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WebsiteCompass Your Guide to Understanding and Using the Internet
 

 
FAQ's: E-mail
 

       
 

How do I send photos or other items with my email?

Do I have to be logged on to the Internet to read my email?

Do I have to be logged on to the Internet to type my email?

Does Outlook Express come with a spell check feature?

What's the easiest way to send an email attachment?

What is the best format to save and then send email attachments?

How do I set up Outlook Express as my default email program?

What do "Cc" and "Bcc" mean?

How do you copy and paste sections of text within email messages?

Is there a way I can have my emails checked AUTOMATICALLY while I’m online?

Why do some of the email messages I send come back marked UNDELIVERED?

Is there a faster way of putting my list of friends into the "BCC" field than typing each address separately?

Is there ever a reason to use the email account my ISP provides me instead of the free email account I have through a national email company?

What do I do with my emails once I receive them?

Sometimes I receive email attachments with a suffix of ".MIME" as part of the attachment's description. Why can't I open these attachments without seeing a message full of codes that do not make sense?

How can I open email attachments in my mail program instead of saving them to my hard drive when I click on them?

How do I forward an email without forwarding the copied - in email addresses of the other people within the email?

I've had business associates send contact information via a small attachment to their emails. I would like to do the same. Please tell me how I can set this up.

A friend of mine told me I can send a sound file with an email message so that it plays when the recipient opens the message. Is this true?

How do you delete an email message without first opening it in Outlook Express 5?

My outgoing email shows my legal name and I'd rather that it show my nickname. Is there a way to change this setting?

Is there a way to delete emails from my "deleted" folder all at once or do I need to delete them individually?

The size of the type is too small when I attempt to read my email. Is there a way to make the text larger?

I use Outlook Express, and I have been trying to find an email message my brother sent me called "Clowns." I searched for it by typing "Clowns" in the little white box above the "Sent" button, but nothing shows up. Any advice?

What is the difference between "Reply" and "Reply All?"

I just replied to an email I got from a friend. Does the attachment they sent with their message go back to them on my "Reply" message?

I save almost every email that anybody sends to me. IS THERE A SIMPLE WAY to find all the email messages that just one particular person has sent to me?

Why do I keep getting email messages from people and companies I have never heard of?

Can I make my email program check for messages more often?

I would like to send my alma mater's fight song in an email message so when my friend (who is a fan of our school's biggest rival) opens it, the song just starts playing automatically. Is there any way I can accomplish this.

In the Summer Issue you discussed using the BCC: field for forwarding emails with no addresses being shown. I have Microsoft Windows 95 with Internet Explorer Outlook Express, but I cannot locate the BCC: field per your instructions. Can you help me out?

I was trying to activate Microsoft Outlook because I like those little happy faces you can attach to your emails. I've entered Incoming mail (POP 3), Outgoing mail (SMTP), Dial-up Network Connection settings and so forth but I can't activate the service. Do you know why it will still not work?

I forwarded an unfamiliar email with an attachment to my Internet service provider to scan. As it turns out, it was a virus, which I instructed the provider to throw away. The message still shows in my inbox although its icon shows that it has been forwarded. I want to delete it from my inbox, but I'm afraid to highlight it because it will open. How do I get rid of it?

Is there a way to empty out the Sent Items Folder in Outlook Express without doing it one email at a time?

I sometimes receive lovely email from friends that include pictures, music and text. When I try to forward them to others, only the text shows up in my forwarded message. I have an iMac with Outlook Express 5. What am I doing wrong?

My friend says I can automatically check for new email messages while I am surfing the Net. Is this true, and if so, how can I do it?

My Outlook Express application sometimes dials-up the Internet all by itself. As an example, I'll be watching TV and then for no reason the computer will begin to attempt to log onto the Web. I know this isn't normal. Any suggestions?

How do I check my email from another computer? I plan on going on vacation and would like to check my email while Iım away.

I have been receiving an overload of junk mail from a few domains. I block the sender each time I delete the advertisement but the domain simply sends the ads under the name of a different sender. Is it possible to block all email from a particular URL?

My sister sends email attachments to me. When I try to view them, a message says "OE has removed access to the following unsafe attachments in your mail." What can I do to view them?

When I'm sent photos from friends Outlook Express tries to open them in Paint. It then says it can't read that file format. Other computers I have don't do this. How can I change the setting so the correct program opens the image files?

Whenever I log-on to my email, I must enter my password each and every time. Whenever I switch my browser and return to Outlook Express I must enter my password again. This is annoying and time consuming. Can you help?

How do I change my email address at my home computer?

Can you tell me how to stop all the junk email I'm getting? Is there a way to delete everything at once from my Deleted Items folder?

I would like to use the Newsgroups to download files, text messages, etc. I know that there are free and pay newsgroup agents such as Forté Agent or TIFNY, but when I try to use them I can’t download anything. Could you help me step-by-step on what options in Outlook Express I need to use or setup to enable use of these programs?

What's the procedure for resending a returned email that was sent with an incorrect address?

When I have Outlook Express open I keep getting disconnected from the Internet after I send or receive my messages. How do I fix this problem?

A friend claims he sent me an email but I never received it. What could be wrong?

Is there a way to check the source of suspicious looking incoming email without opening them up? I use Windows 98 and am on Outlook Express.

Sometimes when I try to get my incoming email, I get a "timeout" message and I don't receive my email. Why does this happen?

I would like to contact an old college friend by email but don't have his address. How can I look it up?

I've got a "former" friend who keeps sending me email that I'd prefer not to receive. Is there a way I can prevent these messages from arriving within my inbox? I use Outlook Express and Windows 98.

