Ask Leo! #390 – Right person – wrong address, Gravatars, Browser Choice, .torrents and more…


The Ask Leo! Newsletter

*** Featured

Why do some blogs have pictures next to some people's comments?

Why is there an icon of a man with a question mark in it next to the comment I just left?

Why do some comments have pictures with 'em?

*

Those are the two most common questions that I expect to get after enabling images on posted comments here on Ask Leo!

As it turns out, many blogs use this service to add a little personality to their comments. Personally, when I see real photos, it helps remind me that these are real people leaving comments.

Let me explain what they are and what you might want to do if you are interested.

Continue reading: Why do some blogs have pictures next to some people's comments?
http://ask-leo.com/C5814

* * *

Why am I getting email from someone with the wrong email address?

Recently, while I was away on a business trip, my wife received this email:

From: Leo A. Notenboom [mailto:********@yahoo.com.sg]
Sent: Thursday, September 13, 2012 10:10 AM
To: ****@*********.***
Subject:

http://********.av.tr/cheeseblind/davidmiller24/?/b34a/

I've used asterisks to obfuscate a few things, but the essence is this:

  • The From: line displayed my name

  • However, the From: line also showed a completely random, unrelated email address that is most definitely not me.

  • The email was sent to my wife's email address.

  • The email message had no Subject line.

  • The email message consisted of only a link.

Because we communicate a fair amount by email when I travel, she thought it was from me and clicked the link.

Whoops.

I've been getting lots of reports of this particular scenario lately.

I'll describe what I did next and what this appears to be. And perhaps reassure you a little about what it is not.

Continue reading: Why am I getting email from someone with the wrong email address?
http://ask-leo.com/C5810

* * *

*** Answercast

Answercast #53 - Chrome vs. Firefox, recovering data, Torrent downloads, repairing with Windows 8 and more...

Ever wonder if upgrading will fix errors on a machine, or why rules don't always work in email? Do you think Hotmail will fill up your computer, or that Chrome might be better than Firefox? All that and more in this Answercast from Ask Leo!

Listen

Continue reading: Answercast #53 - Chrome vs. Firefox, recovering data, Torrent downloads, repairing with Windows 8 and more...
http://ask-leo.com/C5811

Will installing Windows 8 clear up the errors I'm having in Windows 7?
I would not perform an upgrade of Windows 8 with the expectation that it will make your problems go away. Best to clean up first.
Continue reading: Will installing Windows 8 clear up the errors I'm having in Windows 7?
http://ask-leo.com/C5812

My computer won't boot and I'm being advised to reformat, but that will erase my data. What do I do?
If you can't boot your computer, that's a problem that may only be resolved by reinstalling the operating system.
Continue reading: My computer won't boot and I'm being advised to reformat, but that will erase my data. What do I do?
http://ask-leo.com/C5813

Why don't email filtering rules work in my browser?
Many email services have the ability to set up rules to filter out unwanted emails. There are many different ways to do it.
Continue reading: Why don't email filtering rules work in my browser?
http://ask-leo.com/C5815

How do I uninstall this search hijack that came along with another install?
Unwanted and even malicious tools can be downloaded along with free or upgraded software. Time to run some anti-malware tools.
Continue reading: How do I uninstall this search hijack that came along with another install?
http://ask-leo.com/C5816

Is downloading .torrent files without downloading the files they point to a problem?
Torrent files by themselves are pretty benign. It's the files they point to that may hold copyrights and legal implications.
Continue reading: Is downloading .torrent files without downloading the files they point to a problem?
http://ask-leo.com/C5817

I can't activate Windows and I can't access my data. What do I do?
We can (probably) recover those files, but... your data is only in one place and you've run the risk of losing everything for a very long time!
Continue reading: I can't activate Windows and I can't access my data. What do I do?
http://ask-leo.com/C5818

Why are you using Chrome instead of Firefox?
It really boils down to personal preference. Today, I really have no problems with people using any of the big three browsers.
Continue reading: Why are you using Chrome instead of Firefox?
http://ask-leo.com/C5819

If I don't login to my Hotmail account, will it take up any space on my computer?
Hotmail is a web-based service. As long as you don't login to Hotmail, there's nothing that's going to get downloaded to your computer.
Continue reading: If I don't login to my Hotmail account, will it take up any space on my computer?
http://ask-leo.com/C5820

Why doesn't Flash work in IE9?
Something's wrong with Internet Explorer in this case. There's certainly no easy way to replace it, but it can possibly be repaired.
Continue reading: Why doesn't Flash work in IE9?
http://ask-leo.com/C5821

How do I resize this partition that Windows can only resize so far?
What's probably happening is that some files are in the way that Windows either won't or can't move.
Continue reading: How do I resize this partition that Windows can only resize so far?
http://ask-leo.com/C5822

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*** Last Issue's Articles

*** Word o' the Week

Spoof

To spoof something is to falsify or otherwise fake the information.

The most common use of the term of late is with respect to email. Specifically the sender of an email - the information that appears in the "From:" line - is easily and therefore frequently falsified by spammers. This is known as From: spoofing.

As a result an email's "From:" line can be:

  • Correct: the email is from the source indicated
  • Intentionally misleading: in an attempt to fool the recipient into opening the email or acting on its contents the "From:" line may be spoofed to make it appear that the email came from a contact or other trusted source, when in fact it did not.
  • intentionally random: in an attempt to hide the true source of the email the "From:" line may indicate a random source that, in fact, had nothing to do with the email.

Spoofing is, of course, not limited to email, or email "From:" information. Various aspects of almost any information can be spoofed for various reasons and with varying degrees of success.

Word o' the Week features a computer term or acronym taken from the Ask Leo! Glossary. If there's a word you're not sure of and would like to see defined, click here to let me know.

*** Thoughts and Comments

One of the things I like to share here from time to time are those "it happens to us all" moments. Just because I live, eat, breath, and sweat computers and technology doesn't mean I don't share some of the same problems that many of you do.

The same is true for my wife.

The scenario she encountered last week (and detailed in this week's Why am I getting email from someone with the wrong email address?) is one that I'm hearing of very often in recent weeks. Spammers are at it again, doing everything that they can to fool you into opening their emails and clicking their links.

This time, it appears that they leveraged a data leak (not a breach) of some sort in Facebook that Facebook has subsequently fixed. We hope.

Even when you are as cautious as my wife (and she most definitely is cautious and has developed a very good sense about these things), things can still slip through. We dodged a bullet, but I hope it serves as a reminder to all to remain on your guard.

'till next time...

Leo
Leo A. Notenboom
Facebook - Google+
YouTube - Twitter

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Leo A. Notenboom & Puget Sound Software, LLC.
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