Posts Tagged ‘#tips’

Outlook Duplicates

Helpful Hints | Posted by Dennis April 25th, 2012

Sometimes Outlook, or your email server, messes up.  With all the syncing and smartphone use these days, there are more ways than ever to get COPIES, or duplicates, in your email, calendar, contacts, etc.  If it’s email, there can be several causes.  Here’s an article  that has good starting points for troubleshooting this issue (Thanks Mike at Demand Media!).  If these don’t help, keep searching, there is a LOT of info out there.  But after the fact, once you fix the source of the problem, you STILL can have a big mess to clean up.  I found a nifty free tool that can remove all duplicates from any given folder in outlook.  You can download it here

Debunking the Myths

Helpful Hints, News | Posted by Dennis February 22nd, 2012

Internet garbage not only circulates, it comes back!  There are all kinds of virus warnings, hoaxes, urban legends, and other misinformation that get passed around, usually by email.  Some of these have been out there a LONG time and will resurface occasionally.  I got one around Christmas time that had a bunch of really cool things you can do with your cell phone, so I saved it for a blog.  But the more I read it, the more I wondered how accurate it was.  So I searched for an entire sentence, in quotes… and guess what?  The EXACT email pulled up on  Here’s the TRUTH behind some cell phone tricks (and yes, some are possible) If you’ve never seen Snopes before, remember that name.  These folks have been around a LONG time researching and publishing the truth about this kind of stuff.  I rely on them any time I get a mass email (or other post) of any type that could be false.  Kudos to the Snopes gang for keeping a high standard of accuracy for many years.  Sites with good, solid information are hard to come by these days, so if you find one… bookmark it!  And, as I write this, I hope you’ve all bookmarked the TPCD News page.  :-)


Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis October 6th, 2011

There’s an exception to the double entry rule I talked about last time.  Any time you enter a new password, you should have to enter it twice.  I know it’s a pain, but there’s a really good reason for it.  It makes sure that you didn’t typo the password, and be locked out afterwards.   To help you keep things straight, I recommend you choose a strong and weak password for all your sites/programs, and just use those two, changing occasionally.  You can use the weak one for stuff that’s not worrisome (the Betty Crocker Recipe site, for example), and strong ones for sensitive or critical accounts.  A fun way to create a strong password is to use a word that means something to you, but replace letters with characters.  For example, use @ for a small letter A, ! = i, zero = letter O, etc.  This can help you be creative, and prevent what are called DICTIONARY attacks.  Any system that will allow multiple login attempts can be hacked this way, given enough time.  The hacker just uses a program that rotates through every word in the dictionary.  After dictionary attacks, they can simply use a BRUTE FORCE method and send every possible combination until they HIT.  But this can take a LONG time, depending on the complexity of password.  This is why most accounts LOCK OUT automatically after a few misfired attempts.

Email Privacy

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis September 20th, 2011

With all the spam and junk mail out there, it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind for email etiquette.  1) Business email should include a confidentiality notice to legally protect the contents (the easiest way to do this is to put it in your signature).  2) If you send to a large group, or forward FROM a large group, remove extraneous addresses from the body, and email it to YOURSELF.  Then put the list in the BCC line (this protects the recipient’s privacy)  3) To prevent getting filtered by spam blockers, I encourage my clients to use Rich Text or Plain Text rather than HTML format for sending.  In Outlook the default settings can be found in Tools, Options, Mail Format tab.  Next time:  Encrypting your email.

Windows Passwords

Helpful Hints, Warnings | Posted by Dennis May 19th, 2011

People don’t like to put a Windows password on their PC because it’s inconvenient.  But you really should, on all accounts, because it’s just another hurdle that a hacker has to jump if they try to get into your machine.  THE GOOD NEWS is that you don’t have to enter it! If you have an account that you’d like Windows to automatically log into, do this (after you set a password, of course);  Go to start, run, and type “control userpasswords2” with no quotes.  The window that pops up will let you select an account, uncheck the login box, and then enter the password (twice) for automatic sign in!  It’s much better to do this than to have NO PASSWORD.  For XP users, make sure that the Administrator account has a password, too.  For home edition you MUST BOOT IN SAFE MODE (F8) to do this, or you can’t see the Administrator user.


Helpful Hints | Posted by Dennis April 22nd, 2011

Right-click.  It’s the other mouse button, and you’d be AMAZED at all the cool stuff you can do with it.  See, in windows 7 and lots of other programs, it’s context-sensitive.  So it depends on WHERE you right click, but you almost always get a bunch of cool choices.  I just discovered a new one:  if you right click on any office program (Word, Excel, etc.) that’s pinned to the task bar, it will show you the most recent set of things you worked on.  That’s BEFORE YOU EVEN OPEN THE PROGRAM.  Killer!  Try right clicking everywhere, and see what you can find.  :-)