Leo's Answers #20 – April 7, 2006

Leo's Answers
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Leo Notenboom


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*** Contents

*** New Articles of Note on Ask Leo!

How can I password protect my documents?

I keep a daily journal in Microsoft Works on Windows XP. Is there a way to put a password on it, or lock it up somehow, so only I have access to it?

There are several approaches to keeping your private data private. Some good, some bad, and many in-between.

Let's look at the list, from least to most secure.

Continue reading: "How can I password protect my documents?"

* * *

How do I prevent MSN Hotmail from signing me in automatically?

When I log on to Hotmail it goes straight to my in box without my having to type in my password. How do I change that so I have to type in my password to stop other people from being able to access my in box.

Making sure that Hotmail doesn't automatically log you in is critical if it's possible that someone else might walk up and use your computer while you're not looking.

The great news is that it's trivial.

Step 1? Sign Out.

Continue reading: "How do I prevent MSN Hotmail from signing me in automatically?"

* * *

What processes in windows task manager should I be wary of?

I don't mean this to sound snippish or snide, but the only reasonable answer is really ...

All of them.

Or perhaps put another way ...

All the ones you don't recognize, and perhaps some of those that you do.

And I know, that's not really a reasonable answer at all. Let's look at what you can tell from the task list, and what you might consider looking at if you suspect a problem.

Continue reading: "What processes in windows task manager should I be wary of?"

* * *

Can I get a virus or spyware from a free video download?

I occasionally get funny videos as attachments to email and I download them and scan them with a virus scan package (Norton) before playing. There has not yet been one with a virus detected. But I notice when I play them with Windows Media Player I see a "connecting" message at the bottom of Media Player even though I selected the option to not communicate with Microsoft about my playing history when I installed the Media Player software. Can a WMV or similar file have any scripting in it that might be dangerous in terms of transmitting information on my PC to the author of the funny video?

I've always assumed that the "connecting" message was just Windows Media Player using a generic term that could be used both in cases where it truly connects to remote, streaming video, as well as opening a local, downloaded free video file. In other words, I assumed it's just "connecting" to the media, wherever it is.

But rather than assume anything, I decided to ask my friend Jake Ludington, who's particularly conversant in media issues, for his thoughts.

The short answer to your question turns out to be "yes".

Continue reading: "Can I get a virus or spyware from a free video download?"

*** Popular Articles from the Archives

Last week I reprinted the Outlook/Outlook Express article. This week another ongoing source of confusion that I still refer people to on a regular basis: Messenger, Messenger and Messenger:

What's the difference between MSN Messenger, Windows Messenger, and Windows Messenger??

They're all "Messenger", right? Not at all. It's a confusing mess, thanks to the way Microsoft choose to name several of its applications.

We'll take this one application at a time.

Continue reading...

*** Thoughts and Comments

As I expected this week has been so busy I haven't been able to do a lot of my "normal" things. If you're looking for the weekly podcast, for example, you'll notice that there isn't one. Sorry about that.

This internet entreprenuers conference I'm at in Tempe Arizona is, as it always is, an intense and educational experience. And a whole lot of fun. We've been meeting a couple of times a year for about three years now, and many of the attendees have become really good friends. It's a small private group, and I can't share with you who the other members are, but we represent a wide range of internet activities, not just geeks like me. You might very well recognize many of the businesses and personalities represented in the room here.

And yes, you read that right ... I'm listening to a presentation in the conference room while I write this. I'm also writing this a day early, so it'll get sent while I'm in the air or on the highway making my way back home.

Scheduled tasks and multi-tasking; they're not just for computers any more :-).

* * *

The latest entry out at Forwarded Funnies: "Florida Biker with His Babe"

*** Newsletter Administration

Do you have a question? A comment, perhaps? Newsletter subscribers can drop me a line at leo <at> ask-leo.com. (I only give that email address to newsletter subscribers, so I'll know it's from one of my loyal readers.) If you like, you can make sure you get past any spam filters by simply posting your question or comment using the Ask Leo! question form: http://ask-leo.com/askleo.html.

I'll be honest: I'll try to respond, but I get a lot of questions every day - I'm currently quite backlogged. I simply cannot answer absolutely every one. Rest assured, though, that even if you don't hear from me directly, I read every email I get.

Leo's Answers Newsletter is a weekly publication of Ask Leo! and Leo A. Notenboom. It's also available as an RSS feed at this URL: http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.xml?UD=nl. Archives of previous newsletter issues can be found on the Ask Leo! web site, http://ask-leo.com/newsletter.html.

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Till next week!

Leo Notenboom

Posted: April 7, 2006 in: 2006
Shortlink: https://newsletter.askleo.com/2615
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4 comments on “Leo&apos;s Answers #20 – April 7, 2006”

  1. Hi Leo,
    When I first subscribed to your newsletter, I found it extremely interesting and I thought I finally found a good, non-geeky, informative missive.

    Now, after receiving it for awhile, and having submitted several questions, of which I have had no reply, nor have I seen anything remotely similar to its content being addressed, I am finding your weekly content very boring and mundane. (I learned how to do most of what you are now addressing 7 or 8 yrs. ago.) I find that most of your content deals with the obvious and to the point of being blatently ‘stupid questions’ which most people can find out themselves simply by making one extra click in their option areas or tools sections of programs.

    I’m sorry I seem to be ‘burning’ you on all of your hard work, but, either get into the meat and potato areas of the computer with actual problem solving, or I guess I’ll have to keep looking for that one elusive editor out there that knows what problems people really want answers for.

    I really don’t think that too many people want to see the repetitive stuff about MSN Hot Mail, “how do I change my passwords?”, etc., etc., etc.

  2. I’m sorry that you find my newsletter beneath you.

    If you haven’t subscribed to it already, you might try the Langa List. Many of the items listed in this article are also still quite valid: http://ask-leo.com/what_are_some_good_tech_newsletters.html

    The fact is that I’d guess 80% of my content is a direct reflection of the questions I get. You may not think that a lot of people are interested in MSN, Hotmail, passwords etc. … but the flood of questions I get every day says otherwise.

    As to not addressing your specific questions … without knowing what they were, I can’t say for sure. But I do get MANY more questions every day than I can hope to address. This article also addresses the general issue: http://ask-leo.com/why_didnt_you_answer_my_question.html

    Thanks for the feedback, and good luck finding something more to your liking.

  3. WMP 9 stopped streaming – (Netcape 7.1 browser) but
    it will still down website clips – what do I check-
    I run Win 98SE – everything else is working great.
    Temp+ Cache clean, NAV clean – same proglem with or
    without ZAP running. I am stumped. Thanks, Leo

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