Why do some of the email messages I send come back marked UNDELIVERED?

I have a ton of email in my Outlook Express and it’s starting to bog down. I don’t want to throw my old messages away but don’t know what to do?

Whenever I want to forward an email message to a group of my friends, I type each of their email addresses in the “Bcc:” field of my new message. Is there is a faster way of doing this?

I have friends that frequently send me important-sounding emails that I'm supposed to forward to people I know. How can I tell if the messages are legitimate or a hoax?

Q: How do I send photos or other items with my email?

A: You can attach just about any file to an email message and send it to anyone on the Internet. (The person receiving the file will need the appropriate application to open the file when they get it, however). Follow these simple steps to attach and deliver a file using Microsoft Outlook Express 5.0.
1. Open your email program and launch a new message window. Compose your message.
2. Click on the ATTACH button located at the top of your email program’s toolbar.
3. Browse your hard drive or your removable disks to locate the file (attachment) you want to send. Click on it and then click on the ATTACH button.
4. The file is now attached to your email message and will be sent along with your message text as an attachment.

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Q: I know I have to log on to get my mail, but do I have to be logged on to the Internet to read it?

A: You do not need to be connected online to read, compose or delete messages. First, log on to the Internet to get your messages. Then, go to File on the menu bar at the top of your desk top and select "Work Offline" on the drop-down menu. This allows you to read messages, respond to them, delete messages, etc. Once you go back to File and select "Work Offline" again (so that the check mark next to that item is removed), you'll get reconnected to the Internet via your Internet Service Provider. Then any messages you've created will be sent from your Out Box to their intended recipients and any deleted messages will be deleted. Working offline can be more economical if you are paying for your Internet connection on an hourly basis. It also frees up your phone line for incoming calls (if you have a dial-up connection.)

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Q: I understand that it is possible to type up email messages while offline and then get online to actually send them. I've always composed my messages while online. I have a 100 hour/month dial-up account with my Internet provider and want to save my time for surfing. Please tell me how I can do my compositions offline.

A: You can open up Outlook Express without going online to compose your email messages. Once you've completed each message, click on the "Send Later" button on the New Message toolbar. When you are ready to send your messages, click the "Send/Receive" button. Note: You can also review incoming messages while offline. To do this, go under the "Tools" menu and select "Options." Click on the "Connection" tab and select "Hang Up After sending and receiving." Click "Apply" and "OK."

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Q: I admit it. I am a poor speller. Does Outlook Express come with a spell check feature? If so, how does it work?

A: Yes, if you have Microsoft Office or any of its programs (Excel, Word or Power-Point), the newer versions of Outlook Express includes a bonus spell checker feature. To spell check your messages, follow these steps:

1) After completing the composition of an email message, go to the New Message Window and choose "Tools" and then "Spelling."
2) The spell checker will highlight and display the misspelled word along with a suggested correction.
3) Choose the correct spelling and then click "Change" or select "Ignore" to skip to the next word the spell checker program does not recognize. If the correct spelling doesn't appear in the list of suggestions, type the correct spelling for the word in the "Change To" box and click "Change."
4) Repeat steps 2 and 3 until the spell checker stops giving you suggested correctly spelled words. Once you see the message "This spelling check is complete," you are ready to send the message. (This does not apply apply to Outlook Express 4.)

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Q: I’m fairly new to the Internet and have never actually sent and email attachment before. Would you tell me the easiest way to do this?

A: Sure. Follow these six steps. 1) Click on the “New Message” button of your Outlook Express window. 2) Address the message and write the body of the email just as you would when sending an email without any attachments. 3) Click on the “Paper Clip” button on the New Message toolbar. The Insert File dialog box will appear. 4) Browse your hard drive to find the file that you want to send as an attachment. 5) Double-click the name of the selected file to attach it to your email message. 6) Click the “Send” button to send the message with the file attached.

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Q: What is the best format to save and then send email attachments?

A: The best format to send an email attachment is one in which the recipient can read. If you send a friend a Microsoft Word document as an attachment and the friend does not have this software on his/her computer, your friend can not open it. Generally, documents saved and sent in ASCII plain-text format (.TXT) can be opened by most recipients, however, formatting may be lost resulting in the distortion of the italicized and bold text from the original word processing document. Sending attachments containing graphics via JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) would probably result in the most success for you (and your email recipients) as it is the most universally readable format.

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Q: I've been using Netscape Messenger for my email program but am switching to Microsoft's Outlook Express. How do I set up Outlook Express as my default email program?

A: Open Outlook Express and go to Tools on the menu bar. Choose "Options" from the drop-down menu and select the General Tab. Near the bottom of this window you'll see "Default Messaging Programs." Click on the button which reads "Make Default" located next to "This application is NOT the default mail handler." Click "Apply" then "OK" and then close the window. Outlook Express is now your default email program.

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Q: I know what "To" means on an email, but what do “Cc” and “BCC” mean? What do you use them for and when?

A: “Cc” or Carbon Copy and “BCC” or Blind Carbon Copy are very similar to the “To” field on your email client software. email addresses typed into each of these three fields will be sent to those addresses as soon as you click the SEND button. Each of these email fields (“To”, “Cc” or “BCC”) can contain any number of email addresses. Placing multiple email address into the “To” field should only be done when each of the recipients knows each other. Utilize the “Cc” when sending an email meant for one person (put that person’s email address in the “To” field), but carbon copying others using “Cc” so the main recipient is able to see who else received a copy of this message. The “BCC” is used to send messages to a group of recipients in a manner that prevents the recipients from seeing who else got the message. This is especially useful when forwarding messages to a group of people without spreading their email addresses across the world.

