Boulder Computer Maven Newsletter - March 2005

Dear Friends,

Thank you for letting me help you with your computer needs in the past.  This is my monthly customer newsletter, containing computer tips that I hope you'll find helpful and interesting.  This month's focus is on removing spyware, saving power, and doing more with E-mail.

If you don't want to receive this newsletter, please let me know, and I'll remove your name from my mailing list.  Previous issues are available on the newsletters page of the Boulder Computer Maven web site.

As always, please contact me at any time with your computer questions.  I want to help you get the most from your computer.

Best Wishes,
Steve Winograd, Boulder Computer Maven

Phone: 303-444-8247
Web Site:

Helping People Use Computers in Boulder for Over 20 Years

Spyware Removal

Spyware programs are installed on your computer, usually without your knowledge, by criminals using the Internet.  Spyware can send your personal information to the criminals to help them steal your identity.  It can let them take remote control of your computer and use it to attack other computers and send spam, viruses, and pornography to other people on the Internet.  For more information, see my web page Protecting Your Computer From Spyware.

Here are some signs of spyware.  Please contact me immediately for expert spyware removal service if they appear:

Keeping Your Computer Spyware-Free

Internet criminals are continually finding new ways to infect computers with spyare.  After I've removed spyware from your computer, it's up to you to perform regular updates and scans to keep your computer spyware-free.  I recommend twice a week initially.  If no new spyware appears after two weeks, go to once a week.

I've written some web pages to help you help yourself.  Read and follow the instructions for using Spyware Blaster, Ad-Aware SE Personal, and Spybot Search & Destroy to remove new spyware and prevent further infection.

Saving Power

Computers and computer accessories can use a lot of electrical power.  Here are some ways to save power, reduce your electric bill, and help the environment:
What if you use your computer every day -- should you leave it running all the time or turn it off after each use?  There's no definitive answer to this question.  Turning it off saves power, but turning it on and off frequently can stress the electrical circuits and can cause premature failures.  My rule of thumb is not to turn a computer on and off more than once a day.

Doing More with Outlook Express E-Mail

Microsoft's Outlook Express E-mail program is built into every Windows computer.  Here are some features that it offers that can help you and your family do more with E-mail:
  • Multiple Identities - Everyone in the family can have individualized folders and settings.  You can put a password on your identity so that only you can see your E-mail messages.
  • Multiple Accounts - If you have more than one E-mail account (e.g. home, school, business, family), you can send and receive messages for all of them.
  • Folders - Create folders and sort your messages into folders based on criteria that you define.
  • Message Rules - Automatically sort incoming messages into folders, based on the subject, sender, size, specific words in the message body, or the account that received them.
  • Multiple Computers - Read the same E-mail messages on multiple computers.  That's handy if you use a desktop computer at home and a laptop computer when traveling.

Other E-Mail Programs

Here are some E-mail programs that do everything that Outlook Express does and more:  Mozilla Thunderbird, Netscape Mail, AOL Communicator, Eudora.  All of them have built-in spam filtering, which automatically puts undesired commercial E-mail messages into a Spam or Junk folder where they're easy to review and delete all at once.  I can show you how to use these programs and can copy your existing E-mail accounts, messages, and address books to them from Outlook Express.

I use Mozilla Thunderbird as my main E-mail program.  You must have an AOL account to use AOL Communicator, which also lets you AOL E-mail and multiple POP3 E-mail accounts.  Eudora's spam filtering is only available in the paid version.

Google Mail

Google, the Internet search company, has created an unusual and innovative free web-based E-mail service called Gmail.  The service is currently in a testing period and isn't available to the general public.  Please contact me if you'd like to try Gmail.  I've been testing it for several months and can get you an account.