Link to Polar E-Connections

 

 


Warning
Phishing Scams Are On The Rise

Christmas Shopping
Is EASY At Polar!

Ask The Help Desk
How Do I Know Which Service Packs Have Been Installed On My Computer?

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

Short Tutorial
Turning Off Your E-mail Software Program's Preview Pane

 

 

Greetings from Polar's E-Connections Team

Ready or not, the holiday season is now upon us. There are gifts to buy, feasts to prepare, and football to watch. The Internet can make your holiday preparations and celebrations more enjoyable and, as your Internet Service Provider, we are happy to be part of it.

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 questions
  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

Warning - Phishing Scams Are On The Rise

An ever-increasing number of "phishing" scams are targeting online consumers each month. In fact, such scams are said to have risen by an average of 50% a month during the first half of this year alone! The term "phishing," also referred to as "brand spoofing," or "carding," is a variation of the word "fishing" -- the idea being that "bait" is thrown out with the hopes that while most people will ignore the "bait," some will be tempted into biting. Phishing is the act of sending an e-mail to an Internet user and falsely claiming to be an established legitimate enterprise with the intent of scamming the user into surrendering confidential information that will then be used for identity theft. Here's how a typical phishing scam works:

A con artist sends a bogus e-mail message to a list of e-mail addresses. The phony spam e-mail message purports to be from a bank, for instance, and asks the e-mail recipient to provide account information to assist the bank in its efforts to crack down on identity theft. The e-mail message is usually very authentic looking and includes company logos and copyright information. These messages typically state something about the recipient's account being temporarily suspended if account information is not provided. A link is provided within the e-mail message which takes the consumer to an official-looking website. The site asks for personal information such as account numbers, pin numbers, social security numbers, birth dates, etc. Participation in the scam by the consumer results in identity theft -- and bad consequences.

Businesses that are commonly targeted by "phishers" include banks, credit card companies, brokerage firms, ebay, PayPal, Internet service providers, as well as a variety of online retail e-commerce sites.

Tips On How To Avoid Getting Hooked By Phishing Scams

  1. Legitimate companies don't ask for financial or personal information via e-mail. If you get an e-mail or pop-up message that asks for this type of information, do not reply or click on the link in the message. If you are questioning the legitimacy of an e-mail regarding your account, contact the organization in the e-mail using a telephone number you know to be genuine.
  2. NEVER send personal or financial information via e-mail. E-mail is not a secure method of transmitting personal information.
  3. Initiate online transactions by typing in the organization's web address into your browser's Address Bar rather than clicking on a link provided within an e-mail message that supposedly takes you to the organization's site. Con artists can spoof an organization's web address shown on an e-mail message's link and send you to a bogus site instead.
  4. When you are asked to provide personal or financial information through an organization's website, be sure to look for indicators that the site is secure like a lock icon on the browser's status bar or a web address that begins with "https:" -- the "s" stands for "secure." Be sure to follow #3 above before doing this step.
  5. Review bank account and credit card statements as soon as you receive them to determine whether there are any unauthorized charges.

Be sure to report any suspicious activity to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If you receive spam that is fraudulently phishing for information, forward the message to spam@uce.gov.

If you believe you've been scammed by a phishing scheme, file your complaint at www.ftc.gov, and then visit the FTC's Identity Theft website at www.consumer.gov/idtheft to learn how to minimize your risk of damage from ID theft.

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Christmas Shopping - Is EASY At Polar!

Get the whole family what they really want this year...High Speed Internet Services from Polar. And now...Polar High Speed Internet Services are even faster with blazing speeds up to 1.5 Mbs for only $39.95 per month! Do homework faster, shop faster, check your stocks faster, pay your bills online faster, bid on ebay faster...we think you get the picture. Contact us today to get hooked up at 1-800-284-7222 or service@polarcomm.com. For more information, visit our website at www.thinkpolar.com.

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Ask The Help Desk - How Do I Know Which Service Packs Have Been Installed On My Computer?

Question: My computer uses Microsoft's Windows XP Home Edition as its operating system. I have automatic updates set up but how do I know if the new Service Pack 2 (SP2) has been installed on my computer?

Answer: If you are curious to find out which service packs or software updates have been installed on your PC running Windows XP Home Edition, do the following:

  1. Click your cursor arrow on the "START" menu located at the bottom left of your screen. Click on "My Computer" from the resulting pop-up menu.
  2. When the "My Computer" screen appears, you will see a list of items along the left side. Click on "View system information." The "System Properties" screen will then appear.
  3. Click on the "General" tab and you will see all of your system information listed including which version of Windows you are running and which service packs have been installed.