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Q: Can you please tell me step-by-step how to copy and then paste sections of text within email messages? I’m tired of receiving and forwarding messages that include an address list so long that it takes ten minutes just TO scroll through them! I want to forward the message but not the long address list.

A: Cutting and pasting text within email messages is an easy procedure. Follow these steps below:
1. At the beginning of the phrase or sentence you want to copy, click your mouse button and hold it down.
2. Keeping your mouse button pressed down, drag your cursor arrow to the end of the phrase or sentence so that all of the text you want to copy is highlighted.
3. Now click your mouse on the “Edit” heading at the top of the page and select “Copy” with your cursor arrow. (You can also copy by pressing the Ctrl + C keys on your keyboard).
4. Open any new message and then click your cursor arrow within a new message pane where you’d like the copied text to be pasted.
5. Using your mouse, click on the “Edit” heading at the top of the page and select “Paste” with your cursor arrow. (You can also paste by pressing Ctrl + V keys on your keyboard). The message will now be pasted within the new massage pane. You can now add additional text to the message if you’d like and then send the message to your friends.

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Q: Is there a way I can have my emails checked AUTOMATICALLY while I’m surfing online?

A: Yes. Microsoft’s Outlook Express allows you to do this. Simply follow these steps:
1. Open Outlook Express and then using your mouse cursor, click on the “Tools” heading at the top of the page. Select “Options” from the drop down window.
2. From the “General Tab”, locate “Sending and Receiving Messages”.
3. In the settings “Check For Messages Every “??” Minutes”, select the time interval you’d like Outlook Express to check for incoming email while you are online.
4. Remember, the box must be checked before Outlook Express will perform this task.

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Q: Why do some of the email messages I send come back marked UNDELIVERED?

A: For an email message to get delivered, the recipient’s address needs to have several items in it: a user name, an “at” sign (@), a mail server (or host) name, a dot (.) and a zone name. For example, in the email address of [ben@websitecompass.com], ‘ben’ is the username, ‘websitecompass’ is the host name and ‘.com’ is the zone name. If any of these ingredients of the email address are typed in incorrectly, the message will not be delivered.

Some things to check:
1. If the returned email message says TRANSIENT ERROR, it means there is a problem with the Internet and your message is being delayed. If the message still hasn’t been delivered after five days, you should get another message saying so.
2. If the returned message says something about an UNKNOWN USER, the username is in some way incorrect. You may have typed it incorrectly or you may have used the wrong name.
3. If the message refers to an UNKNOWN HOST, there is a problem with the server or computer being used by the person you’re trying to contact, or you typed the host name incorrectly when you addressed your email message.

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Q: Whenever I want to forward an email message to a group of my friends, I type each of their email addresses in the "BCC;" field of my new message. Is there a faster way of putting my list of friends into one folder so that all my friends receive the message? If so, how do I do this?

A: First of all, you made a good point about forwarding the email to your friends using the "BCC:" field vs. the "To:" or "Cc:". This protects the privacy of the email addresses of your friends.

Yes, there is an easy method to accomplish the goal described in your question. The first step is to setup a "Group" in your Address Book that holds the names and email addresses of a group of friends to whom you regularly send the same messages.

In Outlook Express, click on the "Addresses" button on the toolbar, or go to the tools menu and drop down to "Address Book." This will allow you to open the "Main Identity Address Book" where you will create your group. Click the "New" button on the Address Book toolbar and select "New Group" from the resulting drop down menu. Name your group and add members to it by clicking on the "Select Members" button. When you've finished adding to the list, click "OK." The Group will now appear in your Contact List with a different icon indicating that it is a list of email addresses rather than a single entry.

To create a new mailing list using Netscape Communicator, start Messenger and open your Address Book (click "Communicator," "Address Book," or press Ctrl-Shift-2). In the "Address Book" window, click "File," "New List." In the "Mailing List" window, give your list a descriptive name, and then a nickname. The nickname will be how you specify to Messenger that you wish to send a message to the members of that list. Click "OK" to save your new list. It will appear in your list of Address Book entries with a different icon indicating that it is a list rather than a single entry.

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Q: I've got an email account that I receive at no charge as part of my Internet connection package through my Internet Service Provider (ISP). I've also got a free email account through one of those national email companies. I do ninety-nine percent of my correspondence through the email account that is not provided to me by my ISP. Is there ever a reason for me to even use the email account through one of those national email companies?

A: Definitely. Most Internet Service Providers (ISPs) email important updates on a regular basis to their users regarding virus alerts, maintenance schedules, new available services, etc. Many people utilize the email account provided to them by their Internet Service Provider as a "private address" ... used only when communicating with close friends, relatives and business associates. They utilize their "free" non-ISP account when buying items online, entering sweepstakes, taking online surveys, etc. Managing their email accounts in this way helps to protect their "private" email address from unsolicited email and SPAM.

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Q: What do I do with emails once I get them?

A: You have quite a few choices with incoming mail. You can:

• "Delete" or "Trash" it before reading the message. You can accomplish this by highlighting the message in the description box and clicking your cursor arrow on the "Delete" button when using Internet Explorer or the "Trash" button when using Netscape's Navigator.
• "Delete" or "Trash" it after reading the message. (Follow the same instructions as above.)
• Reply to the author of the message by clicking "Reply" or "Reply to Sender." This step allows you to respond to the email without retyping the author's email address as it will automatically be shown in the "To:" field of the response email
• Reply to everyone. Clicking your cursor arrow on "Reply to all" will send your response to everyone listed in the "To:" and "CC:" (carbon copy) fields of the email.
• Forward the same incoming message to others by clicking your cursor arrow on the "BCC:" (blind carbon copy) field and then typing the email address of the person with whom you are sharing the information.
• Read your email message and then simply leave it in the inbox for later review and/or response.

