a home for us

Computer Stuff

October 2017

Broadband Supplier

I changed my supplier early 2009 to PlusNet for my Broadband.  Still my preferred supplier due to the good customer service (see )

Security when using Web Mail

If you are using a Web Mail account from a shared computer or one in a public space, such as an internet cafe, there are some security issues to be aware of.  Some care is needed to keep your mail account secure.  Most browsers cache pages that you have read (i,e, keep a local copy).  This could mean that after you’ve left the PC, someone else using it could use the browser’s History function to go back to your mailbox.

Two steps are needed to secure your Web Mail.  First, make sure you use the service’s Log Out button.  This makes sure that the server knows you’ve finished and won’t allow further access without your password again.  Second, clear all the pages you’ve viewed from the browser’s cache.  Press Ctrl+H to bring up the History Window, select all the pages from your session and delete them.  Then close the browser to make sure the cache is flushed.  Anyone using the PC after you shouldn’t now be able to access your Web Mail.

Security on the Web

If you are using a Microsoft Windows computer on the internet, then you really should have an Anti-virus product and a Firewall installed.  There are a number of free products in this area.  The ones I am using currently are:

  • AVAST Anti-virus.  To download off the internet click here
  • Windows integral firewall.

Other options to consider include:

  • AVG Anti-virus. To download off the internet click here .

Use Quality CD’s and DVD’s for important data storage

Not all the CD-R, CD-RW, DVD-R or DVD-RW are of the same quality.  For transient, unimportant or temporary use, I just tend to buy the cheapest disks I can find; however, for information you wish to retain for a long period of time, or where the information is important, I strongly recommend using quality media.  I recommend using Verbatim products, CD’s and DVD+R and DVD+RW disks. 

How to have multiple accounts (users) in Outlook Express

To support multiple users with separate eMail accounts, the best, and most secure way, using Microsoft Windows 2000 or XP is to set up unique user IDs for the computer and to login in the computer using your personal ID which invokes your personal settings.

However, where one login ID (or no ID) is used to access a single PC for multiple users, to enable individual accounts with different eMail addresses, you need to enforce more disciplined habits when using Outlook Express (OE).

When finished working with eMail, instead of just shutting OE down, you should click File / Identities / Log Off <name>.  This shuts down OE leaving no default identity.  Next time OE is launched, directly or indirectly, the user must enter an identity and password in the logon box.  If the user clicks Cancel, OE won’t start at all.

Creating your own web-site

If you wish to create your own web-site you need to do at least the following things:

  • Obtain your own domain (e.g. this one is or use a domain provided by someone else (discuss this aspect with them!).  I would suggest obtaining UK domains using 1and1 via and .COM, .ORG and .NET via .
  • Select where to host your domain.  You could do this yourself, but this is a bit technical.  My current preferred hosting company is
  • Use a tool to create your web-site.  You can just code in HTML and use FTP to upload this to your hosting site, but I would really recommend you use a site creation tool.  I currently use NetObjects Fusion.  There is a free download of a starter version, ‘Netobjects Fusion Essentials’, from ‘click here’.

Windows Messenger Service - How to kill it

Note, I am not talking about Windows or MSN Messenger, I am talking about the ‘Messenger Service’ in Windows 2000 and XP.  If you have this problem, you will receive spurious pop-up messages with ‘Messenger Service’ at the top of the pop-up box.

To test whether you have this problem, go to the following URL and use their test:

Firstly - if you have a properly installed Firewall, see above, then this should prevent the messenger service accessing you computer.  If you have a Firewall and still have a problem, then ensure the firewall has ports 135, 137-139 and 445 blocked.

General Firewall Testing

I find the following service very useful in checking the effectiveness of Firewalls.  The use of this tool is not straightforward, but if you know what the results mean and how to use it, it is very good.

Use Shields Up by clicking here.