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Great Sites To Check Out This Month

The Rebel Billionaire: Branson's Quest For The Best TV Show
http://www.fox.com/rebelbillionaire/ -  Donald Trump's ego just got some new competition. Britain's Sir Richard Branson, billionaire and founder of Virgin Records, Virgin Airlines, and over 300 other Virgin-related companies, debuts this month in his own reality TV series. In a format similar to The Donald's popular The Apprentice TV series, sixteen American entrepreneurs are jetted to destinations around the globe where their leadership skills are tested. Each week one contestant is left behind on the tarmac as the rest of the group flies off to the next adventure. The winner receives Branson's job and one million dollars!

Delicious Holiday Recipes
http://epicurious.com/ -  Are you looking for a variety of great new recipes to try this holiday season? Then head over to what this site calls "The World's Greatest Recipe Collection." The recipe section has a "Search Spy" link which gives you a peephole look into the ten most recent terms typed into the site's recipe search box. The terms are refreshed every fifteen seconds with a new set of ten terms. It might give you some great ideas for something new to try. How about a platter of lime and coconut shrimp with red curry sauce to go with your turkey?

Online Owner's Manuals
http://livemanuals.com/ -  So it's time to reset the clock on your VCR but you can't find your owner's manual. Not to worry. This useful site makes online owner's manuals available for hundreds of different products -- everything from photography equipment to electronics. You can search the site's database by the type of product or by the manufacturer. The website also includes a live simulation showroom with an audio feature that reads step-by-step manual information to you.

The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie Opens This Month
http://nick.com/all_nick/movies/spongebob/ -  This month marks the return of SpongeBob SquarePants, Squidward Tentacles, Sandy Cheeks, Mr. Eugene H. Krabs, and the rest of the gang in The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie. The movie is based on the popular animated TV series which was the #1 rated TV show for ages 2-11 during the 2001-2002 season. Its creators ended TV production in 2003 to concentrate on the making of this movie. Yes, SpongeBob SquarePants still lives in a pineapple in the community of Bikini Bottom. The site includes four hilarious movie trailers, fun games, cast member bios, and cute e-cards.

Simplified BCS System To Determine College Football Champion
http://bcsfootball.org/ -  The purpose of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS), which was established in 1998, is to determine the national champion of NCAA Division I college football yet maintain the bowl system that's nearly 100 years old. Although not perfect, the system is probably an improvement over the old format of bowl match-ups with affiliated conferences. There's a new, simpler formula in place this season. So now is the time for football fans to begin putting down their binoculars and picking up their calculators. For all you've ever wanted to know about the BCS plus a complete breakdown of the week's current standings, check out this site.

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Short Tutorial - Turning Off Your E-mail Software Program's Preview Pane

The Outlook Express, Entourage, Netscape 7.1, and Eudora e-mail programs all utilize the "Preview Pane" feature as a default setting. The Preview Pane setting allows recipients to easily view the contents of new e-mail messages without having to click on the message to open it up. This saves time and is great when getting e-mail messages from friends and family.

The problem with the activated Preview Pane feature of these software programs, of course, occurs when spam e-mail is sent to a user's inbox. The recipient is almost forced into viewing the contents of spam e-mail messages prior to deleting them. Sometimes the images can be pretty distasteful.

A user can easily "turn off" the Preview Pane feature of their e-mail program. By doing this, the user only views messages he/she actually wants to open. Here's how to do it:

Outlook Express for Windows

  1. Click your cursor arrow on the Outlook Express "View" menu.
  2. From the resulting drop-down menu, select "Layout."
  3. When the "Layout" window opens, look for "Preview Pane" about half way down.
  4. Uncheck the check box next to "Show Preview Pane."
  5. Click on the "Apply" button and then click "OK" to close the window.

Entourage for Macintosh

  1. Click your cursor arrow on the "View" menu.
  2. From the resulting drop-down menu, uncheck "Preview Pane" by clicking on it.

Netscape 7.1 Mail

  1. Click your cursor arrow on the "View" menu.
  2. From the resulting drop-down menu, select "Show/Hide."
  3. From the resulting submenu, uncheck "Message Pane" by clicking on it.

Eudora 6.1

  1. Click your cursor arrow on the "View" menu.
  2. From the resulting drop-down menu, select "Options."
  3. When the "Options" window opens, look for the "Category" pane on the left hand side. Scroll down until you find the "Viewing Mail" icon and click on it.
  4. In the "Preview Pane" section, uncheck the check box next to "Show message in preview pane."
  5. Click "OK" to close the window.

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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



(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.)

2004 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.