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Q: I sometimes receive email attachments with a suffix of ".MIME" as part of the attachment's description. Why can't I ever open these attachments without seeing a message full of codes that do not make sense?

A: MIME is a acronym for "Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions." It is a program that enhances email so that messages can be sent which include not only simple text but graphics, video or audio files. Although it's a great idea, the challenge occurs when recipients do not have a MIME enabled email program. Recipients are then unable to decode the message into its original form. If this happens to you, advise the sender of the message that you are unable to open the attachment and advise him/her to resend the attachment either in a format your email program supports or saved in a format compatible with the software you have installed on your computer.

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Q: When I receive an email 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.

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Q: I just received an email that I want to forward without forwarding the copied - in email addresses of the other people within the email. I tried to delete the email 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 email message within your inbox. To make editing changes to an email 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 email addresses within the message you want to remove. Press the "Delete" key. Now type the email addresses of the people to whom you want to forward the message into the "BCC:" field. Your forwarded email message will be sent via "blind carbon copy" so that no email addresses will appear within the message if your email recipients decide to forward your message on to their friends.

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Q: I've had business associates send contact information via a small attachment to their emails. 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 email so you don't have to type in your phone number, street address, web address, etc. Here's how to setup 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 emails by using the Insert menu and dropping down to the File Attachment command. 7) Send your message as usual.

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Q: A friend of mine told me I can send a sound file with an email message so that it plays when the recipient opens the message. Is this true?

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 email 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.

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Q: I use Outlook Express 5 and cannot figure out how to delete an email message without first opening it. I know how to delete an email attachment without opening it but do not know how to do the same with an email message. Is it possible to do so?

A: It sounds like you have the Preview Pane open. The Preview Pane automatically opens incoming email 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 email messages if they look suspicious without opening them. To check the email's source, right-click the message, go to Properties, then go to Details and then Message Source.

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Q: My outgoing email 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 email, 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 email 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 email, your nickname will appear instead of your name.

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Q: Is there a way to delete emails from my "deleted" folder all at once or do I need to delete them individually?

A: If you haven't deleted the emails located within your "Deleted Items" folder for quite sometime, it would probably be a good idea to do so. After all, this file can get quite large in a short amount of time and can begin to take up a lot of hard drive space.

To empty the emails from your "Deleted Items" folder using Outlook or Outlook Express, simply right-click the "Deleted Items" bin and then click your cursor arrow on the "Empty Deleted Items Folder." All emails within this folder will then be deleted. If your email program doesn't allow for this, go to the "Deleted Items" folder and hit the "CTRL" key along with the "A" key on your keyboard. This should select everything in this folder. Next, click on the "Delete" key.

Note: Empty your Delete folder regularly but be careful not to delete important emails!

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Q: The size of the type is too small when I attempt to read my email. Is there a way to make the text larger?

A: Yes. To increase (or decrease) the font size on either Outlook Express or Internet Explorer, click your cursor arrow on "View" located on the menu bar then drop down and select "Text Size." You can now choose a larger font size from the resulting submenu. If you are using Netscape's Communicator, click your cursor arrow on "View" located on the menu bar then drop down and select "Increase font." This will automatically increase the font size. If the resulting size of font is still too small, repeat the procedure again to further increase the text size. You can also decrease the font size by utilizing the same procedure.

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Q: I use Outlook Express, and I have been trying to find an email message my brother sent me called "Clowns." I searched for it by typing "Clowns" in the little white box above the "Sent" button, but nothing shows up. Any advice?

A: Sounds like you must be using a Macintosh. On the Mac, more than likely, one of two things has happened: 1) You inadvertently deleted the old message. 2) You are searching by typing in "Clown" in the little white box above the "Search" button, but you have not made a change in the the drop down menu that is two boxes to the left of the white box. This box needs to read "Subject," rather than "From" or "To."

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Q: What is the difference between "Reply" and "Reply All?"

A: If you receive an email that was sent to you and several other people, you can reply either to just the person who sent it, or to the person who sent it as well as everyone else who received it. For example, say your sister sends an email to you and your two brothers, asking if you will be attending the family reunion this summer. If you want to let her, and only her, know your plans, then click on "Reply" and send your message. If you want her and your two brothers to know your plans, click on "Reply All" and send your message.

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Q: I just replied to an email I got from a friend. Does the attachment they sent with their message go back to them on my "Reply" message?

A: No, the attachment does not go back to them. If for some reason you want to send the attachment back to them, just hit "Forward" (instead of "Reply"), type in their email address, and send it. The attachment will be sent along with your email message this way.

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Q: I save almost every email that anybody sends to me. IS THERE A SIMPLE WAY to find all the email messages that just one particular person has sent to me?

A: I will give you two easy ways to retrieve all messages from the same individual, provided you are using the Outlook Express email program.

1) Click on any email message you have received from the person, and then click "From" on the bar just above the listing of email messages that are in your folder. This will automatically sort your messages and bring you to the messages from that particular person.

2) If you are on a Macintosh, another way to view all the email messages you have received from one particular person is to enter the name of the person in the white box in the top right corner of your Outlook Express window (just above the "Send" button). Click in the box so the cursor shows up, and type in the sender's name you are searching for. As soon as you stop typing in the box, it will automatically start searching for every email with that name. You need to also remember that the pull-down menu two boxes to the left of the white text box says "From" and not "To" or "Subject."

