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Tips ∓ Tricks for Net Surfing

Tips &; Tricks for Net Surfing

1.)   Tips ∓ Tricks For Browsing

  • Use Opera, if you are looking for speed and its tabbed interface. Use Internet Explorer, if you do a lot of offline browsing. Internet Explorer is also good for O2 phones equipped with web browsers. Netscape 7, like Opera, allows tabbed browsing, ie., opening multiple web pages in a single window under different tabs. Besides, it has numerous add-ons such as Mail, AOL IM, Winamp, etc. The only thing that Netscape 7 lacks is IE's panache for offline browsing with the History side-pane. In Opera, settings can be changed by choosing Preference under the File menu. To get a tabbed interface for new windows, check Open windows inside Opera workspace under Windows. In the same place, select Open pop-up windows in the background under Browser Windows. To use the cache effectively, check Never under History and cache. Press F5 to manually refresh pages.
  • To save on the time spent online, start your browser along with Outlook Express. Open as many windows in the browser and enter the urls of the sites you need to visit. Do not click on Go or press Enter. Now start your dialer. Once you are connected, ask OE to send and receive messages. As the messages are being received and sent, go the browser windows and click on the Go buttons. When OE finishes its job, disconnect.
  • Do not type your messages online. If you have an HotMAIL account, integrate it with OE. Type and read your messages offline. If you are using other accounts such as Yahoo, type them first in Notepad when you are offline. Then, when you go online, in the Compose section, cut and past the message.
  • You can send messages to machines running the Messenger service (Windows NT/2000/XP) by using the command net send <address> message from the MS-DOS prompt. To send a message to yourself, type net send hello.

2.)   Tips ∓ Tricks For Internet Explorer

Most people use Internet Explorer to browse the net. It loads up fast because parts of it is loaded by Windows as the latter boots up. Using the feedback from its huge user base, Microsoft has made numerous improvements, which you can use to your advantage.

  • Disable the Links toolbar and save space. Remove the Explorer view for the same reason. 
  • Customize the toolbar via View » Toolbars » Customize.
  • Blank home page: Set your home page to a blank one so that it loads up faster. This is done via Tools » Internet Options » General » Use Blank
  • Offline browsing:You do not have to connect to the Internet to revisit a page. You can access it from the cache. This is done via Tools » Internet Options » Temporary Internet Folders » Settings » Check newer versions of stored pages: » Never. After setting up IE like this, you can browse offline by, click on the History button. This will open up the History folder in a left pane. Browse through this to access the pages that you have visited earlier. You check the latest version on the net however by clicking on the Refresh button.
  • Context Menu Extensions For IE: IE allows you to copy the address of a link with just two clicks. But to copy the address of an image on a webpage, you have make at least 5 clicks. To make things like this more easier, you can create your own context menu extensions. For this, some new keys will have to be added to the registry. These keys will refer to Javascript or VBScript functions placed in some special HTML files. Extract the HTM files to C:\. Extract the cmes.reg and double click on it. The keys will be merged into the registry. Your IE context menu will have new options - "Copy All Hyperlink Address" (default), "Copy All Image Addresses" (default), "Copy Image Address" (on images), "Set Text Size To Medium" (on selected text) and "Copy HTML Code" (on selected text). You will have to make some modification to the cmes.reg file if you are not able to place files at C:\, a common scenario for people who are on a network.
  • Computer Security: Some websites have ads that tell you that your computer could be transmitting vital/private information about you, which could be targeted by hackers and viruses. They will tell you to download a security software. Considering the fact that they are using wrong tactics to sell their product, it is quite possible that their software could be doing more harm than good. No matter which software you use, it is not possible to completely hide your computer on the net. People who have always-on Internet connections like broadband or cable should instead use firewalls like the trusty ZoneAlarm or Tiny.

There are other websites that will ask visitors to install ActiveX controls like Gator or Bonzi. These are spyware and Internet users should avoid them.
Neither should you install programs like MP3 Dancer. These are spyware. Even if you uninstall them, they will still remain on your computer without your knowledge.

