Link to Polar E-Connections

 

 


Inside This Issue

E-Mail Scam
Bogus E-cards Not From Friends, But From Phishers

Polar Upgrades
Anti Spam Feature

Ask The Help Desk
What Should I Do When A Web Page Gets "Stuck" While I'm Downloading?

Sites Of The Month
Great Sites To Check Out In August!

Short Tutorial
Sending E-mail Messages To Groups Of People

 

 

Greetings from Polar's E-Connections Team

This August issue contains tips to help you spend less time working as well as ways to enjoy your leisure time more. The work shortcuts include how to "unstick" a web page and how to save time by creating groups of e-mail contacts. You can also protect yourself from phishers by reading our warning about a current e-card scam, and save time on cooking and homework by checking out our featured Great Sites. While you're there, have some fun with a superhero movie release, a site for college football fanatics, and guidance for new golfers during National Golf Month.

The goal of each of our monthly eNewsletters is to keep our subscribers informed regarding their Internet connection and to improve their Internet experience. To meet this goal, each monthly newsletter will usually contain information related to:

  1. Warnings on a recent virus, e-mail hoax, or security issue that may affect you
  2. An update on new services and other local interests
  3. An answer to a frequently asked Internet related question
  4. Some fun, seasonal websites to check out
  5. A short, step-by-step tutorial on an e-mail or browser related task

We think you'll find the information contained in this newsletter to be a valuable tool for enhancing your Internet experience. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

To see what's inside this issue, take a look at the index to the left and thanks for reading!

- The E-Connections Team

E-Mail Scam - Bogus E-cards Not From Friends, But From Phishers

Have you received e-mails recently that say you have an e-card waiting for you from an unnamed schoolmate, family member, or neighbor? They're probably from phishers trying to lure you to websites that deliver a malicious Trojan horse program to your computer. At first glance, these e-mail messages may appear to be legitimate, since they claim to come from companies like Hallmark, Blue Mountain, and 123Greetings. But take a closer look.

Here's an example of a bogus e-card notification:

Sample Bogus Hallmark eCard Notice



Now compare it to an actual e-card notification from Hallmark:

Sample Genuine Hallmark eCard Notice



To protect yourself, watch for these clues to help spot a fake:

  • There is no personalized greeting that identifies you as the intended recipient of the e-card, nor is the sender identified by name.
  • The actual web address is different from the one displayed in the message. If you receive an e-card notification of this type, DO NOT click on the link. Simply delete it from your Inbox.

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Polar Upgrades - Anti Spam Feature

Polar Communications is constantly looking to find ways to improve our service to you and provide you the best internet service possible. Within the next month or so Polar Communications will be upgrading our email anti-virus by purchasing a separate server to take care of scanning for virii and spam. This will free up space and time on the email server to let it work better for you.

The upgraded system will be the same anti-spam/virus product you are used to but with a lot more features you can take advantage of.

Many of you have told us that you miss the spam-box type function that you had when we were using Postini for anti-spam. We have listened to you and with the upgrade you will have an individual web page / control panel to help you manage your spam. No longer will you see *Spam?* tagged email in your inbox (unless you like it that way). Spam will now be deposited in a separate place with an easy-to-use web page to manage it.

You will have greater and easier control over what gets (or does not get) to your inbox.

Another comment we frequently heard is that spam should not count against your email quota. After the upgrade undeleted spam that is moved to your spambox will no longer count as used space in your mailbox. This will give you more room for your regular email. You will see fewer of those dreaded over-quota messages.

Spam reporting (and false-spam reporting) will be much easier. If we can make it easy for you to tell us about spam that made it to your inbox - and about innocent mail that was trapped as spam, then we will be able to use those examples you provide to better tune the spam filters so that they can be more efficient and you can see less spam.

Our current anti-spam system is doing an excellent job. While you may be concerned at seeing a few spam messages get through each day the volume of spam that is stopped is much greater than most of you imagine. The system is stopping more than 98% of the spam that is attempted to be delivered.

On a typical day over a half a million (500,000) email messages are presented to the PolarComm email server. Our first level of spam defense (which is called Mail Hurdle) typically discards over 300,000 of those by examining whether the email server they come from follows the proper rules for email. Spammers most often use very cheap stripped down (to be fast) software so that they can send more spam in a day.

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Ask The Help Desk - What Should I Do When A Web Page Gets "Stuck" While I'm Downloading?

Question: Sometimes when I try to download a web page, it gets "stuck" and the requested page does not appear. When this happens to me, I go back to the address bar and type the web address in again. Is there something else I could do?

Answer: Keep in mind that the Internet is like a huge highway system with traffic going in a variety of directions all at the same time. Sometimes traffic gets "held up" at virtual intersections along the way. This "getting stuck" phenomena is so common that browser makers have created a button to help out. Next time a web page gets "stuck," simply click on the "Stop" button and then the "Refresh" button on your browser's menu bar. (The "Refresh" button applies to Internet Explorer; use "Reload" if using Firefox or Safari.) If the web page still doesn't download, follow these steps:

  1. Click your browser's "Stop" button.
  2. Type a question mark at the end of the URL in the address bar.
  3. Press the return key. This alternative may force the page to reload.

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Great Sites To Check Out This Month

Make It Quick
http://mealsmatter.org/RecipesAndMeals/QuickMeals/index.aspx -  This time of year tends to be hot and hectic so you probably won't want to spend much time cooking. Speed up your meal preparation with a quick trip to this recipe site. It contains lots of ideas for fast and healthy meals that you can throw together in a flash, without needing to run to the store. There are plenty of kid-friendly and vegetarian dishes, and even super-simple recipes with six ingredients or less.