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Q: Why do I keep getting email messages from people and companies I have never heard of?

A: Similar to traditional mail, sometimes (okay - many times) you get mail you didn't request (aka SPAM). More than likely, you received the "spam" as a result of one of two things:

1) You may have submitted your email address to a website from which you were requesting more information. When you clicked the "I AGREE" button without really reading the multiple pages of privacy disclaimers, you may have given that particular website permission to sell your email address to third parties.

2) Your email address may have been harvested with millions of others from forwarded email messages. Have you ever received an email message addressed to you and dozens of other people? If that message gets into the wrong hands, your address, along with the others, could be added to a list of email addresses that is then sold to marketers. (This is why Website Compass recommends using the "BCC:" feature when sending your email message to multiple addresses.)

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Q: Can I make my email program check for messages more often? Right now it checks every 15 minutes, but I would like it to check for new messages more often than that.

A: In Microsoft's Outlook Express, you can do this by following these steps:

1. Open Outlook Express and then, using your mouse cursor, click on the "Tools" heading at the top of the page. Select "Options" from the drop down window.
2. From the "General Tab," locate "Sending and Receiving Messages."
3. On the setting "Check For Messages Every "??" Minutes," select the time interval you'd like Outlook Express to check for incoming email while you are online.
4. Remember, the box must be checked before Outlook Express will perform this task.

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Q: I would like to send my alma mater's fight song in an email message so when my friend (who is a fan of our school's biggest rival) opens it, the song just starts playing automatically. Is there any way I can accomplish this.

A: Certainly, as long you have a newer version of Outlook Express. First make sure you have enabled Rich Text Formatting. To add a sound file to your email 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 (in this case, your school's fight song) will play when the message is opened.

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Q: In the Summer Issue you discussed using the BCC: field for forwarding emails with no addresses being shown. I have Microsoft Windows 95 with Internet Explorer Outlook Express, but I cannot locate the BCC: field per your instructions. Can you help me out?

A: To use BCC:, click your cursor on "View" in the menu bar and select "All Headers." The BCC: field should appear below the Cc: field.

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Q: I was trying to activate Microsoft Outlook because I like those little happy faces you can attach to your emails. I've entered Incoming mail (POP 3), Outgoing mail (SMTP), Dial-up Network Connection settings and so forth but I can't activate the service. Do you know why it will still not work?

A: Microsoft Outlook is different from Outlook Express. Although they are both email clients, they do not share resources. Therefore, when you click on the Microsoft Outlook icon and it takes you to the Network Control Panel, it is prompting you to configure Outlook so it can be used as your email client. To configure Microsoft Outlook:

1. Open Outlook Express.
2. Click on the "Tools" menu item, and select "Accounts."
3. When the Accounts window opens, copy all the information (username, incoming mail server (POP3), outgoing mail server (SMTP).
4. Double click on the Microsoft Outlook icon. When the Network Control Panel opens, put the above mentioned information in the appropriate places.

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Q: I forwarded an unfamiliar email with an attachment to my Internet service provider to scan. As it turns out, it was a virus, which I instructed the provider to throw away. The message still shows in my inbox although its icon shows that it has been forwarded.

I want to delete it from my inbox, but I'm afraid to highlight it because it will open. How do I get rid of it?

A: In order to delete a message without opening it up, simply hold down the control key on your keyboard when you select the message. When the submenu pops up, choose "Delete" to get rid of the message. This works for both Outlook Express and Netscape Messenger on both Windows and Macintosh. Also, you are supposed to be able to preview messages without actually "opening" them (or any attachments) in the Preview Pane of your email program. However, certain viruses are known to take advantages of flaws within the Preview Pane and can still infect your computer. If you don't wish to activate any viruses by accident, you can choose to disable the Preview Pane by editing the preferences in your email program.

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Q: I know how to clean out deleted items, but how does one go about emptying out the Sent Items Folder without doing it one email at a time? Is there a shorter way to do this or does it even matter that it is so full? I use Outlook Express?

A: Your Sent Items Folder contains a copy of all the email messages you send thereby using disk space. If you have a small hard drive, this could be an issue. The easiest and fastest way to empty your Sent Items Folder is to:

1. Open the Sent Items Folder.
2. Go to "Edit" in the menu bar and choose "Select All"
3. Hit your "Delete" key. This will move the messages to your deleted items folder. This will work with just about all email programs, whether you use a Macintosh or a Windows operating system.

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Q: I sometimes receive lovely email from friends that include pictures, music and text. When I try to forward them to others, only the text shows up in my forwarded message. I have an iMac with Outlook Express 5. What am I doing wrong?

A: The friends that send you email with pictures, music and text are probably sending you messages in HTML format. Unfortunately Outlook Express 5 for Macintosh lets you view these messages, but doesn't let you forward them with the same formatting. It "reformats" them, leaving simpler formatting (like background color, text color, font size) while it removes the more complicated formatting (photos, tables, sounds, etc.). If you'd like an email program that can forward messages in HTML format, you'll either have to use Netscape Mail or wait and see if Microsoft includes this ability in future versions of Outlook Express for Macintosh.

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Q: My friend says I can automatically check for new email messages while I am surfing the Net. Is this true, and if so, how can I do it?

A: The answer is "yes" you can do it, at least in Microsoft's Outlook Express program. Just follow these steps:

1. Open Outlook Express and then, using your mouse, click on the "Tools" heading at the top of the page. Select "Options" from the drop down window.

