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Boulder Computer Maven Newsletter - April 2010

Dear Friends,

This is my customer newsletter, containing information that I hope will help you use your computer more enjoyably, safely, and efficiently. This month's topics are Organize Your E-Mail Messages into Folders, Protect Your Computer by Installing Updates, Beware of Dangerous Downloads, and End of Support for Some Versions of Windows.

Previous newsletters are available on the newsletters page of the Boulder Computer Maven web site.

If you change your E-mail address, please send me your new one. If you don't want to receive this newsletter, let me know, and I'll remove your name from my mailing list.

If you have questions or comments or want to schedule an appointment, please call me at 303-444-8247.

Best Wishes,
Steve Winograd

Helping People Use Computers in Boulder for Over 25 Years

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Organize Your E-Mail Messages into Folders

If your E-mail Inbox is so full that it's hard to find messages that you're looking for, it's time to set up E-mail folders. These folders work just like manila folders in a filing cabinet -- you create them, label them according to what you want them to contain, and sort messages into them. For example, you can have a folder for messages from family members, one for messages from work, and one for online shopping. You can even have your computer automatically sort messages into folders, based on who they're from, message subject, specific words in the message, or other criteria that you choose.

I can help you set up folders and automatic sorting in whatever E-mail system you use: Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, AOL Mail, Google Mail, Comcast SmartZone, etc.

Protect Your Computer by Installing Updates

From time to time, Microsoft and other companies release updates to their programs to enhance security, add features, and improve performance. Common ones are for Windows, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader, and Java.

It's important to install these updates as they become available. When an update notification for one of these programs appears at the bottom right corner of the desktop, click it and let it install the update. You can also install Windows updates at any time by clicking the Start button, then clicking All Programs and Windows Update.

If you're not sure that an update notification is legitimate, please leave it on the screen, don't click anything, and contact me right away.

Beware of Dangerous Downloads

Be very careful if you go to a web site to listen to a recording or watch a video and you get a message asking you to install a program. It might say something like "Windows Media Player is unable to play movie file. Please click here to download new version of codec" or "Video ActiveX Object Error. Your browser cannot display this video file. You need to download new version of Video ActiveX Object to play this video file". The criminals who create rogue security programs and other malware can use this method to infect your computer.

If you're not sure that the web site and the program that it wants to install are legitimate, please leave it on the screen, don't click anything, and contact me right away.

End of Support for Some Versions of Windows

Microsoft is ending support and will no longer issue security updates for these Windows versions:

To find out what version of Windows your computer has, click the Start button, click Computer or My Computer with the right mouse button, and click Properties. If your computer has one of those versions, it's important to install the latest service pack before that date. The easiest way to do it is to install it when Windows Update offers it. You can also install Windows Vista Service Pack 2 or Windows XP Service Pack 3 manually.