Leo's Answers #136 – July 15, 2008

Leo's Answers
A Weekly Newsletter From
Ask Leo!
Leo Notenboom

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*** Contents

*** This Week's New Articles on Ask Leo!

What is Silverlight, and do I need it?

I just did a check for fixes & updates using Windows Updates. The result of the check was a software update for which I do not know if I should download and install it or not. As an "end user" home computer, I don't know if I need "Silverlight v1.0". I was wondering if you could shed some light on this Silverlight and, generally speaking, whether or not a home user would need or use Silverlight.

Do you need it? Probably not yet. But I'm guessing that someday you will want it.

And even if you don't, I'm guessing not having it will, eventually, be annoying enough that you'll give in and install it anyway.

A frustratingly classic case of "Resistant is Futile".

Continue reading: "What is Silverlight, and do I need it?"
http://ask-leo.com/what_is_silverlight_and_do_i_need_it.html

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How secure is standby mode?

How secure is standby mode on a laptop? Can spyware get in while a computer is in standby? My security software warned me about my first spyware ever, and I am trying to figure out how it got on my computer. I do online banking, use Paypal and eBay and Yahoo email. I have never had spyware before and it really makes me nervous!

My take is that standby is actually no more secure than leaving your computer on. Now, some will take me to task for that, but there are a couple of reasons I say this.

It's confusing because while, no, spyware can't get in while your computer's in standby, there's a chance that your computer wasn't in standby the entire time.

Continue reading: "How secure is standby mode?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_secure_is_standby_mode.html

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Is it safe to uninstall updates?

Is it safe to uninstall or delete updates to programs after one has installed them? My add/remove is chock full of updates and I'm thinking if they've been installed or superseded by later updates, I should be able to uninstall them.

Is it safe? Kinda, sorta, but not really.

Do I think you should do it? Nope.

The updates are there for a reason.

Continue reading: "Is it safe to uninstall updates?"
http://ask-leo.com/is_it_safe_to_uninstall_updates.html

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How do I transfer my email from one ISP to another?

I have a btinternet account and I want to transfer all my emails and folders from that account to a yahoo canadian account? How would I go about that?

I'm going to assume that you use your ISP's web mail of some sort, as opposed to downloading your email into a mail program on your PC.

The problem here is that web-based email - be it your ISP, a free email service like Hotmail, or something else - is extremely difficult to move from service to service.

In fact, I'll go so far as to say that as a practical matter, it might just as well be impossible.

But I do have a suggestion.

Continue reading: "How do I transfer my email from one ISP to another?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_transfer_my_email_from_one_isp_to_another.html

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How do you keep track of new mentions of yourself on the internet?

In the article on RSS and Google Reader you said: "For example I regularly use RSS feeds to keep abreast of new mentions of my name, or my wife's business on the internet." How do you do that?

Well, it's more than just using RSS and an RSS reader, but it's very easy, actually. In fact, I'm frequently surprised by what my own notifications turn up, and surprised at how many other folks that should be watching things aren't.

Continue reading: "How do you keep track of new mentions of yourself on the internet?"
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_you_keep_track_of_new_mentions_of_yourself_on_the_internet.html

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*** Featured Comments

A sampling of some of the comments that have been posted recently on Ask Leo!

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Can I save the Sent Items folder to CD in Outlook Express?

DB writes:

I discovered a way to do what the person wanted somewhat easily in OE. Multiple select the messages, and then drag them to a folder in Windows Explorer (CD or otherwise). They are put there as .eml files (text files). I don't know if Windows Mail does this. I just tried it on OE 6.00. Save As was disabled, but drag and drop still worked - strange...

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Can hackers see data going to and from my computer?

Sheena writes:

I have been talking to who I thought was a friend for the past 2 months and then he popped up and said that he wasn't really that person. He was just using his screen name and myspace. But this guy has been sending me my friends pics and information about his work in the military. Is that possible to really be able to have access to someone's whole computer like that?

Absolutely. If your (real) friend was careless and somehow let his account information be stolen, this kind of thing could easily happen. And it does.

That's why people like me keep harping on keeping your computer secure, choosing good passwords, and all the other habits we should develop to stay safe.

Leo

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Why am I suddenly getting spam?

Glenn P. writes:

"...there is no way for the spammer, or anyone else for that matter, to get notified that you have opened an email." Don't be SILLY! Haven't you ever heard of return receipts!? Gawd, I can't believe you SAID that...!

Glenn: Believe it. Return receipts are completely unreliable and disabled by most email programs by default.

Leo

*** This Week's Most Popular

The ten most popular articles in the last 7 days on Ask Leo!

  1. How do I put a picture in a comment on myspace.com?
  2. How do I make a new MSN Hotmail account?
  3. How do I delete history items from my Google tool bar?
  4. How do I put a picture into the caption of a picture on myspace.com?
  5. What are MSN HotMail's POP3 and SMTP settings for Outlook Express?
  6. My desktop Recycle Bin has disappeared - why, and how do I get it back?
  7. How do I resolve my MSN Hotmail sign in problems?
  8. How do I hack into someone's account?
  9. How do I change my MSN Hotmail password?
  10. Svchost and Svchost.exe - Crashs, CPU maximization, viruses, exploits and more.

*** Leo Recommends

TrueCrypt
Free Open Source Industrial Strength Encryption

TrueCrypt comes up frequently in Ask Leo! answers. Many people are concerned about things like privacy, identity and data theft, particularly on computers or on portable devices where they might not always have total physical control of the media.

Someone might gain access to sensitive data stored on your computer.

Encrypting your data renders that access useless, even when your computer or your thumbdrive falls into the wrong hands.

And TrueCrypt makes it not only easy, but nearly un-crackable.

Continue reading: "TrueCrypt - Free Open Source Industrial Strength Encryption"
http://ask-leo.com/truecrypt_free_open_source_industrial_strength_encryption.html

Each week I recommend a specific product or resource that I've found valuable and that I think you may as well. What does my recommendation mean?

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

I used to travel a bit in my RV, using my cellular modem to provide connectivity. The problem was we often traveled to an area with weak cellular signals. This article resulted.

How do you stay connected in weak cellular areas?

This is another of those questions I asked myself. I'm finding myself spending more time in rural Washington state, with more expected. My primary way of staying connected to the internet is my cellular phone's data plan, but out here on the farm we're in a fringe area. Coverage is weak, and disconnects are common.

Correction: they were common. I've got quite a good connection as I'm writing this.

Here's what I did...

Continue reading...
How do you stay connected in weak cellular areas?
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_you_stay_connected_in_weak_cellular_areas.html

*** Thoughts and Comments

I want to thank the several readers who contacted me with suggestions for a replacement power supply for my monitor. I don't have one yet, but I do have a lead or two that I'm following up. There may be hope.

I stumbled on to this weeks archive story about staying connected in weak cellular areas and selected it because, coincidentally, we're selling our RV - the very one mentioned (and slightly pictured) in that article. I figured it was some kind of serendipity that the article should show up on my radar at the same time.

In other non-news: no, I did not get an iPhone. Apparently I'm one of the few geeks who hasn't, though. Smile

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'till next time...

Leo

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