FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
Is there an Internet question you'd like to see answered in a future edition of Website Compass? E-mail your question to DrWebbie@WebsiteCompass.com.
Be sure to tell Dr. Webbie what web browser you are using (Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Netscape's Navigator, etc.), AND what type and version of e-mail software you are using (Microsoft's Outlook Express 5.5, Netscape's Communicator 4.7, etc.) to assist him in answering your question as specifically as possible.
Q: When I receive an e-mail attachment to open, it automatically defaults
to open to my hard drive. Can you tell me how to adjust this so I can
just click on the attachment and have it open in my mail area instead?
I use Outlook Express 5.
A: Outlook Express's ability to display attached files within the message pane is limited. Outlook Express can display simple files such as JPG or GIF images within the message window, or even multimedia files such as AVI or MPG video. However, more complicated files must be opened and viewed in their default host applications. For example, an attachment sent as a Microsoft Word "DOC" file cannot be viewed within Outlook Express but rather must be opened within the Word application.
Q: I just received an e-mail that I want to forward without forwarding
the copied - in e-mail addresses of the other people within the e-mail.
I tried to delete the e-mail addresses from the message but I ended up
deleting my entire message. Please help.
A: It sounds like you are trying to make changes to the e-mail message within your inbox. To make editing changes to an e-mail message, you'll first need to click on the "Forward" button on your mail window toolbar. This will create a message from which to make editing changes. Right-click and then highlight the e-mail addresses within the message you want to remove. Press the "Delete" key. Now type the e-mail addresses of the people to whom you want to forward the message into the "Bcc:" field. Your forwarded e-mail message will be sent via "blind carbon copy" so that no e-mail addresses will appear within the message if your e-mail recipients decide to forward your message on to their friends.
Q: What does the "http://" stand for in a web address?
A: The first section of a web address tells your web browser what type of language (also known as protocol) it should use. The abbreviation "http" stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol. It's the most common protocol used on the World Wide Web. Once your browser knows the type of language to use, it needs to know where to go to retrieve the information. That's the function of the remaining sections of the web address.
Q: I've had business associates send contact information via a small
attachment to their e-mails. I would like to do the same. Please tell
me how I can set this up.
A: This attachment is called an "Electronic Business Card" and is normally stored in a "vCard" format. Outlook Express allows you to easily attach this vCard to your e-mail so you don't have to type in your phone number, street address, web address, etc. Here's how to set-up your own vCard: 1) Open your Address Book and create an entry for yourself by clicking on the "New Contact" button, typing in your contact information and then clicking "OK." 2) Open the Address Book's File menu. 3) Select Export + Business Card (vCard). 4) Choose a name for your vCard within the Export dialog box. You can keep the name as it appears in your Address Book as the default if you wish. 5) Select a place to put your vCard (the default is the "My Documents" folder) and then click on the "Save" button. 6) When composing future messages, you can attach your vCard to your e-mails by using the Insert menu and dropping down to the File Attachment command. 7) Send your message as usual.
Q: I run my e-mail anti-virus program whenever I go online and I also
scan each attachment that I get. I also go to the software's site daily
for updates to my software. (I know this is overkill.) Do you think I
am doing everything I can to protect my computer?
A: The major fear of viruses is that they will cause data loss from your computer. It appears that you've taken the precautionary steps necessary to greatly minimize the chances of this occurring to you. You probably actually have a greater chance of other computer problems such as hard drive failure, a memory problem, user error or other problems. Do you have backups of the files you've created that are located on your hard disk? If not, this is where you'll need to devote some time protecting yourself from the possibility of data loss. Back up those important files!
Q: Our office tech guy says we should have virus protection on both
our server and our individual workstations. If all of our e-mail comes
in through a central server and we're all connected to it, wouldn't virus
software on our server be enough protection?
A: Actually, virus protection on both your server and your workstations is a good idea as both can serve as entry and distribution points that can spread viruses over your office's network. Just because e-mail comes in through a central server which includes virus scanning software, it doesn't necessarily mean all viruses will be detected before being forwarded on to workstations. Remember, large firms have been forced to shut down despite having sophisticated anti-virus software in place. No scanner can detect every virus, especially the viruses that are newer than the latest anti-virus software. Anti-virus protection software, common sense and user awareness can all contribute greatly to your LAN security and be much cheaper than the potential downtime when computer users are being paid but unable to work due to a computer virus infection.
Q: What is the difference between shareware and freeware?
A: When you surf the net and find a software program you want to download, the program will usually be described either as "shareware" or "freeware." Shareware is "try before you buy." Normally, you'll be granted a time period to try out the software to see if you like it. If you do not pay for the program within the time allotted, the program will be either automatically deleted or some of the features shut off. Freeware is what it sounds like. Some software authors require you to register the software in order to receive it but you can't beat the price!
Q: A friend of mine told me I can send a sound file with an e-mail
message so that it plays when the recipient opens the message. Is this
A: Yes, if you have a newer version of Outlook Express. First make sure you have enabled Rich Text Formatting. To add a sound file to your e-mail message, choose "Format," "Background" then "Sound" on the menu bar of the New Message window. Now select the sound file to play in the File text box of the Background Sound dialog box. The sound must be one of the listed formats: .wav, .au, .aif, .rmi or .midi. You can set the sound to play just once, many times or continuously. By default, the sound file you select will play when the message is opened.
Q: I use Outlook Express 5 and cannot figure out how to delete an
e-mail message without first opening it. I know how to delete an e-mail
attachment without opening it but do not know how to do the same with
an e-mail message. Is it possible to do so?
A: It sounds like you have the Preview Pane open. The Preview Pane automatically opens incoming e-mail messages (but not the attachments). To close the Preview Pane, go to the View menu, drop down to "Layout," and then uncheck the Preview Pane option. Click "Apply" and then "OK." Now you can reply to or delete e-mail messages if they look suspicious without opening them. To check the e-mail's source, right-click the message, go to Properties, then go to Details and then Message Source.
Q: My outgoing e-mail shows my legal name and I'd rather that it show
my nickname. Is there a way to change this setting?
A: Yes. To change the name that appears on your outgoing e-mail, select
"Tools" from your menu bar, and click on "Accounts." Click on the Mail
tab, highlight the account that you'd like to change (if you have more
than one e-mail account), and click on the "Properties" button. Change
your name in the Name field and then click "Apply" and "OK." Next time
you send an e-mail, your nick- name will appear instead of your name.
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