Hit the Books
http://libraryspot.com -  Since the school year will soon be beginning, it might be smart to bookmark this library site for the students in your family. It pulls together leading reference resources in a single convenient spot, including Wikipedia, WorldCat, Library of Congress, and Britannica. You can also ask homework questions, find science project ideas, and listen to the two-minute Daily Almanac Podcast featuring historical happenings, notable birthdays, and a word of the day.

Root for the Underdog
http://disney.go.com/disneypictures/underdog -  There's no need to fear. Underdog is here! The superhero canine bursts onto screens this month in a new live-action rendition of the classic cartoon from the '60s and '70s. Comedian Jason Lee is the voice of Underdog, an ordinary beagle that unexpectedly obtains superpowers (including the ability to fly and speak) due to a lab accident. While on this fun Disney site, play the Underdog games Super Fetch and City Sweep, and check out the funny Underdog bloopers. Rated PG.

Football Fanatic?
http://collegefootballfanatics.com -  Kick off the start of the 2007 College Football season with a visit to this site, which includes breaking football news, teams & conferences, rankings & polls, scores & standings, statistics, and recruiting information. Follow the action of your favorite college teams, get tickets to games, and look ahead at the schedule for the upcoming bowl season. Can't find exactly the information you want? No problem. There's also a link to the College Football Search Engine.

National Golf Month
http://www.playgolfamerica.com -  August is National Golf Month, and if you haven't taken up the sport yet, now is a great time to take a swing at it. Play Golf America is an organization dedicated to encouraging more people to learn and enjoy golf. Their site features all the basics to help you get started, such as the rules of golf, equipment, and golf etiquette. Simply type in your zip code to find golf courses and lessons in your area. Then get ready for a "hole" lot of fun!

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Short Tutorial - Sending E-mail Messages To Groups Of People

Do you find yourself sending messages to the same group of people all of the time? Do you get tired of going through your address book each time you send a group message to select the individual e-mail addresses of your recipients?

Outlook Express, Thunderbird, and Macintosh's Mail.app e-mail software programs each provide a method for putting e-mail addresses into a "group" to then easily send a message to multiple recipients at once. This option allows you to simply select the name of a group and then everyone listed in the group will receive the message without having to type in each individual e-mail address. It's a very handy shortcut. Here's how to do it:

Sending Group E-mail Messages Using Outlook Express 6 In Windows XP Home Edition

  1. Open Outlook Express.
  2. Click on the "Addresses" button on the Outlook Express toolbar or select "Address Book" from the Tools drop-down menu. The Address Book Window should appear listing your contacts in the right hand pane of the window.
  3. Click on the "New" button on the Address Book toolbar and select "New Group" from the drop-down menu. The new group's Properties form should appear.
  4. Type a name for your new group in the Group Name field. "Work," "Family," or "Friends" are good examples. Don't use a name like "Goofy People I Work With" because the name that you use for the group is the name that will show up in the "To" field of your message.
  5. Click your cursor arrow on the "Select Members" button on the right side of the window. A double paned Select Group Members window will appear.
  6. Highlight a name, multiple names, or all of the names from the listed contacts in the left hand frame and click the "Select" button at the top between the two panes. This will move the highlighted contact or contacts into the Members pane. Click "OK" when you've finished and click "OK" again to close the new group's Properties window.
  7. Click the red "X" to close the Address Book and use the new group name when you create your new e-mail message.

Sending Group E-mail Messages Using Thunderbird 1.5 on Mac OS X or Windows XP Home Edition

  1. Open Thunderbird.
  2. Click on the "Address Book" button on the Thunderbird toolbar. The Address Book will open.
  3. Click on the "New List" button on the Address Book toolbar. A dialog box will drop down.
  4. Give the list a name in the "List Name" field. The other fields are optional. Don't fill in the big field that says "Type email addresses to add them to the mailing list:" unless the addresses you are adding are not in your current Address Book. Click "OK" to close the box.
  5. The new list that you just named should now appear as a separate folder in the left side of the Address Book pane under your Personal Address Book. If you don’t see it, you’ll need to expand your Personal Address Book file by clicking on the “+” sign next to it.
  6. Next, highlight a name, multiple names, or all of the names from the listed contacts and drag them onto the icon for your new list in the Address Books pane.
  7. Close your address book and create a new e-mail message. Click on the "Contacts" icon in your new message's toolbar. Select your "Personal Address Book" in the Address Book drop-down menu.
  8. Click on the name of the new list you created and click on the "Add To:" button. Compose and send your message.

Sending Group E-mail Messages Using Mail.app 2, Address Book 4.0.4, and Mac OS X 10.4.9

  1. To create a group of contacts, you will need to start by opening your Mac's built in Address Book application.
  2. Under the "File" menu, drop down to and select "New Group." A new group will appear in the list in the Group column.
  3. Type in a new group name. "Work," "Family," or "Friends" are good examples. Don't use a name like "Goofy People I Work With" because the name that you use for the group is the name that will show up in the "To" field of your message.
  4. Click on the "All" icon at the top of the Group column and a list of contacts will appear in the Name column.
  5. Highlight a name, multiple names, or all of the names from the listed contacts in the Name column and drag them onto the icon for the new group in the Group column.
  6. Close the address book and use the new group name when you create your new e-mail message.

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We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It's our way of keeping you posted on the happenings here. If, however, you'd prefer not to receive these bulletins on a monthly basis, click HERE.

Thanks for your business!

Best regards,

The E-Connections Team

Polar E-Connections



Polar Communications
110 4th St E
Park River, ND 58270

800-284-7222



(We have used our best efforts in collecting and preparing the information published herein. However, we do not assume, and hereby disclaim, any and all liability for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions resulted from negligence, accident, or other causes.)

©2007 Cornerstone Publishing Group Inc.

Trademarks: All brand names and product names used in this eNewsletter are trade names, service marks, trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.