2. From the "General Tab," locate "Sending and Receiving Messages."

3. In the settings "Check For Messages Every "??" Minutes," select the time interval you'd like Outlook Express to check for incoming email while you are online. Remember that the box must be checked before Outlook Express will perform this task.

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Q: My Outlook Express application sometimes dials-up the Internet all by itself. As an example, I'll be watching TV and then for no reason the computer will begin to attempt to log onto the Web. I know this isn't normal. Any suggestions?

A: If you leave your email application open after disconnecting from the Internet, it may be scheduled to send and receive email at regular intervals. If your computer is set to automatically connect, it will attempt to dial-up every time the schedule calls for it.

To turn off this setting in Outlook Express, follow these steps:
1. With Outlook Express open, click on "Tools" in the menu bar and select "Options" from the drop-down menu.
2. Make sure the "General" tab is selected by clicking on it once.
3. In the "Send/Receive Messages" section, there is a drop-down menu under "If my computer is not connected at this time." Select "Do not connect" from this menu.
4. Click "OK" to exit the "Options" window. Outlook Express should now be set to connect to the Web only at your request.

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Q: How do I check my email from another computer? I plan on going on vacation and would like to check my email while Iım away.

A: Many ISP's offer a service called "webmail" (short for Web-based email) in conjunction with their regular email service. Webmail allows you to read and send email directly from your email account through any standard Internet browser. Check your ISP's homepage or email their help desk to see if your ISP offers webmail.

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Q: I have been receiving an overload of junk mail from a few domains. I block the sender each time I delete the advertisement but the domain simply sends the ads under the name of a different sender. Is it possible to block all email from a particular URL?

A: Yes, you can block all email from an entire domain, but be careful to check if any of your friends have email accounts in that domain before doing so.

Here's how to do this in Outlook Express 6:
1. With Outlook Express 6 open, click on "Tools" in the menu bar, select "Message Rules" and then "Blocked Senders List."
2. The "Message Rules" window will open with the "Blocked Senders" tab active. Click the "Add" button.
3. Type the domain name you wish to block in the "Address" field when the "Edit Sender" window opens. Be sure to leave off the sender (ex. "name@") so messages from the entire domain will be blocked.
4. Click the "OK" button to exit the "Edit Sender" window. Then click "OK" again to exit "Message Rules."

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Q: My sister sends email attachments to me. When I try to view them, a message says "OE has removed access to the following unsafe attachments in your mail." What can I do to view them?

A: Microsoft has added a filtering feature into Version 6.0 of their Outlook Express email software. The purpose of this feature is to block potentially infected email attachments from being opened by email recipients. It's a great idea. The challenge, however, is that it appears that ALL attachments are blocked, no matter what the content is. The feature is a default setting on Version 6.0 so you'll need to go in manually to change the setting if you want to be able to open email attachments.

To remove the default setting so that you are able to open email attachments, follow these easy steps:
1. With Outlook Express open, click your cursor arrow on "Tools" in the menu bar, and select "Options."
2. When the "Options" window opens, click your cursor arrow on the Security tab.
3. A checked box will appear that says "Do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus." Click on the box to uncheck it.
4. Click "OK" to save the change and then close Outlook Express. When you reopen Outlook Express, you should be able to open incoming email attachments. Remember to scan all attachments with your virus scanning software before opening them even if the attachment is from a friend.

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Q: When I'm sent photos from friends Outlook Express tries to open them in Paint. It then says it can't read that file format. Other computers I have don't do this. How can I change the setting so the correct program opens the image files?

A: Without knowing exactly what you are experiencing – ie. if you are saving the photo attachment to your hard drive and then trying to open it or if Outlook Express automatically tries to open it in Paint - it's hard to pinpoint your exact problem.

One thing that may have happened is your temporary Internet files may be full or contain some damaged files.

To delete the Temporary Internet files in Windows 98:
1. Click on the "Start" button in the lower left corner of your screen. Click on "Settings" then "Control Panel" from the resulting menu. Then double-click on the "Internet Options" icon.
2. Click on the "General" tab. Under "Temporary Internet Files," click the "Delete Files" button.
3. Click the "Settings" button and then click the "View Objects" button.
4. Under "Status" in the "Downloaded Program Files" window, delete the files that are labeled "Unknown" or "Damaged." Close the window.
5. Click "OK" to exit the "Settings" window. Then click "OK" to exit the "Internet Properties" window.

Your system's file type settings could also have been accidentally changed. This could have happened by installing a new program, or you may have mistakenly done it on your own. (You still may be able to open the images in the program of your choice by opening that program, clicking "File" in the menu bar, selecting "Open" from the drop-down menu and opening the file from the "Open" dialog box.) The following steps will show you how to change your file type settings, so when you double-click on a file it will open in the chosen program.

To change your system's file type settings in Windows 98:
1. Double-click your cursor arrow on the "My Computer" icon.
2. Click on "View" and select "Folder Options" from the resulting menu.
3. In the "Folder Options" window, click on the "File Types" tab.
4. Under "Registered file types," you will see a list of your system's different file types. (GIF Image, JPEG Image, Text Document, etc.) Scroll down the list until you find the file type you want to change and click on it to highlight it. For example, if JPEGs are opening in the wrong program, click on "JPEG Image" to highlight it.
5. Click the "Remove" button. Then close the "Folder Options" window by clicking the "OK" button. Next, close the "My Computer" window by clicking the "X" in the upper right corner of the window.
6. Now, locate a file of the type you removed from the list (JPEG in our example) on your hard drive. Click on the file to highlight it. Then while holding the Shift key down on your keyboard, right-click on it.
7. Select "Open With" from the pop-up menu. The "Open With" dialog box will open.
8. Click on a program from the list under "Choose the program you want to use" to highlight it. (For our example, we want JPEGs to always open in Internet Explorer so we'll choose "iexplore" from the list.)
9. Check the box next to "Always use the selected program to open this kind of file." Finally, click "OK."

