Link to Polar E-Connections

 

 


Alert
Mydoom Worm Outbreak

Pay Online
Through Polar!!

Ask The Help Desk
Is There A Shortcut Method For Deleting E-mail Messages?

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

Short Tutorial
Adjusting The Cookie Settings On Your Browser

 

 

Greetings from Polar's E-Connections Team

This month's eNewsletter provides detailed information on the recent outbreak of the Mydoom Worm. We've also included a helpful shortcut on permanently deleting e-mail messages as well as a tutorial to assist you when adjusting your browser's cookie settings. We hope that our eNewsletter will help you enjoy learning more about the Internet. Have fun surfing the Net this 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 or e-mail hoax 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

Alert - Mydoom Worm Outbreak

You may have heard about the recent outbreak of the M32/Mydoom@MM Worm (a.k.a. W32.Novarg.A@mm Worm). This mass-mailing e-mail worm, discovered late last month (1.26.04), is another example of why we encourage our Internet users to install virus scanning software on their computers and to frequently update this security software.

The 32/Mydoom@MM Worm is a mass-mailing worm that sends itself as an e-mail attachment to all e-mail addresses found within an infected computer. Many times these infected e-mail messages appear as spoofed "return" or "bounce-back" e-mails. The recipient believes he/she has received a bounced back e-mail message, opens the e-mail and then opens the accompanying attachment. The recipient's machine is then infected, which causes replicated e-mails to automatically be mass-mailed to the e-mail addresses found on the recipient's computer. Although the subject line, text within the message, and the sender's address can vary greatly (making detection more difficult), the subject line will commonly say something like "Returned mail:see transcription for details" or "Mail Transaction Failed." The sender of the e-mail message may show as coming from "Mail Delivery Subsystem" (but this also varies). The text within the message itself may read something like this: "The message contains Unicode characters and has been sent as a binary attachment."

The 32/Mydoom@MM / W32.Novarg.A@mm Worm also includes a "backdoor" feature which opens ports on the infected machine and potentially allows hackers to have remote access to the computer. Although the creator of this worm programmed the worm to stop self-replicating and mass-mailing on February 12, 2004, (thank you), hacker vulnerability of infected computers continues beyond this date.

The 32/Mydoom@MM / W32.Novarg.A@mm Worm only infects Windows-based operating systems (not Macintosh, Linux or UNIX systems) and also appears to ignore e-mail addresses ending in "edu," "mil," and "gov."

Remember, receiving an e-mail attachment from a trusted friend or a reliable source may not necessarily mean they were the actual senders of the message and attachment. Also, the ultimate responsibility in protecting your computer against worms and viruses lies with you. Many viruses and worms not only spread via e-mail, but also through the sharing of files when using floppy disks, zip disks and networks, as well as when downloading software. We encourage each of our users to install and utilize virus-scanning software, to update this software on a regular basis, and to scan all incoming attachments before opening them, even if the attachment shows coming from a reliable source.

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Pay Online - Through Polar!!

Pay your Polar bill the simple way.....ONLINE. You've had the option of checking your billing online and you can now pay at the same time. Paying online is convenient, easy to use, and FAST. Simply go to Polar's website at www.thinkpolar.com and click on E-Statement. Then click the PAY BILL option, located on the top of the screen, and it walks you through the process. Paying online gives you options such as paying directly if you've misplaced your bill, paying while on vacation or away on business, or paying your bill automatically with a credit card each month, etc. If you need to pay your bill in a quick manner, this is a great option!! In order to use Polar's E-Statement, you'll need a username and password for security purposes. To inquire or get a username and password, contact our billing department at billing@polarcomm.com or 1-800-284-7222.

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Ask The Help Desk - Is There A Shortcut Method For Deleting E-mail Messages?

Question: When I delete an e-mail from my inbox, it goes into the "Deleted Items" folder of my Outlook Express e-mail client. In order to get rid of this e-mail from my computer, I then need to open my Deleted Items Folder and delete it a second time. I must be doing something wrong. Do I actually need to delete each discarded e-mail twice to remove it permanently?

Answer: Outlook Express has you delete each e-mail message twice as a precautionary measure so that you won't permanently delete e-mail messages by accident. However, you don't really have to do it twice for each and every e-mail. You can empty your entire Deleted Items Folder all at once by right clicking on the folder and selecting "Empty 'Deleted Items' Folder." (You can do the same thing by going to the File menu.) Again, requiring the user to take two steps to delete e-mail messages is Outlook Express's safety measure to ensure that e-mail messages are not deleted prematurely.

That being said, there is a short cut method for permanently deleting an e-mail message before it hits your Deleted Items Folder. This works for the latest Windows versions of Internet Explorer and Netscape. The next time you go to delete an item, hold down the "Shift" key and then the "Del" key. This will delete the selected e-mail immediately and permanently, bypassing the Trash or Deleted Items Folder. Use this option with care, however. Outlook Express will ask you if you're sure you want to proceed, but Netscape does not. Once it's gone...it's really gone!

What if you have more than one e-mail you want to permanently delete from your inbox using the shortcut method above? Just press down your "CTRL" key as you click the items you want to delete and then follow the procedure above.

Once again, remember, this gets rid of the items forever, so be careful with it!