  • Paranoia 1: IE's autocomplete feature may throw up some web addresses at the address bar, which you may not want others to see. So, clear the history. This is done by Internet Options » Clear History. If otherwise you want to selectively remove history items, then delete the appropriate folders inside the History folder. In Windows 9x/Me, the History folder is inside the Windows folder. In Windows 2000/XP, it will be inside the Documents and Settings\«User name»\Local Settings\ folder.
  • Paranoia 2: Deleting the files in the Temporary Internet Files folder can remove only part of your tracks. Cookies stored by websites usually remain in this folder with their full web address. So, that is a security violation. To remove them, choose Internet Options » Temporary Internet Folder » Delete Cookies.
  • Paranoia 3: All evidence is still not removed. There is a file inside the Temporary Internet Files folder called index.dat, which has some evidence of your browsing history. Delete this file too. IE will regenerate another index.dat later.
  • Paranoia 4: When the Autocomplete feature is enabled, all your personal information including passwords are stored on the computer, which is available for others to misuse. So, when you are done with browsing at your office or an Internet cafe, follow the above three steps and clear the saved data by choosing Internet Options » Content » AutoComplete » Clear Forms and Clear Passwords. Sometimes, the Internet Options menu option might be disabled in your office or web cafe. So, delete the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IntelliForms key from the registry. If you want to steal or backup passwords, export this key and import it on a different machine or installation. You will also have to copy the {username}.pwl file and cookies to the new machine/installation. Sometimes, there are ActiveX programs that sit silently recording everything. You can check them out at Internet Options » Temporary Internet Files » Settings » View Objects. This will open the Downloaded Program Files folder in the windows folder. By right-clicking the contents, you can either remove them or check out their properties.
  • Paranoia 5: In certain Internet cafes, silent keyboard loggers are installed by certain people to collect userids and passwords, and send them to their email addresses. Remove these programs from memory and only then browse. Also disable form fillers such as Gator in Internet cafes.
  • Dialer: When you click on a link, IE starts the dialer program. If this is annoying to you, disable this via Internet Options » Connection » Never dial a connection.
  • Saving on telephone bills: You can make optimum use of your online time by opening the links in new windows rather than the current one. Take for example your HotMAIL Inbox. Every time you go there, there are many messages there. Instead of just clicking on a message and waiting for that message to load, right click on the message's link and choose Open in New Window. Go back to the Inbox and do the same for all other messages. By this time, your first message would have been downloaded. When you finish reading it, all the other messages would have been downloaded in their windows. Now, you can logout and disconnect the Internet connection.
  • Downloading recalcitrant files: Most people use a downloaded manager to download huge files. But, sometimes they run into problems when the download manager is not able to catch the correct url of the file. In such cases, open the source of the page via View » Source and do a search for the download file. Usually, the full url of the file will be found here. Copy this and paste it in the download manager. If some website prevents you from right-clicking to save an image on it, just look inside the Temporary Internet Files folder for it.
  • IE Toolbars ∓ Desktop Tickers: Add the Google Toolbar to IE. With this toolbar, you will get to the results without having to visit Google's home page first. You may also use Yahoo! Companion instead. With Yahoo! Companion you will be able to harness the power of the Google search engine and also get easy access to other Yahoo! services.
  • If you have to keep in touch with the latest news, then get the Reuters Desktop Ticker. Reuters is the world's leading news provider and almost every newspaper and TV station in the world gets feeds from it. Once connected to the Net, headlines flash across the ticker and you can click on the headlines to see the news stories in a browser window.
  • ESCAPE: Many people do not know this. If a page is being downloaded and you want to stop it, then pressing the Escape key will do that. Also, pressing Backspace key will take you to the previous page.
  • Saving web pages: Beginning with Version 5, IE allows saving a web page in a single file including its images and other embedded content. To do this, choose Save As from the File menu. Here in the Save as type, choose Web Archive, single file (*.mht). Sometimes, MHT files may not show anything even though its thumbnail does show something. If you disable Javascript, you will be able to see the whatever something you saw in the thumbnail.

3.)  Tips ∓ Tricks For Outlook Express

Outlook Express is free and comes bundled with IE. You can integrate your HotMAIL account with it.

  • Save some space by unchecking Contact, Outlook Bar, and View Bar in the Window Layout Properties. This is chosen by selecting Layout from the View menu.
  • Implementing Spam Filters For POP Accounts: Create two folders in your mail client - Filtered Inbox and Spam. Create the following four Message Rules in Outlook Express (Tools » Message Rules » Mail). Use your old messages as a guide while picking the words for your filters. Check the Spam folder once in a while for any false-positives. If you find any spam among the flagged messages in the Filtered Inbox, then update the filters in the third rule with new words.
Mail Rule #1: Mail From Known Contacts
Where the From line contains 'friendname' or 'contact@emailaddress.com'
Move it to the Filtered Inbox folder
    and Stop processing more rules

Mail Rule #2: Mail Not Addressed To Me

Where the To or CC line does not contain 'your@emailaddress.com'
Move it to the Spam folder
   and Stop processing more rules

Mail Rule #3: Word filters on From, To, ∓ Subject lines

Where the From line contains 'debt' or 'enlargement' or 'teens' or 'viagra'
    or Where the Subject line contains 'debt' or 'enlargement' or 'teens' or 'viagra'
     or Where the To line contains 'debt' or 'enlargement' or 'teens' or 'viagra'
Move it to the Spam folder
    and Stop processing more rules