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Q: Whenever I log-on to my email, I must enter my password each and every time. Whenever I switch my browser and return to Outlook Express I must enter my password again. This is annoying and time consuming. Can you help?

A: Normally, it should ask if you want to save the password, but if not try following these steps:

1. Start Outlook Express.
2. Click "Tools" in the menu bar, and then click "Accounts."
3. Click the "Mail" tab in the "Internet Accounts" window.
4. In the "Account" column, click to highlight the Internet email account to be changed, and then click "Properties."
5. On the "Server" tab, type your password in the "Password" box and then click to select the "Remember password" dialog box.
6. Click "OK," and then click the "Close" button.
7. Close Outlook Express and then restart it.
8. Check to see if it worked. If it didn't work, you may need to search Microsoft's Support site for more detailed information at http://support.microsoft.com/.

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Q: How do I change my email address at my home computer?

A: To change your email address you'll need to contact your Internet Service Provider. They'll need to change your account settings. You will also have to change the email account settings on your computer in your email program. In Outlook Express these settings can be found under the "Tools" menu in "Accounts."

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Q: Can you tell me how to stop all the junk email I'm getting? Is there a way to delete everything at once from my Deleted Items folder?

A: A: Consult your ISP to see if they offer or recommend any junk email filtering service. You can also use "Message Rules" to curb the amount of junk email you have to delete by hand.

To delete everything at once from your "Deleted Items" folder:
Click on the "Deleted Items" folder to highlight it. Next, click on "Edit" and "Empty Deleted Items Folder" from the resulting drop-down menu. Click "OK" to permanently get rid of your deleted messages.

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Q: I use Internet Explorer 6.0, Outlook Express 5.5 and Windows XP Home Edition. I would like to use the Newsgroups to download files, text messages, etc. I know that there are free and pay newsgroup agents such as Forté Agent or TIFNY, but when I try to use them I can’t download anything. Could you help me step-by-step on what options in Outlook Express I need to use or setup to enable use of these programs?

A: Both Forté Agent and TIFNY require an NNTP (News) server, a basic service provided by most Internet Service Providers. Check with your ISP to see if they provide you with one. If not, you also have the option to subscribe to one through Forté, called Agent Premium Newsgroups, for a monthly fee.

Installation instructions for Forté Agent can be found at http://www.forteinc.com/agent/install.php.
Installation instructions for TIFNY can be found at http://www.tifny.com/installfaq.html.

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Q: What’s the procedure for resending a returned email that was sent with an incorrect address?

A: If you want to resend an email to the correct address, follow these steps:

To resend an email using “Forward”:
1. Click on the message in your inbox in order to highlight it.
2. Click on the “Forward” button in the toolbar.
3. Remove the “Fw:” from the “To:” field. Then type in the correct email address.
4. Highlight and delete all the forwarding marks and extra characters that weren’t in your original message—including “To:” and “From:” headers that appear in the body of the message.
5. Click the “Send” button.

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Q: When I have Outlook Express open I keep getting disconnected from the Internet after I send or receive my messages. How do I fix this problem?

A: You probably have Outlook Express set to hang up after sending or receiving your messages. If so, here are the steps you need to follow to fix the problem:

1. With Outlook Express open, click “Tools” then “Options.”
2. Next click on the “Connections” tab and uncheck the option that reads “Hang up after sending and receiving.”
3. Then click “Apply” and “OK” to save the changes and close the Options window.

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Q: A friend claims he sent me an email but I never received it. What could be wrong?

A: There are several things that could be wrong. This most commonly occurs when someone addresses an email incorrectly. Have your friend double check the “To” email address as well as the “From” address.

Also, if your friend attached a file that was very large, the message may have not been sent. Some Internet Service Providers have limitations on the size of files sent through their mail servers. Check with both party’s ISPs to see if they have such restrictions.

If none of the above were the case, try to pinpoint the problem by having your friend resend the message multiple ways—without any attachments, from a different email address, etc.

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Q: Is there a way to check the source of suspicious looking incoming email without opening them up? I use Windows 98 and am on Outlook Express.

A: Yes. First of all, make sure you have your Preview Pane turned off in Outlook Express so you are not automatically opening every email that comes in to you. To close the Preview Pane, click your cursor arrow on View on the menu bar at the top of your computer screen, move your cursor arrow down to Layout on the resulting submenu, and then uncheck the Preview Pane option. Click Apply and then OK.

To check an email's source, right-click the message in your inbox, and select Properties from the drop-down menu. You'll then be able to see the sender's entire email address. If you wish to see the source code that makes the message, click on the Details tab and then click Message Source.

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Q: Sometimes when I try to get my incoming email, I get a "timeout" message and I don't receive my email. Why does this happen?

A: This is probably because someone has sent you a very large email attachment and the mail server "times out" before the download can be completed. Be sure to tell your friends not to send you large email attachments?nothing bigger than 2 or 3 megabytes.

Another handy method to resolve this problem is to access your email via "Webmail." Webmail allows you to receive and send email messages from a website. The messages are not downloaded into your email account, thus you avoid the difficulty of trying to access messages containing large attachments. Webmail is often used by people who travel. They access the website to check for email messages from a remote location. Check your ISP's home page for more information on setting-up and accessing email messages through their Webmail offering.

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Q: I would like to contact an old college friend by email but don't have his address. How can I look it up?