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Great Sites To Check Out This Month

Mars Rovers Send Amazing Images Back To Earth
http://marsrovers.jpl.nasa.gov/home/index.html -  Both the Spirit and the Opportunity robotic rovers have successfully landed on Mars and are sending remarkable panoramic views of the red planet back to earth. This is the home site for NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Mission. There's no better place for the latest news and amazing images from Mars!

Captain Kangaroo's Bob Keeshan
http://tvparty.com/lostterrytoons.html -  Bob Keeshan, star of the Captain Kangaroo television program, passed away last month at the age of 76. Captain Kangaroo was the longest running network children's television show of all time...running from 1955 to 1984. Many of us grew up watching it. Bob Keeshan blended easy-going entertainment with education. This is a wonderful site to find out more about Mr. Keeshan, a great pioneer in children's television programming.

Queen Mary 2 -- The World's Largest Ocean Liner
http://www.cunard.com/QM2/default.asp?Active=about -  Are you looking to take a cruise on the tallest, longest and most expensive passenger vessel ever built? You're in luck. The Queen Mary 2 recently made its maiden voyage. The QM2 has fourteen passenger decks, five swimming pools, ten restaurants, a spa run by 51 employees of Arizona's Canyon Ranch, and the first planetarium at sea. It is 147 feet longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall. This site provides virtual tours, an extensive photo gallery, and information on future destinations.

76th Annual Academy Awards
http://oscar.com/index.html -  The 76th Annual Academy Awards will be televised later this month live from Hollywood, California. It's hype. It's glitz and glamour. It's when hundreds of movie lovers from around the globe are glued to their television sets to see who will receive the highest honors in filmmaking. For updates on this year's Oscar nominations, listings of past winners, and red carpet photos of your favorite, fashionable stars, head to this website!

Snow Ski Racing Season Charges Ahead
http://www.skiracing.com/ -  The World Cup Ski Circuit is now in full swing. Catch the latest news about your favorite Super G, Downhill, Slalom, Giant Slalom and Combined skiers. The site provides race results, late-breaking ski-related news, and feature stories. The site also provides information on the Cross Country World Cup, the Ski Jumping World Cup, the Snowboarding World Cup, and the Freestyle World Cup.

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Short Tutorial - Adjusting The Cookie Settings On Your Browser

A vast majority of websites place one or more cookies on your hard drive when you first visit their sites. A "cookie" is a piece of information stored in a file on your computer that is placed there by a website when you visit it. Its job is to keep track of your preferences when you revisit the site in the future. Actually, these cookies can be quite helpful to you when visiting or making purchases at shopping sites.

The default setting for both the Internet Explorer and Netscape browsers is to automatically accept any and all cookies whenever a request is made by a website. If you are concerned about websites placing cookies on your browser as you surf the Web, newer web browsers provide settings that can be adjusted to block the acceptance of all cookies from being added to your computer. Alternatively, you can set your browser to advise you each time a website attempts to add a cookie to your computer. In the latter scenario, you can then accept or decline the cookies at your discretion on a case-by-case basis.

To adjust your browser's cookie settings when using Internet Explorer (6.0 +):

  1. Click your cursor arrow on the Tools menu and select "Internet Options." The Internet Options dialog box will appear.
  2. Next, select the Privacy tab and click your cursor arrow on the "Advanced" button. The Advanced Privacy Settings dialog box will appear.
  3. You'll see a check box giving you the option to "Override automatic cookie handling." Overriding automatic cookie handling gives you the option to "Accept" cookies, "Block" cookies, or request a "Prompt" before accepting cookies. These options are available for first party cookies (cookies from sites you visit) and for third party cookies (cookies that are left by advertisers located on visited sites). Additionally, you can check the box "Always allow session cookies." Session cookies only last as long as you keep Internet Explorer open. After you quit Internet Explorer, the cookies are deleted.
  4. Once you have adjusted your settings, click "OK" to close the Advanced Privacy Settings dialog box and click "OK" again to close Internet Options.

To adjust your browser's cookie settings when using Netscape 7.1:

  1. Go to the Edit menu and click your cursor arrow on "Preferences."
  2. On the resulting screen, click your cursor arrow on the small triangle next to "Privacy & Security" to expand the listing for that category.
  3. Click your cursor arrow on "Cookies" to view the current settings.
  4. You'll find options to a) disable cookies, b) enable cookies for the originating website only, c) enable cookies based on privacy settings, and d) enable all cookies.
  5. You can further fine tune your cookie settings by selecting one or all of the following options.

 

  1. Once you've made your choices, click "OK" to resume browsing.

To adjust your Safari browser's cookie settings on a Macintosh:

  1. Click on the Safari menu. Drop down to and select "Preferences."
  2. Click on the Security icon. (It looks like a padlock.)
  3. The cookie settings are right below the "Block pop-up windows" check box. (Yes, you can block pop-ups with a single click.)
  4. You can choose to "Always" accept cookies, "Never" accept cookies, or accept cookies "Only from sites you navigate to." The latter option would prevent advertisers on websites that you visit from leaving cookies on your computer.
  5. Once you've made your choices, click on the red circle in the upper left corner of the dialog box to close it.

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We hope you found this newsletter to be informative. It's our way of keeping you posted on the happenings at our shop. 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

 

2003 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.