Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
If you are like most people, you use your Internet Provider's email client.
Most of these are based on the pop3 system.
While it is handy and convenient to have this locally based Email client on your PC, it also introduces a dangerous new element to your personal safety.
By default, your Outlook Express client is set up to automatically view every mail in a preview pane. This feature used to be handy years ago when we didn't have to worry so much about spam and malware. Unfortunately, in the post y2k era Email has become a leading cause of virus proliferation and infection.
Many spam or malware emails can not only infect your PC, but also hijack your contacts list and email itself to all of your friends. Some of these fraudulent email attachments can even hijack your browser, forcing it to make your homepage anything they choose.
If you choose to continue using this windows based email client, you should make a few changes to prevent an email from loading without your permission. The easiest and most advisable fix is this.
Click the toolbar item named (View) then click layout and un-check (Show Preview Pane). Now when you just happen to have an email highlighted it will not show the contents of that particular email in a preview pane. This protects your privacy, should someone happen to be looking over your shoulder, and also prevents you from accidentally loading an email you hadn't intended to read. Spam artists and malware creators depend heavily on the preview pane to spread their poison because when the email loads it can also open html code, flash script, css code as well as some java applets. Gone are the days when you only had to worry about opening attachments to get infected, and NO you should never click on any attachment sent to you by a stranger. Never accept attachments from strangers.
The Block Feature
When you get an email from someone you don't know, or if you continue to receive unwanted or spam email from someone, you can simply choose to block them. You can do this by clicking once on the email you don't want to see again and click on the (message) button on your toolbar, then click block. This simple trick will not only prevent a repeat of that same email, but will effectively block any future emails from that particular sender permanently.
With outlook express you can filter your email so that any email from a certain party can be redirected to a different folder of your choosing.
After all, we dont want letters from our loved ones being immediately accessible with a single click. We do this with a handy tool called (Message Rules). First, you will need to create a folder with a name that fits the particular person or type of email you want to filter.
We do this by right clicking the (Local Folders) tab, then click (New Folder), name it and you are done. Then click an email like the one you want to have sent to this new folder then click (Message) on your toolbar and choose (Create Rule From Message). In the dialog box that opens you will see a vast amount of options detailing what you can do with this particular email, but for simplicities sake, we will simply choose, in Box 1.(Where The From Line Contains People), then click in Box 2.(Move It To The Specified Folder), In Box 3. click the highlighted blue text saying (Specified) choose the new folder as the one to send this and all other Emails sent by this person to and click ok on both boxes.
Now lets test this NEW message rule.
On the Toolbar, click Tools then click message rules, then choose mail.
When the new window opens, choose, the mail rules tab, then click (Apply Now). when the New window opens always choose (Select All) just in case you miss any new emails, and click apply now.
If all went well, you will see the emails from the sender you selected disappear from your inbox window then reappear in the folder of your choice. Sometimes a sender will use several addresses from the same domain, so you will need to repeat these steps to include them in your message rule.
You may have noticed when reading your message rules Box 1 a list of options for what type of identifiers to use when filtering emails, as well as the other options for how to deal with certain types of emails in Box 2.
These 2 boxes open a whole realm of possibilities for you to not only filter spam, but to also delete junk email automatically. Use this feature cautiously since some preferred emails use key words that can fall in your criteria of delete, move etc.
Saving Email Locally or on the Server.
Many of you have been faced with the dreaded prospect of sending your PC to a shop for repair or Virus removal only to learn after the fact that everything on your computer was completely wiped out.
What this means to you is that, not only have all of your songs, favorites and preferences been deleted, but your Outlook Express Emails have also been deleted. This need never happen if you follow these simple steps.
1.Click the word, Tools on your Toolbar then click Accounts.
2.Click your account name then click Properties
3.In the properties window, click Advanced.
4.Now click the box named (Leave A Copy Of Messages on Server)
The other options listed are a matter of your personal choice, so read them carefully.
What this does for you is prevent you from losing your emails due to a hard drive crash etc.
Now for Method 2
If you already have emails saved in Outlook Express, and you wish to save them on a more permanent basis, you can simply copy them all to a new folder of your choosing, and this can even include a flash drive or external hard drive backup.
First create a folder of your choosing in whatever place you wish to store these messages and name it whatever you want.
Now go to Outlook Express and click any email in the folder your chosen emails happen to be in. Now go to the toolbar and click edit, then click select all. Now drag and drop the entire highlighted blue emails to your new folder and all of the emails you selected will be saved there.
To restore these emails back to your Outlook Express client, just open the inbox, then open your new folder and select all the emails as before, drag and drop them to your inbox and they will appear exactly as they did originally.
I chose, long ago to stop using my local POP3 email simply because these problems listed above occur quite frequently. I chose instead to use Juno, Netzero and several other Webmail based accounts and I will list my reasons below.
1.I have a New Internet provider which means I have to send a notification to all my friends about the fact that my old email address is no longer valid.
2.Somebody put my email address in their address book and now I am getting chain letters and spam, and now I have to filter everything on a daily basis.
3.My outlook express client has crashed and I can no longer read my emails
4.Microsoft Messenger now loads every time I start windows, and I don't use it, but have trouble making it go away for good.
5.I have to set my email up all over again when I get a new PC
These few listed reasons can give you a little insight into what you can expect from Outlook Express as well as many other Microsoft programs which load memory stealing applications you may never use.
My solution, as noted above is to always use Webmail instead. The benefits are much better as well and I will list them here.
1.Automatic Spam Filtering is included with almost every Webmail client.
In my opinion Juno and Netzero are the best at this.
2.You never lose your Email address, unless for some reason you don't use your email for more than 6 months. With a local provider, you fail to pay for a month and you lose all of that anyway.
3.You can check your email anytime, anywhere, on any internet connection.
4.Most Webmail providers allow you to ADD your local ISP's POP3 email to your webmail which means you can not only check all of your emails, but you have them permanently stored in a safe, secure place.
5.You can forward anything in your Outlook Express inbox to your webmail address to make a permanent copy of emails you don't want to lose.
6.You may have as many Email Addresses as you want, unlike your local provider who will only allow a maximum of 1 to 3 accounts for free.
7.I never have to set up my email again, simply because I got a new PC
With this information, hopefully you will have enough information to safeguard your account, as well as see some choices you may not have known existed.
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Posted by Bob Sloan on
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