A: If getting an email address directly from a person you want to contact isn't possible, you can try searching many online directories. Unfortunately, the results from these directories aren't always accurate and may take a while to search. (The best way to get an email address is still asking the person directly or getting it from a shared acquaintance.)

Try doing a search for the person's email address on one of the sites listed below. You may find the result is an old, non-valid email address or you may not find your address at all

http://www.addresses.com/
http://www.infospace.com/home/white-pages/email-search
http://www.switchboard.com

It's also a wise idea to test an address' validity before typing a lengthy message and getting it returned. You can check if an email address works or not by trying one of the two following sites:

• http://www.addresses.com/email_verify.php
http://www.server2.com/Tools/ValidateEmail.asp

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Q: I've got a "former" friend who keeps sending me email that I'd prefer not to receive. Is there a way I can prevent these messages from arriving within my inbox? I use Outlook Express and the Windows 98 operating system.

A: Yes. Outlook Express provides an option for users to actually block unwanted emails before messages enter a user's inbox. Here's how:

Blocking email Messages Using Outlook Express 5
1. Select the offensive message whose sender you wish to block by clicking on it.
2. Go to Message on the Outlook Express menu bar and select Block Sender from the resulting drop-down menu.
3. A dialog box will open telling you that the sender's address has been added to your list of block senders. All email from that sender will now be blocked unless the sender changes his/her email address. The dialog box will also ask whether you want to delete all previous messages from the sender which reside in the folder. Clicking Yes will delete these messages as well.
4. Future messages from the sender will be diverted directly into your Deleted Items folder.

Neither Netscape nor the Mac version of Outlook Express provide a specific method for "blocking" an email prior to the message arriving within a user's inbox. They do allow users to "filter" incoming email messages, however, by diverting the email into a folder. For example, rules can be set-up to automatically send emails from specific senders directly to a "Deleted Items" folder.

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Q: Why do some of the email messages I send come back marked UNDELIVERED?

A: For an email message to get delivered, the recipient’s address needs to have several items in it: a user name, an “at” sign (@), a mail server (or host) name, a dot (.) and a zone name. For example, in the email address of [ben@websitecompass.com], ‘Ben’ is the username, ‘websitecompass’ is the host name and ‘.com’ is the zone name. If any of these ingredients of the email address are typed incorrectly, the message will not be delivered.

Some things to check:
1. If the returned email message says TRANSIENT ERROR, it means there is a problem with the Internet and your message is being delayed. If the message still hasn’t been delivered after five days, you should get another message saying so.
2. If the returned message says something about an UNKNOWN USER, the username is in some way incorrect. You may have typed it incorrectly or you may have used the wrong name.
3. If the message refers to an UNKNOWN HOST, there is a problem with the server or computer being used by the person you’re trying to contact, or you typed the host name incorrectly when you addressed your email message.

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Q: I have a ton of email in my Outlook Express and it’s starting to bog down. I don’t want to throw my old messages away but don’t know what to do?

A: Sounds like you just need to back up some messages onto your hard drive and then delete the old copies out of Outlook Express.

Here’s how to back up individual messages in Outlook Express.

1. Locate the message you want to back up in Outlook Express.
2. Open the folder on your computer where you want to keep the backup copy.
3. Click and grab the message (keeping the mouse pressed) and drag it to the folder window where you want to keep it on your hard drive.
4. After you are done backing up all of your email you might want to make a copy onto a CD or DVD ... just in case.
5. You can also import messages back into Outlook Express by dragging and dropping them onto a folder where you want them to reside in Outlook Express.

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Q: Whenever I want to forward an email message to a group of my friends, I type each of their email addresses in the “Bcc:” field of my new message. Is there is a faster way of doing this?

A: First of all, you made a good point about forwarding the email to your friends using the “Bcc:” field vs. the “To:” or “Cc:” fields. This protects the privacy of the email addresses of your friends.

There is an easy method to accomplish the goal described in your question. The first step is to set-up a “Group” in your Address Book that holds the names and email addresses of a group of friends to whom you regularly send messages.

In Outlook Express, click on the “Addresses” button on the toolbar. This will allow you to open the “Main Identity Address Book” where you will create your group. Click the “New” button on the Address Book toolbar and select “New Group” from the resulting drop-down menu. Name your group and add members to it by clicking on the “Select Members” button. When you’ve finished adding to the list, click “OK.” The Group will now appear in your Contact List with a different icon indicating that it is a group of email addresses rather than a single address.

To quickly send an email to everyone in your newly created group, simply type the name of the group into the “Bcc:” field and your message will be sent to the whole group after you send your message.

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Q: I have friends that frequently send me important-sounding emails that I'm supposed to forward to people I know. How can I tell if the messages are legitimate or a hoax?

A: Good question. It's pretty simple. There are five signs that an email is a hoax:

1. Urgency
You'll see lots of exclamation points and words in all caps, like URGENT!!! and WARNING!!!

2. "Tell all your friends"
There will always be a request that you share this "important information" by forwarding the message to everybody in your email address book or to as many people as you possibly can.

3. "This isn't a hoax"
The message may include a seemingly sincere premise like "My neighbor, who works for Microsoft, just received this warning so I know it's true. He asked me to pass it along."

4. Dire consequences
The text will predict dire consequences if you don't act immediately
— a missing child won't be found or someone won't be able to die happy.

5. History
Look for lots of >>>> marks in the left margin. These indicate that people who fell for the hoax have forwarded the message countless times before it reached you.

When in doubt, do your homework at www.hoaxbusters.org, www.snopes.com, or www.scambusters.org.

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