Mail Rule #4: Suspect Mail

For all messages
Move it to the Filtered Inbox folder
      and Flag it
      and Stop processing more rules
  • Integrating HotMAIL: You can integrate your HotMAIL account with Outlook Express. Just go about as you would do with adding a POP account. After you enter your HotMAIL address, OE will automatically identify it as a HotMAIL account and pre-fill the E-mail Server Names details. Click Next enter the userid and password. When you are done, OE will ask if you want to download folders for that account. Here, choose Yes. After the folders have been downloaded, you can use it like you would use a POP mail account except that you will not be able to use the Message Rules (available under the Tools menu) on this account.
  • Handling Junk Mail ∓ Viruses In HotMAIL: If you get a lot of junk mail, then through the HotMAIL website activate the bulk mail folder. Create appropriate mail filters to prevent junk from landing into your inbox. Despite this, you might get junk mail and sometimes viruses. To handle these annoyances, you have to configure OE to download only mail headers. Right click on Bulk Mail and Inbox folders, and follow this - Synchronization Settings » Headers Only. Keep the Preview option off by clicking on its button on the toolbar. Some viruses get activated when Preview is on. Now, connect to the net and receive your mail. Then, read the from addresses and subject lines. Leave mails that appear to be viruses or spam alone. Mark the good ones by clicking under the column Mark for Offline. After this, once more receive your mail. Now, the messages that you had marked alone will be downloaded in full. The viruses and junk would not have been downloaded. Sometimes, your well-meaning contacts might be sending you viruses unknown to them. So, instead of opening the attachments, save them to your desktop. If the attachments contain any viruses, your antivirus should kick in at this time. I am using AVG antivirus and it does a pretty good job of handling viruses.

Email Headers: Spammers and viruses do a lot of spoofing when it comes to leaving traces. Check the screenshot for the header of a virus-laden mail that I received. Both the to and from address belong to me but the sender was actually jmcneill@stx.rr.com. By reading the header, it becomes clear from which ISP this guy has been using. In this case, RoadRunner.com or rr.com. By sending a mail to abuse@WhicheverISP.com, you will be able alert the ISP provider of the nuisance. When contacting the ISP, make sure you send them a plain text message along with the Internet header of the offending email. Without the header, they will not be able to take any action. To read the email headers, keep the Preview off. Right click on the message and select Properties » Details.

Most viruses usually attack the Address Book. The virus reads the addresses stored in the Address Book and mails a copy of the virus to all the contacts, sometimes along with a file found in your machine. Some viruses forge the to and from addresses. So, it may not be always be right to yell at your friend for sending viruses. It is best not to keep any contacts in the Address Book not just in the interest of your contacts, but also in the interest of your own privacy.

People who send junk mail or spam have large databases of email addresses. They are paid by companies that sell something. All current measures against spam are devoted against spammers rather than the spam sponsors. Spam sponsors are at the root of this evil. Is there a way to stop this group of low life? Read Reverse Spamming or How To Fight Spam With Spam.

  • Archiving HotMAIL messages: When you import messages from a backup copy of the message store folder, your HotMAIL messages will not be imported. So, create two folders under Local Folders called Archived Inbox and Archived Outbox. Copy the messages from your HotMAIL folders to these folders appropriately. Before you reinstall Windows or something drastic as that, create a backup copy the store folder in some other location. The store folder's location can be found by going to Options » Maintenance » Store Folder. After you are done with your reinstall, ask OE or whichever mail client you are using to import the messages from this folder. Now, your HotMAIL messages will be imported.
  • Options: To change the various settings of OE, choose Options in the Tools menu. If you have a dial-up account, then under the General tab, uncheck all the check boxes. Under the Send tab, uncheck the Send messages immediately. Under the Compose tab, under Font Settings choose the Verdana 9pt font or anything else that you might fancy. Under the Signatures tab, create different signatures for different accounts or one for all accounts. If you are in India, then setting the dictionary to English (United Kingdom) in the Language section of the Spelling tab will prevent conflicts with American spelling.
  • Blind Carbon Copy (bcc): Not many people know the advantages of bcc. When an email is cc'd to different people, each one of them get to know the other ids. Many people would be annoyed if their ids are distributed around in a careless fashion. Also, many a time, people just cc all others when replying. So, when broadcasting a message leave the "To" and "cc" fields empty and instead fill up the "bcc" with the addresses. To send mails using the bcc option in Outlook Express, choose View » All headers in the New Message window.
  • Use the Firefox browser :

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