specific circumstances.

How do I receive email while travelling

October 22nd, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in email, Outlook Express No Comments »

I get my emails in Outlook Express on my PC but I’d like to be able to get them on my laptop via the the web when I’m away from home.  How do I do it?

The easiest way of collecting emails while you’re on the road is to use your Internet provider’s or hosting company’s webmail service which allows you to log on to their server through a web browser. Once into the system you can handle your email as you would in Outlook Express.

A better way is to set up one of the webmail services from Gmail, Hotmail or Yahoo!. All of these services can be used to collect mail from your account and are usually more flexible than the webmail services provided by the service providers.

Before leaving, remember to import your address books into the web service so you have a list of email addresses for your family and friends.

Downloading gmail to my computer

September 25th, 2010 Paul Wallbank Posted in email No Comments »

Is there any way to download my emails from Gmail onto my local disk? Having recently purchased a new computer with Win 7 but no email client, I have been trying out Gmail and its free storage up in the “cloud”. I am beginning to wonder if this is the right way to go, as from time to time I am away from an internet connection for extended periods, at which times I may want to refer to my past mail.

Cloud computing, where data is saved and software run across the Internet on other people’s servers is the way the technology industry is going as it offers compelling cost and productivity benefits.

But as you’ve discovered there are downsides to cloud computing, particularly when you don’t have an Internet connection.

In Gmail’s case, there is an option to deal with this. In the top right hand corner, click on Settings then select the Offline tab.

Once you are in the Offline settings, tick Enable Offline Mail for this computer.

The site may then ask you to enable their website for gears and when you accept that, Gmail will then save copies of your emails to your system.